Cameo Appearance

Cameo Appearance

I had a small, nonspeaking part
In a bloody epic. I was one of the
Bombed and fleeing humanity.
In the distance the great leader
Crowed like a rooster from a balcony,
Or was it a great actor
Impersonating the great leader?

That's me there, I said to the kiddies.
I'm squeezed between the man
With two bandaged hands raised
And the old woman with her mouth open
As if she were showing us a tooth

That hurts badly. The hundred times
I rewound the tape, not once
Could they catch sight of me
In that huge gray crowd,
That was like any other gray crowd.

Trot off to bed, I said finally.
I know I was there. One take
Is all they had time for.
We ran, and the planes grazed our hair,
And then they were no more
As we stood dazed in the burning city,
But, of course, they didn't film that.


From Selected Poems (Faber and Faber, 2004), copyright © Charles Simic 2004, used by permission of the author and the publisher.

Recordings

Charles Simic

Charles Simic Reading from his poems

1Butcher Shop

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2Cockroach

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3Fork

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4The Partial Explanation

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5Prodigy

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6Shelley

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7Factory

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8Folk Songs

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9Country Fair

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10The Clocks of the Dead

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11Transport

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12Reading History

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13Cameo Appearance

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14Ghosts

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15At the Cookout

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16Club Midnight

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17Pastoral Harpsichord

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18The Soul Has Many Brides

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19Unmade Beds

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20The One To Worry About

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21Cherry Blossom Time

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22The Altar

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23My Father Attributed Immortality to Waiters

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24Views from a Train

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25Serving Time

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26Cabbage

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27Paradise

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28In the Library

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29The Tiger

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30Evening Walk

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31The Old World

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32Empires

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33The Tower

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34Late Call

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35Emily’s Theme

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36The Friends of Heraclitus

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Books by Charles Simic