Simic Sundays

In honor of Charles Simic’s upcoming visit to Rollins College for the Winter With the Writers Literary Festival, I’m posting two of my favorite poems he’s written. The first, “Lingering Ghosts” is from New And Selected Poems (2012) and the second “My guardian angel is afraid of the dark” is from The World Doesn’t End (1989).

Lingering Ghosts

Give me a long dark night and no sleep,

And I’ll visit every place I have ever lived,

Starting with the house where I was born.

I’ll sit in my parents’ dimmed bedroom

Straining to hear the tick of their clock.


I’ll roam the old neighborhood hunting for friends,

Enter junk-filled backyards where trees

Look like war cripples on crutches,

Stop by a tree stump where Grandma

Made roosters and hens walk around headless.


A black cat will slip out of the shadows

And rub herself against my leg

To let me know she’ll be my guide tonight

On this street with its missing buildings,

Missing faces and few lingering ghosts.


My guardian angel is afraid of the dark. He pretends he’s not, sends me ahead, tells me he’ll be along in a moment. Pretty soon I can’t see a thing. “This must be the darkest corner of heaven,” someone whispers behind my back. It turns out her guardian angel is missing too. “It’s an outrage,” I tell her. “The dirty little cowards leaving us all alone,” she whispers. And of course, for all we know, I might be a hundred years old already, and she just a sleepy little girl with glasses.

You can read more of Simic’s work here.

Want to discuss the poems? Leave a comment, send an email to or take it to Twitter @incitethemag


Pardon the appearance

In the initial burst of energy that has become this blog some things (site design/layout among them) were left aside in the interest of getting something out there. Over the next few weeks you can expect many changes as we clean things up around here. It’ll look much nicer when we’re done.

Incite the Magazine

Starting next month I will publish a magazine focusing on one aspect of the creative process. Issues may focus on topics like inspiration or production. It will highlight what goes into making great ideas reality.

The magazine presents an opportunity (for myself as well as anyone else who’d like to contribute) to create a very good product. The magazine will be the result of our best efforts. Everyone involved is held to a higher standard. The result is that quality is the top priority. If it’s bad, it doesn’t go in. It’s that simple. The magazine will be a place for a more formal discourse than these blogs, which are designed to be freer in nature. Except this one. This one is very serious.

I’m really excited about this project and I’m looking forward to putting everything together. I hope it’ll be something you all can enjoy.

If you have something you’d like to submit or if you’d like to talk about the project send an email to or follow @incitethemag on twitter.

A Note on the Name

I believe in the energy of ideas. This energy is in all of us – it is what drives us to write, paint, or sing. It’s the feeling when you’re lost in a project and you realize hours have gone by without notice. This energy is beautiful and powerful but so often it is not followed and incredible ideas are allowed to die. Langston Hughes wondered what happens to a dream deferred but over here I’d rather not find out. I aim to rouse the dreamers from their sleep and help them see their dreams in reality.

Langston Hughes’ “A Dream Deferred

This is Incite.

I recently came to understand that great efforts do not just burst into existence. They are really the culmination of many smaller efforts. So many little efforts lay the foundation that the great efforts will be built on. This may be obvious to some but to me it was not.

When I was young things came very easily to me. In elementary school I got in the habit of only doing enough to get by rather than doing the best I could. This habit stuck with me longer than I’m proud to admit and as they often are, was very difficult to break. There are residual effects to this day.

Incite is a celebration of small efforts; Incite is a record of the journey to great efforts. Additionally Incite is a platform for creativity of all kinds. Everything begins with an idea. I’m concerned with that inception and its subsequent cultivation. I want this to be a place where ideas are discussed and encouraged. I want this to be a place where creation is appreciated.

Have an idea? Shoot me an email at or follow me on Twitter @incitethemag.