Reyes Cover

Read a selection from Felipe Benitez Reyes' book, Probable Lives, which is now out in paperback. The book revolves around "character-poets" who "read as forgotten or unknown 20th century authors, all 'rediscovered' and compiled by an anthologist who is also the creation of Felipe Benitez Reyes."

To mark National Poetry Month, NPR.org is featuring a series of newly published works selected by the Academy of American Poets. Learn more about this and other titles at the academy's New Spring Books list.


by Felipe Benitez Reyes


By Gonzalo De Lerma

The sensation of being the only guest

in a grand hotel on the outskirts of the city

— and hearing the somnambulistic

elevator and a scream —

or being in an empty theater

or in a lonely plaza

of a lonely unknown city

weighed down with suitcases and no money

surrounded by escaped doves

from the studio of the worst taxidermist

that ridiculous melancholy of one who feels ignored

at the parties of younger people

whom he calls late at night

from a bar with the lights already turned off

and talks to himself about the comforts

of being an academic ghost

of an orchestra conductor


I fear, in the end, that I've kissed

The lips of a mistaken goddess


Copyright © 2006 BOA Editions, Ltd. Used by permission of the publisher.

Books Featured In This Story

Probable Lives/ Vidas Probables

by Felipe Benitez Reyes, Aaron Zaritzky and Itziar Lopez Guil

Paperback, 159 pages | purchase

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Probable Lives/ Vidas Probables
Felipe Benitez Reyes, Aaron Zaritzky, et al

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