The Solipsist
A chapbook by Troy Jollimore, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry for Tom Thomson in Purgatory (MARGIE / IntuiT House). Fifteen new poems, including four Tom Thomson poems.

ISBN 9780979374524

Cover art by Lyn Dillin, untitled mixed media painting

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Read a review of The Solipsist: "Don't be misled: The Solipsist is the best chapbook you'll read this year."



Don't be misled:
that sea-song you hear
when the shell's at your ear?
It's all in your head.

That primordial tide—
the slurp and salt-slosh
of the brain's briny wash—
is on the inside.

Truth be told, the whole place,
everything that the eye
can take in, to the sky
and beyond into space,

lives inside of your skull.
When you set your sad head
down on Procrustes' bed,
you lay down the whole

universe. You recline
on the pillow: the cosmos
grows dim. The soft ghost
in the squishy machine,

which the world is, retires.
Someday it will expire.
Then all will go silent
and dark. For the moment,

however, the black-
ness is just temporary.
The planet you carry
will shortly swing back

from the far nether regions.
And life will continue—
but only within you.
Which raises a question

that comes up again and again,
as to why
God would make ear and eye
to face outward, not in?

© 2008 by Troy Jollimore (originally published in Poetry)