This is the sixth collection of poems by an author who is also a playwright, critic, and the poetry editor of The New Yorker (where many of these poems first appeared). The poems reflect an elusive, cool, almost artificial world, in which a kind of civilized detachment has become almost a second nature. Phantom love affairs echo through city streets, deserted beaches, and imaginary landscapes. The New York of the Algonquin Hotel, secretaries after work, lonely bars, lonely people, persists wraithlike in the background of a minutely-described but essentially shadowy world where substances, being and emotions tend to fray out in dry silence and the inexplicable. All is elegant as a bubble of glass, mirroring a changed, ephemeral, hauntingly almost-familiar view.