A well-known poet's first collection of stories (in a new series from the publisher; also see Jessica Treat, below): short- shorts that are beautifully observed, refreshingly good-humored, and packed with pleasing details of a colorful life in the bohemian 60's. Of the 70 or so pieces assembled here, many are sketches of friends and family in exotic settings; others deftly re-create hotels, cafes, minor museums, and streets and beaches of European cities where brief epiphanies or romantic interludes took place 30 years ago. All follow the narrator/protagonist as he makes his way from Paris to Italy, Greece, and North Africa in the midst of an artistic revolution--sometimes trailing wives and children, other times traveling alone, always warmly and carefully observing local shamans, students, poets, painters, librettists and musicians, beautiful or homely young women, the men around whom beautiful young women for no discernible reason swarm, and children--lots of children populate these tales, which is endearing. Central moments tend to evoke pleasure; frequently, as in the title story about the seduction of a student in Gabon, the pleasure is intellectual and sensual, focused on a small shock of recognition: ``It was a quiet sensation, and a sweet one, the feeling that each had that the other would be lovely to be with in a bed....The feeling turned out to match the truth, and the strong, swift sunlight cluttered their room with pennies of the future.'' Original, shapely, and richly detailed scenes from the not- too-distant past.