Article: 261575 of talk.bizarre
Newsgroups: talk.bizarre
From: (Jeff Swanson)
Subject: FTS: Cigarettes I Have Known
Message-ID: <>
Date: Sat, 2 Dec 1995 07:44:47 GMT
Lines: 69
Status: O

I have known the smoke at night,
At the window in the evening...
The mellow smoke that swells my ribs,
My heartbeat, BP, and all the rest.
Glowing scarlet crux that waxes and wanes
Jack-o-lantern, pumpkin colored,
Indian tobacco fires, cleansing flames
Crashing through prairie thickets.
Cigarette crackles between my fingers,
A peace pipe after a Utah thunderstorm.

I have known the smoke at night,
In damp sheets after tumultuous sex.
Curling rings of blue inspire,
Ghosts of smokers past retire
Aloft in interlocking magician rings
That jingle in the corners of the ceiling.
Wreath of smoke 'round Santa's face --
Clay pipe clicked in huge white teeth,
Extruding from shiny ringlets of beard.
Tiny broken veins on Santa's nose...
(that ain't MILK in that hipflask, Santa...)

Cancer never sleeps, waiting just beyond
The next inch of this cigarette, and
In the bottom inch of this plastic bag
Of aromatic pipe tobacco.
Waiting to gain a foothold somewhere in my body,
Wherever it can -- lips, tongue, salivary gland, uvula --
Just a pinch between the cheek and gum --
mucus membranes, esophagus, larynx, bronchial tubes, alveoli...
Cancer doesn't look a gift horse in the mouth.

Nicotine grinning, fills your blood with fat
Cells, Swells
That donut 'round your bicep, and
Philip Morris laughs, and Uncle Bob
Kisses the floor in the bathroom, claw to his chest,
Butt smashed in his lips


Steaming pork on the table


Shotglass on the credenza


Bottle behind the couch cushions


Fuck it.
Nothing in excess, including moderation.
I clench a pipe, which is at least not a cigarette,
In my teeth and 
Light a match. My reflection smokes, and
I look away.