T o b a c c o

You are not my friend yet
I can call upon you any time,
If I have a dime, you have the time to
Illuminate the night and
Fill me with a familiar haze.

I know your face, it’s the same every time
but I call your cherry every city lit bright with
man-made lights.

You can be my ticket to nihilist paradise,
you’re Paris on fire, and Cali at twilight
with those hot boys and their boards of every type,
chasing after blonde hair and pert flesh,
or a bowl to bring a fire to-
you know like I do that they will forget the mire
of their souls until it chases them down.

When they’ll be too old for it to matter much,
Ashes to ashes, the dust of my dust.

I know your place, in the neatly wrapped box
that you came in, fragile and fugacious like mine.
The opening wrapped in cellophane like a hymen once was-
The parody of purity, the concept of a gift
on a planet made to waste such as this.

When I snub you out, you don’t lament.
You fold upon yourself like an oragami heart and
the lights in your city go out without a shout
or regret.

Goodnight Paris, I won’t miss you.
California, you were not mine.
Goodnight to the concept of me and then you,
Push me into the glass ashtray and leave no doubt
about worth or wealth or truth.


10 thoughts on “T o b a c c o

  1. Hi K.,

    It is too bad WP doesn’t offer a “great” button with a sweep of stars instead of a single. To know that this is a great poem one must understand smoking, and rips in reality, and how we slowly become wasted and wounded. One must edge their way along the outline of the poem and there it is…just like we knew it would be: a complete body. Paris and Cali, sitting above the whole thing, dreaming about what we will become and then lighting a cigarette and kissing the girl/boy and pulling everything down into the grass; the lush grass beneath the stars. This is a really great poem and like the log lady, it speaks to me. Thanks. Duke

    Liked by 3 people

  2. This reminds me of what I LOVE about cigarettes and alcohol.They are both exactly what they offer and never disappoint. No lies, no pretension, no chest bumping, no ‘some settling may occur’ excuses for failure.
    The part about unwrapping…. magic!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Very much reminds me of Rickie Lee Jones – at least I think that was her name. Used to sing with Tom Watts (could have that name wrong). For some reason a certain roller skating rink down near the railroad tracks in Reno where us underage smokers used to hang out.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Bijou, this poem captures the phenomenon of smoking cigs so perfectly. Brings back some lovely memories…

    And wow, Aimee Mann, Rickie Lee, Cigarettes After Sex…love ’em all. Just recently heard “Apocalypse” by C.A.S. on the radio. Good stuff. Got to see Rickie Lee last year at the Iron Horse in Northhampton, MA and again this summer in Fall River. She’s still got it.

    Liked by 1 person

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