The poem of a cigarette smoker

A few people have found this blog with this search term.  As an individual, I used to smoke.  I quit by accident about three years ago, so now I secondhand smoke.  I go out onto porches and stoops with friends, and boyfriends, and people I don’t even know to get a tiny nicotine fix. 

There was a short story we read in college that was a very popular discussion point for all creative writing folks.  In it, a man who is blind smokes.  It started a conversation about character points and reality/unreality.  I was always on the side that said that plenty of blind people smoke.  However, a lot of people said that if this individual was blind from birth, he would never have had the incentive to start as he could never see the group of smokers or the curling trail of smoke wafting in the air.

Lift the paper and foam filter
to your cracked lips.  Draw the cotton
thick smoke between yellowed teeth,

then push it out again, threading thru
your nostrils and hair.  This is what holds
your cells together; this is the dangerous

particulate glue holding freckles to skin,
skin to meat, meat to bone.  What is left
when you stop: clavicle and skull,
and a need for more.

4 Comments

Filed under lust and love, Musings, poetry, Uncategorized, writing

4 responses to “The poem of a cigarette smoker

  1. Cool poem! I used to smoke too, but now, ugh. Plus I’ve developed asthma, so double yuk.

  2. Very detailed.
    Once again, you have expressed yourself beautifully…
    Thanks for sharing!

  3. I love the notion of the addiction keeping the body together, very strong imagery …always enjoy stopping by

  4. are we always wanting more?
    sometimes i’m confused as to how much people actually enjoy the nicotine fix to the atmosphere. i have lots of friends who smoke as a habit to get to know people (in particular; attractive people). to bum a smoke or a light gives them some sort of flirtatious opening, and whether or not it’s the nicotine that does that trick, it’s become a social thing for most of the parties or shows i go to.
    i sometimes think that our want for more is to fit in more, to be included more, to feel less like an outsider and more like someone who can be friends with everyone with the self-confidence gleaming and radiating. someone everyone idolizes secretly.
    i’m scared that we use bad things to our advantage. i know i’ve smoked to fit in a group that was all smoking as well in a time where i lacked the confidence to believe these people would like me and include me if i didn’t. this bad thing, smoking, becoming more and more normal and more and more “cool”, will one day ruin our society, teeth, and bodies.

    by the way, i really enjoyed the line “threading thru
    your nostrils and hair”. more delicate than knitting, so carefully bound together. a pleasure to read.

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