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I was raised in my father’s ill-timed
           old ways: as a man saying how he feels,
           was like ash in his ashtray. And I had
           smoked up a few reasons of not finding
           certainty; but instead finding answers in
           all addictions as a troubled youth.

I remember looking for a quick fix,
          like a constant broken clock—
         without a lot of time.
         As it felt better not to admit to why I
         was crying secretly at night, and instead
         going around faking all of my smiles.

As I never once felt like I could fit an
        ounce of myself in my family, and
        sometimes the thought of being a
        mistake would be a thought I’d accept
        so gladly.
“I’ve been a fool, I’ve been a ******,
           I’ve been an idiot, I’ve been a coward,
           and I’ve been less than a good friend,
           Feeling less of myself most times, in
           saying I don’t amount to anything”—
           were all of the things plaguing my head.

I’ve been so sick of love,
          pretending to have known it as much
          And to my luck, I’ve been unlucky enough
          to know the way I lived felt like a vortex,
         cos it always ******.

Sprung out on how I forced my appearance,
        sitting on bottled emotions, ignoring
        how I’m really feeling— all thought
        to show a man in their great zealous.
        Such a lie it was; and a door to the
        knowledge of depression, that I tried to
        hide so well, with years of experience.

Cause I was taught,
          “real men don’t show their feelings”
           Still what are these feelings, I’m feeling?

Feeling sad, depressed, a mess,
          who can’t confess that sometimes
          he's a mess and not always at his best.
          Still, self-perfection isn’t what the
          whole world expects. And unless this
          boy chooses not to digress from tackling
          the feelings that have him compressed; that
          boy will only be a boy who still sits in their
          mother’s nest.

Cos no bird will truly soar where it rests—
          so would I; never be a man in this crazy
          world, by just covering up all of my sores
          in my heart with a bulletproof vest. I
          already swallowed up those bullets; choking
          up on all of the words of, not saying
          what’s beating at my chest.

Today, today marks the day,
          I threw out that **** ashtray.
         Cos the ash in that tray, made me feel
         like, the *** of the day. And I refuse to
        do the donkey-work, of pretending that
         I’m always okay.

        No, I'm not okay, because I’ve spent
        my life being burnt by the scorching
        ash, in that old ashtray.

                          It’s time for healing.
el Mar 20
The art is hiding behind one pretence or another, for surely it cannot be both of these? Hidden things cannot stay hidden, for found is where beauty is. Hate. The incessant whining of an ache behind my ear, and it is like the wind whistling between glass at an ungodly hour. Like smoke between teeth. The world does not obey your thoughts, does not listen to my wishes. So tell me your name, at least one time, tell me your name so that I may place it in my mind in a place where it can live and dance and rot and forever remain, and let me say, I love you.  Love doesn't exist. It is the chemicals that are held in the heavy weight of your tears.
Mark Wanless Feb 11
cigarette smoke in
my lungs bitter and burning
why do i want more
Andreas Peter Sep 2023
Breath comes
Through a filter of
Tar and
Comes faster, unbidden unbound un
I stood, days of old and told myself
was. done.
Breathing, tar.
I guess
Tar, still holds an ember
In, my, chest.
Cigarettes to provide company at unrest
AE Sep 2023
I've talked to all the ghosts in this room
They speak of memories and grievances
And we revel in how quickly this fog has turned into smoke
It bites at my lungs
And I sit and wait, my eyes on my hands
My ears on the clock
At some point, each passing second
Parallels my heartbeat
There is someone across from me
Saying it is time to let go
But what would be left of me
If this grief vanished, too
At some point, it became all I am

Until you
somehow stumbled into this room
untethering the past from all that I knew
Ila Jul 2023
You know, I started smoking because of you.

The availability of the cigarettes you had on hand when I saw you
To be fair, when I was with you, you’d try your best to not smoke as I’d get dizzy
But somehow I always gave in
I asked for one while knowing this

You’re just an analogy to cigarettes
I know how bad you are for me
Yet when I see you I can’t but help to dive in again
Do it over and over again because as good as it feels it is so unhealthy for me

I do it over and over again and I know it’s unhealthy but it just feels so good

It’s toxic through and through
The smoke etched on my lungs
And I drown in you

Now every time I’m offered a cigarette I can’t help but think of you
I smoke them knowing they’re bad for me
But somehow it gives me a connection to you
Somehow smoking one makes me miss you
It makes me feel you again

And I hate it
Oh how I hate it
I know how bad it is for me — how toxic it is
But somehow I can’t stop

You’re just as bad for me as the cigarettes you once looked at me shocked by me asking for some

Smoke fills my lungs and you fill my heart

But as you keep coming back
As I will keep getting cigarette after cigarette
This feeling of self destruction is unfortunately never ending

And truly, how does one find a conclusion to something everlasting?

This pattern is circular. I stop and when I see you it starts again. I probably won’t ever cut you off. This pattern of self destruction will consume me, just as cigarettes take their victim

(12/24/22; 12:45 am)
Warning: Cigarette smoking is bad for your health
I S A A C Jul 2023
do you hear that?
do you fear that ?
understand its near when the heat bubbles my brain
understand the tears when they flood more than rain
i can’t taste anything but raging waves
washing my face, washing our pain
cleanse, repent, until i second guess
all the compression of my fate
depression in my rays
internal divide, leave the strain in the drain
self sacrifice, smoke the demons away
Austin Sessoms Sep 2012
you are the lit tip
of one cigarette pressed
against another
you are the reason
I burn
Austin Sessoms Apr 2012
the first free minutes of the day find me
scrambling for the lighter that will ensure my
good standing with a
young and dumb, restless addict
of the two-years-older-than-me generation

her cigarette hangs limp from her lips
waiting for the fire that I promised her
I had to offer
eyebrows arching
fingers followed by toes tapping
in an anxious less-than-patience

so I fumble through the pockets of my jacket
tapping fingers into gum packets
doing what I can to keep from laughing
at the whole

until at last I find the lighter
for the babe who's smoking Marlboros
and says she doesn't care who knows
that she smokes cigarettes
Austin Sessoms May 2012
here's to a package of
Marlboro Reds
in the hands of
someone other than
the Marlboro Man
standing in
for those slack-jawed outlaws
my heroes now lack jaws

I swear it's been too long
since I inhaled manhood
The Great Darrell Winfield
and filtered
into the only thing I know
that makes a man a man
the essence of
cowboy boots and farmer's tan
in every drag

see, I inhale my heroes
all the dusty red-necked
Darrell Winfield
and my dad
men whose lives
went up in smoke
to coat my throat
in my own self-righteousness
I'm frightened this
is all that I'll have left
of him
lung cancer
and the lingering stench
of cigarettes

he always smelled
of cigarettes

he'd pull me into these
firm embraces
he held so long
that he'd suffocate me
in tacky business
and cigarette smoke
masked only
by a poor man's
still I breathed him in
until I'd start to choke
it was too much man to handle

my grandpa told me
“smoking doesn't send you
straight to Hell,
but it sure does make you smell
like you've already been there”

he was
a grown man
dying by himself
trying to drown out the inferno
with a case of beer
but sobriety finds you sometime
and I'd rather suffocate in cigarettes
than lose him altogether

and even if he smells like Hell
at least that means he made it back
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