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Klvshp0et Nov 2014
My good morning
was followed by a statement
In which she said "I stank."
It was the cigarette stank
That made her utter the obvious complaint.
She doesn't know my struggle.
A mind of potential
with the heart of a saint.
Yet bound by demons
And voices that say "I can't".
I wish to tell her.
How they help my mind go blank
And away from the thoughts
That are as loud as voices.
How they help me think straight sometimes
And give me the courage
To make the right choices.
It's just remnants of my fall
From when my mind
Hit rock bottom and I was unable
To make the right choices.
All of my demons, I've fought them
And this is the smoke from the battle
In which they are engulfed
In its flame.
The ending of the cant's and aint's.
The smoke from this cigarette.
So please excuse, my cigarette stank.

Oh How her complaint
Will echo through my mind
And never become faint.
I can't take this
So when I get the chance
I will light another cigarette
To forget all about this
And make me become correct.
****, I hate that
I have to smoke another cigarette.

My good afternoon
Was followed by a glare.
A glare that married women
Should never think to dare.
She could see into my soul
And knew that all isn't fair.
Her beauty was one
That I could never compare.
So right back I would stare
Until something broke my attention
And again I begin to stare.
Until I pictured her bare
And being lost in lust
Covered in each other's hair.
Her eyes were flames of a flair
Flickering off in the distance
and Shining through the night air.
I want to reach you
And see what's up with that glare
But life isn't fair.
It has lead us to where we both
Are a separate pair.
Attempts to become close
Will be followed by no's or I can't
And how our meeting was too late.
Which will be her complaint.
The agony, I can not bare
So I will let it fade away with
The smoke from this cigarette.
So please excuse, my cigarette stank.

Oh How her complaint
Will echo through my mind
And never become faint.
I can't take this
So when I get the chance
I will light another cigarette
To forget all about this
And make me become correct.
****, I hate that
I have to smoke another cigarette.
Another cigarette
Another cigarette
**** I have to smoke another cigarette.

My good evening
Was followed an expression
In which it looked like I stank.
Her face was the face
that God makes when we all sin.
Disappointment cloaked in forgiveness
And love.
She smiles as she gives me a hug.
I look at my daughter
And even with her I can feel the love.
When I'm alone I sigh.
My mind is a puzzle
And my true thoughts are shielded
with a muzzle.
So I let them fade away with
The smoke from this cigarette.
I just hope they excuse, my cigarette stank.
Eh. Not well enough.
Jeremy Duff Sep 2013
Put out a cigarette.
Lite a new one.
Take a shower.
Drink some coffee.
Quick brush of the teeth.

This is how John Carpenter starts his day.

Start the truck.
Lite a cigarette.
Drive.
Drive.
Lite a new cigarette.
Drive.

This is how John Carpenter goes to work.

Check in with the boss.
Sit down at typewriter.
Lite a cigarette.
Think.
Type.
Type.
Lite a cigarette.
Type.
Type.
Lite a cigarette.
Type.
Type.
Type.
Think.
Stretch.
Lite a cigarette.
Type.

This is how John Carpenter spend the first hour at work.

Repeat seven times.

Check out with boss.
Start the truck.
Lite a cigarette.
Drive.
Drive.
Lite another cigarette.
Drive.

This is how John Carpenter drives home.

Take off his coat.
Lite a cigarette.
Feed the dog.
Cook a steak.
Drink a beer.
Eat the steak.
Drink another beer.
Lite a cigarette.
Watch the ballgame.
Lite another cigarette.
Lite four or five more throughout the game.
Quick brush of the teeth.
Lite a cigarette.
Read.
Read.
Read.
Lite another.
Read.
Read.
Drink some brandy.
Fall asleep.

This is how John Carpenter spends his evening.

Repeat all of this 7,304 times.

This is how John Carpenter spends his life.

And when he has smoked enough cigarettes for a lifetime
and read enough for a life time
and eaten enough steak
and drank enough brandy and beer
and written enough novels
for a lifetime
he will die.
And only Mary Stein will miss him.
Riot Mar 2015
inhale exhale
my God i'm scared to fail
i got to get some things off my mind
sombody spoke of healing with smoke
it'll hurt
but it's worth it for a short time

breathe in the war thinking the fight will fade away
when slowly your lungs start to deteriorate


walking though the clouds for a moment of relief
coming back to earth with an addiction and blacker teeth
breathe in the demons, breath out the light
repeat the cycle when you don't wanna fight


the cigarette smoke, the cigarette smoke
and where will you go when the demons come home
the cigarette smoke, you're holdng it close
and you can't let go

i never wanted this
thought that i owned it
but turns out that it owns me
i'm getting weaker, a heartache
a fever
this is burning down my family tree

breathe in the war thinking you're fighting for the wrong side
turns out you're in the middle of the fight


walking through the clouds for a moment of relfief
coming back to earth with an addiction and blacker teeth
breathe in the demons, breathe out the lies
like when they told you that you had to fight


the cigarette smoke, the cigarette smoke
an where will you go when the demons come home
the cigarette smoke, you're holding it close
and you can't let go

the demons creeping up on me
been so long since i could really breathe
sombody help me before i die


walking through the clouds for a moment of relief
coming back to earth with an addiction and blacker teeth
*breathe in the demons, breathe out the life
repeat the cycle because it's too hard to fight
the cigarette smoke, the cigarette smoke
and where will you go when the demons come home
the cigarette smoke, you're holding it close
and you can't let go
Heather May 2013
A cigarette. A ****** cigarette.
You discovered that I
was a habitual liar.
All from the stubbed cigarette
at my feet.
I didn’t blame you.
I would never want to be
with someone so filthy.
It’s hard, you know.
Your first lie is like the first injection
It’s the rush, baby.
And then you find yourself
unable to pull away.
Always,
eventually going back.
Lies are blameless
The liar is to blame.
I love you
But not enough to stop
And you discovered this-
this habit of mine
all from a cigarette.
A cigarette. A ****** cigarette.
howard brace Feb 2012
Inconspicuous, his presence noted only by the obscurity and the ever growing number of spent cigarette stubs that littered the ground.  It had been a long day and the rain, relentless in its tenacity had little intention of stopping, baleful clouds still  hung heavy, dominating the lateness of the afternoon sky, a rain laden skyline broken only by smoke filled chimney pots and the tangled snarl of corroded television aerials.

     The once busy street was fast emptying now, the lure of shop windows no longer enticed the casual browser as local traders closed their premises to the oncoming night, solitary lampposts curved hazily into the distance, casting little more than insipid pools mirrored in the gutter below, only the occasional stranger scurrying home on a bleak, rain swept afternoon, the hurried slap of wet leather soles on the pavement, the sightless umbrellas, the infrequent rumble of a half filled bus, hell-bent on its way to oblivion.

     In the near distance as the working day ended, a sudden emergence of factory workers told Beamish it was 5-o'clock, most would be hurrying home to a hot meal, while others, for a quick drink perhaps before making the same old sorry excuse... for Jack, the greasy spoon would be closing about now, denying him the comfort of a badly needed cuppa' and stale cheese sandwich.  A subtle legacy of lunchtime fish and chips still lingered in the air, Jack's stomach rumbled, there was little chance of a fish supper for Beamish tonight, it protested again... louder.

     From beneath the eaves of the building opposite several pigeons broke cover, startled by the rattle as a shopkeeper struggled to close the canvas awning above his shop window.  Narrowly missing Beamish they flew anxiously over the rooftops, memories of the blitz sprang to mind as Jack stepped smartly to one side, he stamped his feet... it dashed a little of the weather from his raincoat, just as the rain dashed a little of the pigeons' anxiety from the pavement... the day couldn't get much worse if it tried.  Shielding his face, Jack struck the Ronson one more time and cupped the freshly lit cigarette between his hands, it was the only source of heat to be had that day... and still it rained.

     'By Appointment to Certain Personages...' the letter heading rang out loudly... 'Jack Beamish ~ Private Investigator...' a throat choking mouthful by any stretch of the imagination, thought Jack and shot every vestige of credulity plummeting straight through the office window and amidst a fanfare of trumpet voluntary, nominate itself for a prodigious award in the New Year Honours list.   Having formally served in a professional capacity for a well known purveyor of pickled condiments, who  incidentally, brandished the same patronage emblazoned upon their extensive range of relish as the one Jack had more recently purloined from them... a paid commission no less, which by Jack's certain understanding had made him, albeit fleeting in nature, a professional consultant of said company... and consequently, if they could flaunt the auspicious emblem, then according to Jack's infallible logic, so could Jack.  

     The recently appropriated letterhead possessed certain distinction... in much the same way, Jack reasoned, that a blank piece of paper did not... and whereas correspondence bearing the heading 'By Appointment' may not exactly strike terror into the hearts of man... unlike a really strong pickled onion, it nevertheless made people think twice before playing him for the fool, which sadly, Jack had to concede, they still invariably did... and he would often catch them wagging an accusing finger or two in his direction with such platitudes as... "watch where you put your foot", they'd whisper, "that Jack's a right Shamus...", and when you'd misplaced your footing as many times as Jack had, then he reasoned, that by default the celebrated Shamus must have landed himself in more piles of indiscretion than he would readily care to admit, but that wouldn't be quite accurate either, in Jack's line of work it was the malefactor that actually dropped him in them more often than not.

     A cold shiver suddenly ran down his spine, another quickly followed as a spurt of icy water from a broken rain spout spattered across the back of his neck, he grimaced... Jack's expression spoke volumes as he took one final pull from his half soaked cigarette and flicked it, amid an eruption of sparks against the adjacent brick wall.  Sinking further into the shadow he tipped his fedora against the oncoming rain, then, digging both hands deep within his pockets, he huddled behind the upturned collar of his gabardine... watching.

     It was times such as these when Jack's mind would slip back, in much the same way you might slip back on a discarded banana peel, when a matter of some consequence, or in particular this case the pavement, would suddenly leap up from behind and give the back of Jack's head a resoundingly good slapping and tell him to "stop loafing around in office hours... or else", then drag him, albeit kicking and screaming back into the 20th century.  This intellectual assault and battery re-focused Jack's mind wonderfully as he whiled away the long weary hours until his next cigarette; cup of tea, or the last bus home, his capacity to endure such mind boggling tedium called for nothing less than sheer ******-mindedness and very little else... Beamish had long suspected that he possessed all the necessary qualifications.  

     Jack had come a long way since the early days, it had been a long haul but he'd finally arrived there in the end... and managed to pick up quite a few ***** looks along the way.  Whilst he was with the Police Constabulary... and it was only fair to stress the word 'with', as opposed to the word 'in'... although the more Jack considered, he had been 'with' the arresting officer, held 'in' the local Bridewell... detained at Her Majesties pleasure while assisting the boys in blue with their enquiries over a minor infringement of some local by-law that currently had quite slipped his mind at that moment.  Throughout this enforced leisure period he'd managed to read the entire abridged editions of Kilroy and other expansive works of graffiti exhibited in what passed locally as the next best thing to the Tate Gallery, whereupon it hadn't taken Jack very long to realise that it was always a good place to start if you wanted free breakfast, in fact the weeks bill of fare was tastefully displayed in vivid, polychromatic colour on the wall opposite... you just had to be au-fait with braille.
                            
     No matter how industrious Beamish laboured to rake the dirt there always appeared to be a dire shortage of gullible clients for Jack to squeeze, what would roughly translate as an honest crust out of, and although his financial retainer was highly competitive he understood that potential clients found it bewildering when grappling with the unplumbed depths of his monthly expense account, which would tend to fluctuate with the same unpredictability as the British weather, the rest of Jack's agenda revolved around a little shady moonlighting... in fact he'd happily consider anything to offset the remotest possibility of financial delinquency... short of extortion... which by the strangest twist was the very word prospective clients would cry while Jack beavered around the office with dust-pan and brush sweeping any concerns they may have had frantically under the carpet regarding all culpability of his extra-curricular monthly stipend... and they should remain assured at all times... as they dug deep and fished for their cheque books, and simply look upon it as kneading dough, which eerily enough was exactly the thick wedge of buttered granary that Jack had every intention of carving.

     Were there ever the slightest possibility that a day could be so utterly wretched, then today was that day, Jack felt a certain empathy as he merged with his surroundings... at one with nature as it were.  The rain, a timpani on the metal dustbin lids, by the side of which Beamish had taken up vigil, also taking up vigil and in search of a morsel was the stray mongrel, this was the third time now that he'd returned, the same apprehensive wag, yet still the same hopeful look of expectation in his eyes, a brief but friendly companion who paid more attention to Jack's left trouser leg than anything that could be had from nosing around the dustbins that day... some days you're the dog, scowled Beamish as he shook his trouser leg... and some days the lamppost, Jack's foot swung out playfully, keeping his new friend's incontinence at a safe distance, feigning indignance  the scruffy mongrel shook himself defiantly from nose to tail, a distinct odour of wet dog filled the air as an abundance of spent rainwater flew in all directions.   Pricking one ear he looked accusingly at Jack before turning and snuffled off, his nose resolutely to the pavement and diligently, picking out the few diluted scents still remaining, the poor little stalwart renewed its search for scraps, or making his way perhaps to some dry seclusion known only to itself.
  
     Two hours later and... SPLOSH, a puddle poured itself through the front door of the nearest Public House... SPLOSH, the puddle squelched over to the payphone... SPLOSH, then, fumbling for small change dialled and pressed button 'A'..., then button 'B'... then started all over again amid a flurry of precipitation... SPLASH.  The puddle floundered to the bar and ordered itself a drink, then ebbed back to the payphone again... the local taxi company doggedly refused to answer... finally, wallowing over to the window the puddle drifted up against a warm radiator amidst a cloud of humidity and came to rest... flotsam, cast upon the shore of contentment, the puddle sighed contentedly... the Landlady watched this anomaly... suspiciously.

     The puddle's finely tuned perception soon got to grips with the unhurried banter and muffled gossip drifting along the bar, having little else to loose, other than what could still be wrung from his clothing... Beamish, working on the principle that a little eavesdropping was his stock-in-trade engaged instinct into overdrive and casually rippled in their general direction...  They were clearly regulars by the way one of them belched in a well rehearsed, taken-a-back sort of way as Jack took stock of the situation and was now at some pains to ingratiate himself into their exclusive midst and attempt several friendly, yet relevant questions pertinent to his enquiries... all of which were skillfully deflected with more than friendly, yet totally irrelevant answers pertinent to theirs'... and would Jack care for a game of dominoes', they enquired... if so, would he be good enough to pay the refundable deposit, as by common consent it just so happened to be his turn...  Jack graciously declined this generous offer, as the obliging Landlady, just as graciously, cancelled the one shilling returnable deposit from the cash register, such was the flow of light conversation that evening... they didn't call him Lucky Jack for nothing... discouraged, Beamish turned back to the bar and reached for his glass... to which one of his recent companions, and yet again just as graciously, had taken the trouble to drink for him... the Landlady gave Jack a knowing look, Beamish returned the heartfelt sentiment and ordered one more pint.

     From the licenced premises opposite, a myriad of jostling customers plied through the door, business was picking up... the sudden influx of punters rapidly persuaded Beamish to retire from the bar and find a vacant table.  Sitting, he removed several discarded crisp packets from the centre of the table only to discover a freshly vacated ashtray below... by sleight of hand Jack's Ronson appeared... as he lit the cigarette the fragile smoke curled blue as it rose... influenced by subtle caprice, it joined others and formed a horizontal curtain dividing the room, a delicate, undulating layer held between two conflicting forces.

     The possibility of a free drink soon attracted the attention of a local bar fly, who, hovering in the near vicinity promptly landed in Jack's beer, Beamish declined this generous offer as being far too nutritious and with the corner of yesterdays beer mat, flipped the offending organism from the top of his glass, carefully inspecting his drink for debris as he did so.

     A sudden draught and clip of stiletto heels as the side door opened caused Beamish to turn as a double shadow slipped discreetly into the friendly Snug... a little adulterous intimacy on an otherwise cheerless evening.  The faceless man, concealed beneath a fedora and the upturned collar of his overcoat, the surreptitious lady friend, decked out in damp cony, cheap perfume and a surfeit of bling proclaimed a not too infrequent assignation, he'd seen it all before... the over attentive manner and the band of white, Sun-starved skin recently hidden behind a now absent wedding token, ordinarily it was the sort of assignment Jack didn't much care for... the discreet tail, the candid snapshot through half drawn curtains... and the all too familiar steak tartare... for the all too familiar black eye.

     To the untrained eye, the prospect of Jack's long anticipated supper was rapidly dwindling, when it suddenly focused with renewed vigour upon the contents of a pickled egg jar he'd observed earlier that evening, lurking on the back counter, his enthusiasm swiftly diminished however as the belching customer procured the final two specimens from the jar and proceeded to demolish them.  Who, Jack reflected, after being stood out in the rain all day, had egg all over his face now... and who, he reflected deeper, still had an empty stomach.  Disillusioned, Jack tipped back his glass and considered a further sortie with the taxicab company.

     "FIVE-BOB"!!! Jack screamed... you could have shredded the air with a cheese grater... hurtling into the kerb like a fairground attraction came flying past the chequered flag at a record breaking 99 in Jack's top 100 most not wanted list of things to do that day... and that the cabby should think himself fortunate they weren't both stretched flat on a marble slab, "exploding tyres" Jack spluttered, dribbling down his chin, were enough to give anyone a coronary... further broadsides of neurotic ambiance filled the cab as the driver, miffed at the prospect of missing snooker night out with the lads, considered charging extra for the additional space Jack's profanity was taking...

     And what part of 'Drive-Carefully', fumed Beamish, did the cabby simply not understand, that pavements were there to be bypassed, 'Nay Circumvented', preferably on the left... and not veered into, wildly on the front axle... an eerie premonition of 'jemais-vu' perched and ready to strike like a disembodied Jiminy Cricket on Jack's left shoulder, looking to stick its own two-penny worth in at the 'Standing-Room-Only' arrangements in the overcrowded cab... and at what further point, Jack shrieked, eyes leaping from his head as he lurched forward, shaking his fist through the sliding glass partition, had the cabbie failed to grasp the importance of the word 'Steering-Wheel...' someone wanted horse whipping, and as far as Beamish was concerned the sole contender was the cab driver...

     In having a somewhat sedate and unruffled disposition it had fallen to Beamish... as befalls all great leaders in times of adversity, to single handedly take the bull by the horns, so to speak and at great personal cost, alert the unwary passing motorist...  Waving his arms about like a man possessed whilst performing acrobatic evolutions in the centre of the road as the cabby changed the wheel came whizzing around the corner at a back breaking 98 on Jack's ever growing list... and why, Jack puzzled, why had they all lowered their side windows and gestured back at him in semaphore..?  Rallying to its aid, Jack's head and shoulders now joined his shaking fist through the sliding glass partition and into the cabby's face, "Who" Beamish screeched with renewed vigour ,"Who Was The Man", Jack wanted to know... *"a
Terry Collett Sep 2013
Searching in the gutters
of Meadow Row
and up along by the back
of the coal wharf

Benedict picked out
and up
dog ends
or cigarette butts

as his old man
called them
and picking them up
he tore open the paper

and tipped the tobacco
into a white paper
sweet bag
how can you do that?

Ingrid said
all those people’s
spit and dribble
on them

she pulled a face
he smiled
she looked serious
germs on them

she said
she wiped her hands
on her stained
green dress

he bent down
and picked out
another cigarette ****
and opened it up

between fingers
and thumbs
and emptied it
into the bag

you’re too young
to smoke
she said
if my dad saw me smoking

he’d smack me silly
she said
he does anyway
he said

she bit her lip
and looked away
sorry
he said

didn’t mean
to be like that
he touched her hand
she stared at him

through wire
framed glasses
she liked it when
his hand touched hers

no one else
touched her tenderly
she looked
at his cowboy hat

placed to the back
of his head
the six shooter gun
stuffed in the belt

of his jeans
the borrowed blue waistcoat
(his grandfather’s given
a month or so back)

she put her other hand
on top of his
he took his hand out slowly
in case other boys

from school may see
and walked to the shelter
of a wall
of a bombed out house

and they both sat down
he took out a packet
of cigarette papers
( liberated from

his old man)
and pulled out
a paper and shoved
the packet of papers

back in the pocket
of his jeans
and taking a pinch
of tobacco from the bag

he fingered it
in a straight line
into the cigarette paper
then rolled it

as he’d seen
his old man do
then licked the end
to form a thin cigarette

Ingrid watched in silence
as his fingers moved
and his tongue licked
you’re not going to

smoke it are you?
she asked
he put the cigarette
between his lips

sure am
he said John Wayne like
but you’re only 9
she said

you’re only 9
and you’re watching
he replied
he took out a box

of Swan Vesta
(borrowed from
the cupboard at home)
and lit the cigarette

and puffed slowly
she waved a hand
as smoke came near
her face

my dad will smell that
on me
she said
and think it was me

smoking and tell me off
she said
beat you black and blue
Benedict thought

not said
he coughed and spluttered  
and took out
the cigarette

and blew smoke
from his mouth
and spat out phlegm
brownish yellow

if your old man hits you again
I’ll shoot him
full of cap smoke
he said

she laughed
and hit his arm
he flicked the cigarette
onto the bombsite

with a finger
and watched
as the smoke
he’d blown out

like a pale ghost
seemed to linger.
SET IN 1950S LONDON ON A BOMBSITE.
Akela Santana Oct 2014
I took a drag of a rolled, unlit, cigarette.
You have no idea how truly pleasing it was.
That cigarette had her lipstick on it.
It was like kissing her all over again.

I lit that rolled up, lipstick stained, cigarette, just to feel like she was here with me again.

The smoke had burned my eyes and scratched at my throat.
I tried to breathe but I started to choke, suffocating on the last of my free will.

For a minute, it felt like I wasn't going to survive.

I took deep breathes and remembered it was her love I never wanted to forget, so I smoked the rest of that rolled up, lipstick stained, cigarette, but by the end of it, I was dead.
To Her.
Gigi Tiji May 2014
a lady lights a cigarette
glowing red cherry
lips, puffing without
regret
a cigarette, burning
smoking, grey breathing
choking and
tap tap the
falling ashes

it is over with
a definitive flick —
a lady lights a cigarette
she can see her spirit
dancing in the smoke
Erin Melody Nov 2011
don't you be sad little little cigarette
i can shield from the cold snowy rain falling on your face
i'll keep you safe little little cigarette
from that rude gust of wind rudely biting your fingers
i'll keep you warm little little cigarette
i'll wrap you up in scarves and warm downy jackets
i'll nurture you my little cigarette
your toxic love fills every corner of my lungs
i'll be there for you ma petite cigarette
i love to get lost in your tiny ember glow
don't you be sad
don't you be sad
little little cigarette
i'll keep you safe til the very end
safe til there's nothing left to keep safe
Bouazizi’s heavy eyelids parted as the Muezzin recited the final call for the first Adhan of the day.

“As-salatu Khayrun Minan-nawm”
Prayer is better than sleep

Rising from the torment of another restless night, Bouazizi wiped the sleep from his droopy eyes as his feet touched the cold stone floor.

Throughout the frigid night, the devilish jinn did their work, eagerly jabbing away at Bouazizi with pointed sticks, tormenting his troubled conscience with the worry of his nagging indebtedness. All night the face of the man Bouazizi owed money to haunted him. Bouazizi could see the man’s greasy lips and brown teeth jawing away, inches from his face. He imagined chubby caffeine stained fingers reaching toward him to grab some dinars from Bouazizi’s money box.

Bouazizi turned all night like he was sleeping on a board of spikes. His prayers for a restful night again went unanswered. The pall of a blue fatigue would shadow Bouazizi for most of the day.

Bouazizi’s weariness was compounded by a gnawing hunger. By force of habit, he grudgingly opened the food cupboard with the foreknowledge that it was almost bare. Bouazizi’s premonition proved correct as he surveyed a meager handful of chickpeas, some eggs and a few sparse loaves. It was just enough to feed his dependant family; younger brothers and sisters, cousins and a terminally disabled uncle. That left nothing for Bouazizi but a quick jab to his empty gut. He would start this day without breakfast.

Bouazizi made a living as a street vendor. He hustles to survive. Bouazizi’s father died in a construction accident in Libya when he was three. Since the age of 10, Bouazizi had pushed a cart through the streets of Sidi Bouzid; selling fruit at the public market just a few blocks from the home that he has lived in for almost his entire life.

At 27 years of age, Bouazizi has wrestled the beast of deprivation since his birth. To date, he has bravely fought it to a standstill; but day after day the multi-headed hydra of life has snapped at him. He has squarely met the eyes of the beast with fortitude and resolve; but the sharp fangs of a hardscrabble life has sunken deep into Bouazizi’s spleen. The unjust rules of society are powerful claws that slash away at his flesh, bleeding him dry: while the spiked tendrils of poverty wrap Bouazizi’s neck, seeking to strangle him.

Bouazizi is a workingman hero; a skilled warrior in the fight for daily bread. He is accustomed to living a life of scarcity. His daily deliverance is the grace of another day of labor and the blessed wages of subsistence.

Though Allah has blessed this man with fortitude the acuteness of terminal want and the constant struggle to survive has its limits for any man; even for strong champions like Bouazizi.

This morning as Bouazizi washed he peered into a mirror, closely examining new wrinkles on his stubble strewn face. He fingered his deep black curls dashed with growing streaks of gray. He studied them through the gaze of heavy bloodshot eyes. He looked upward as if to implore Allah to salve the bruises of daily life.

Bouazizi braced himself with the splash of a cold water slap to his face. He wiped his cheeks clean with the tail of his shirt. He dipped his toothbrush into a box of baking powder and scoured an aching back molar in need of a root canal. Bouazizi should see a dentist but it is a luxury he cannot afford so he packed an aspirin on top of the infected tooth. The dissolving aspirin invaded his mouth coating his tongue with a bitter effervescence.

Bouazizi liked the taste and was grateful for the expectation of a dulled pain. He smiled into the mirror to check his chipped front tooth while pinching a cigarette **** from an ashtray. The roach had one hit left in it. He lit it with a long hard drag that consumed a good part of the filter. Bouazizi’s first smoke of the day was more filter then tobacco but it shocked his lungs into the coughing flow of another day.

Bouazizi put on his jacket, slipped into his knockoff NB sneakers and reached for a green apple on a nearby table. He took a big bite and began to chew away the pain of his toothache.

Bouazizi stepped into the street to catch the sun rising over the rooftops. He believed that seeing the sunrise was a good omen that augured well for that day’s business. A sunbeam braking over a far distant wall bathed Bouazizi in a golden light and illumined the alley where he parked his cart holding his remaining stock of week old apples. He lifted the handles and backed his cart out into the street being extra mindful of the cracks in the cobblestone road. Bouazizi sprained his ankle a week ago and it was still tender. Bouazizi had to be careful not to aggravate it with a careless step. Having successfully navigated his cart into the road, Bouazizi made a skillful U Turn and headed up the street limping toward the market.

A winter chill gripped Bouazizi prompting him to zip his jacket up to his neck. The zipper pinched his Adam’s Apple and a few droplets of blood stained his green corduroy jacket. Though it was cold, Bouazizi sensed that spring would arrive early this year triggering a replay of a recurring daydream. Bouazizi imagined himself behind the wheel of a new van on his way to the market. Fresh air and sunshine pouring through the open windows with the cargo space overflowing with fresh vegetables and fruits.

It was a lifelong ambition of Bouazizi to own a van. He dreamed of buying a six cylinder Dodge Caravan. It would be painted red and he would call it The Red Flame. The Red Flame would be fast and powerful and sport chrome spinners. The Red Flame would be filled with music from a Blaupunkt sound system with kick *** speakers. Power windows, air conditioning, leather seats, a moonroof and plenty of space in the back for his produce would complete Bouazizi’s ride.

The Red Flame would be the vehicle Bouazizi required to expand his business beyond the market square. Bouazizi would sell his produce out of the back of the van, moving from neighborhood to neighborhood. No longer would he have to wait for customers to come to his stand in the market. Bouazizi would go to his customers. Bouazizi and the Red Flame would be known in all the neighborhoods throughout the district. Bouazizi shook his head and smiled thinking about all the girls who would like to take rides in the Red Flame. Bouazizi and his Red Flame would be a sight to be noticed and a force to be reckoned with.

“EEEEEYOWWW” a Mercedes horn angrily honked; jarring Bouazizi from the reverie of his daydream. A guy whipping around the corner like a silver streak stuck his head out the window blasting with music yelling, “Hey Mnayek, watch where you push that *******.”

The music faded as the Mercedes roared away. “Barra nikk okhtek” Bouazizi yelled, raising his ******* in the direction of the vanished car. “The big guys in the fancy cars think the road belongs to them”, Bouazizi mumbled to himself.

The insult ****** Bouazizi off, but he was accustomed to them and as he limped along pushing his cart he distracted himself with the amusement of the ascending sun chasing the fleeting shadows of the night, sending them scurrying down narrow alleyways.

Bouazizi imaged himself a character from his favorite movie. He was a giant Transformer, chasing the black shadows of evil away from the city into the desert. After battling evil and conquering the bad guys, he would transform himself back into the regular Bouazizi; selling his produce to the people as he patrolled the highways of Tunisia in the Red Flame, the music blasting out the windows, the chrome spinners flashing in the sunlight. Bouazizi would remain vigilant, always ready to transform the Red Flame to fight the evil doers.

The bumps and potholes in the road jostled Bouazizi’s load of apples. A few fell out of the wooden baskets and were rolling around in the open spaces of the cart. Bouazizi didn’t want to risk bruising them. Damaged merchandise can’t be sold so he was careful to secure his goods and arrange his cart to appeal to women customers. He made sure to display his prized electronic scale in the corner of the cart for all to see.

Bouazizi had a reputation as a fair and generous dealer who always gave good value to his customers. Bouazizi was also known for his kindness. He would give apples to hungry children and families who could not pay. Bouazizi knew the pain of hunger and it brought him great satisfaction to be able to alleviate it in others.

As a man who valued fairness, Bouazizi was particularly proud of his electronic scale. Bouazizi was certain the new measuring device assured all customers that Bouazizi sold just and correct portions. The electronic scale was Bouazizi’s shining lamp. He trusted it. He hung it from the corner post of his cart like it was the beacon of a lighthouse guiding shoppers through the treachery of an unscrupulous market. It would attract all customers who valued fairness to the safe harbor of Bouazizi’s cart.

The electronic scale is Bouazizi’s assurance to his customers that the weights and measures of electronic calculation layed beyond any cloud of doubt. It is a fair, impartial and objective arbiter for any dispute.

Bouazizi believed that the fairness of his scale would distinguish his stand from other produce vendors. Though its purchase put Bouazizi into deep debt, the scale was a source of pride for Bouazizi who believed that it would help his profits to increase and help him to achieve his goal of buying the Red Flame.

As Bouazizi pushed his cart toward the market, he mulled his plan over in his mind for the millionth time. He wasn't great in math but he was able to calculate his financial situation with a degree of precision. His estimations triggered worries that his growing debt to money lenders may be difficult to payoff.

Indebtedness pressed down on Bouazizi’s chest like a mounting pile of stones. It was the source of an ever present fear coercing Bouazizi to live in a constant state of anxiety. His business needed to grow for Bouazizi to get a measure of relief and ultimately prosper from all his hard work. Bouazizi was driven by urgency.

The morning roil of the street was coming alive. Bouazizi quickened his step to secure a good location for his cart at the market. Car horns, the spewing diesel from clunking trucks, the flatulent roar of accelerating buses mixed with the laughs and shrieks of children heading to school composed the rising crescendo of the city square.

As he pushed through the market, Bouazizi inhaled the aromatic eddies of roasting coffee floating on the air. It was a pleasantry Bouazizi looked forward to each morning. The delicious wafts of coffee mingling with the crisp aroma of baking bread instigated a growl from Bouazizi’s empty stomach. He needed to get something to eat. After he got money from his first sale he would by a coffee and some fried dough.

Activity in the market was vigorous, punctuated by the usual arguments of petty territorial disputes between vendors. The disagreements were always amicably resolved, burned away in rising billows of roasting meats and vegetables, the exchange of cigarettes and the plumes of tobacco smoke rising as emanations of peace.

Bouazizi skillfully maneuvered his cart through the market commotion. He slid into his usual space between Aaban and Aameen. His good friend Aaban sold candles, incense, oils and sometimes his wife would make cakes to sell. Aameen was the markets most notorious jokester. He sold hardware and just about anything else he could get his hands on.

Aaban was already burning a few sticks of jasmine incense. It helped to attract customers. The aroma defined the immediate space with the pleasant bouquet of a spring garden. Bouazizi liked the smell and appreciated the increased traffic it brought to his apple cart.

“Hey Basboosa#, do you have any cigarettes?“, Aameen asked as he pulled out a lighter. Bouazizi shook the tip of a Kent from an almost empty pack. Aameen grabbed the cigarette with his lips.

“That's three cartons of Kents you owe me, you cheap *******.” Bouazizi answered half jokingly. Aameen mumbled a laugh through a grin tightly gripping the **** as he exhaled smoke from his nose like a fire breathing dragon. Bouazizi also took out a cigarette for himself.

“Aameem, give me a light”, Bouazizi asked.

Aameen tossed him the lighter.

“Keep it Basboosa. I got others.” Aameen smiled as he showed off a newly opened box of disposable lighters to sell on his stand.

“Made in China, Basboosa. They make everything cheap and colorful. I can make some money with these.”

Bouazizi lit his next to last cigarette. He inhaled deeply. The smoke chased away the cool air in Bouazizi’s lungs with a shot of a hot nicotine rush.

“Merci Aameen” Bouazizi answered. He put the lighter into the almost empty cigarette pack and put it into his hip pocket. The lighter would protect his last cigarette from being crushed.

The laughter and shouts of the bazaar, the harangue of radio voices shouting anxious verses of Imam’s exhorting the masses to submit and the piecing ramble of nondescript AM music flinging piercing unintelligible static surrounded Bouazizi and his cart as he waited for his first customers of the day.

Bouazizi sensed a nervous commotion rise along the line of vendors. A crowd of tourists and locals milling about parted as if to avoid a slithering asp making its way through their midst. The hoots of vendors and the cackle of the crowd made its way to Bouazizi’s knowing ear. He knew what was coming. It was nothing more then another shakedown by city officials acting as bagmen for petty municipal bureaucrats. They claim to be checking vendor licences but they’re just making the rounds collecting protection money from the vendors. Pocketing bribes and payoffs is the municipal authorities idea of good government. They are skilled at using the power of their office to extort tribute from the working poor.

Bouazizi made the mistake of making eye contact with Madame Hamdi. As the municipal authority in charge of vendors and taxis Madame Hamdi held sway over the lives of the street vendors. She relished the power she had over the men who make a meager living selling goods in the square; and this morning she was moving through the market like a bloodhound hot on the trail of an escaped convict. Two burly henchmen lead the way before her. Bouazizi knew Madame Hamdi’s hounds were coming for him.

Bouazizi knew he was ******. Having just made a payment to his money lender, Bouazizi had no extra dinars to grease the palm of Madame Hamdi. He grabbed the handle bars of his cart to make an escape; but Madame Hamdi cut him off and got right into into Bouazizi’s face.

“Ah little Basboosa where are you going? she asked with the tone of playful contempt.

“I suppose you still have no license to sell, ah Basboosa?” Madame Hamdi questioned with the air of a soulless inquisitor.

“You know Madame Hamdi, cart vendors do not need a license.” Bouazizi feebly protested, not daring to look into her eyes.

“Basboosa, you know we can overlook your violations with a small fine for your laxity” a dismissive Madame Hamdi offered.

Bouazizi’s sense of guilt would not permit him to lift his eyes. His head remained bowed. Bouazizi stood convicted of being one of the impoverished.

“I have no spare dinars to offer Madame Hamdi, My pockets are empty, full of holes. My money falls into everyone’s palm but my own. I’m sorry Madame Hamdi. I’ll take my cart home”. He lifted the handlebars in an attempt to escape. One of Madame Hamdi’s henchmen stepped in front of his cart while the other pushed Bouazizi away from it.

“Either you pay me a vendor tax for a license or I will confiscate your goods Basboosa”, Madame Hamdi warned as she lifted Bouazizi’s scale off its hook.

“This will be the first to go”, she said grinning as she examined the scale. “We’ll just keep this.”
Like a mother lion protecting a defenseless cub from the snapping jaws of a pack of ravenous hyenas, Bouazizi lunged to retrieve his prized scale from the clutches of Madame Hamdi. Reaching for it, he touched the scale with his fingertips just as Madame Hamdi delivered a vicious slap to Bouazizi’s cheek. It halted him like a thunderbolt from Zeus.

A henchman overturned Bouazizi’s cart, scatter
Three years ago today Muhammad Bouazizi set himself on fire igniting the Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia sparking the Arab Spring Uprisings of 2011.
Hope White Mar 2017
I should have kissed you before you ****** on your smoke,
Before the fluorescent elevator lights illuminated the flaws
That danced and drifted along your skin.
The thick smoke mingled with your shadow,
A shadow of a man; no face, only a cigarette.
You breathed in smoke, but your lips were positioned for a kiss.

I don’t look like the other girls, the ones you used to kiss.
I can still picture your eyes, reddened by smoke,
And your lips as ashy as your cigarette.
And I hoped you, too, could forgive my flaws.
Like how my body casts too wide of a shadow,
And the sallowness of my ordinary skin.

Things that really shouldn’t remind me of your skin,
like old leather books with burnt paper that I bet taste like your kiss.
Such books I read in the shadow,
And hide, like the way you hid behind your smoke.
Because, like the way I love a bad book and its flaws,
I could love you and your cigarette.

I’ve held your hand, the one that holds your cigarette,
And I felt the sandpaper of your skin.
I smelt the airy cologne you use to cover the flaws.
It smelled light; you used just a kiss.
Now, I smell only smoke,
And the memory of your touch is a shadow.

In the hospital you were no longer a shadow,
But a body, surrounded by walls as white as your cigarettes.
Your voice cracked from the smoke,
While needles pulsed life into your skin.
Your lips were cracked with only blood to kiss.  
I saw you naked, and I saw your flaws.

Your favorite vice was your fatal flaw,
And the black fire of death became your shadow.
It followed you around, and it saw our first kiss,
Which was our last, because you chose your cigarette.
So a charcoaled monster brooded beneath your skin,
And your flesh succumbed to the white ghosts of smoke.

You died in smoke, from your flaws.
Your skin’s now dust, roaming with the shadows.
So I’ll smoke a cigarette, ‘cause it tastes just like your kiss.
Nirvana Dec 2015
lighting up a cigarette    
feels really great
taking its small puff
is living happily, enough?

the ash is falling
and so do we
the smoke is rising
and that's what we aim to be

the cigarette burns it deep
and so we've to perceive
to have a successful reap
for smoky appreciation we'll receive

the first puff could be choking
but do we quit smoking?
alike failures are the stepping stone
arise, no one will pamper you're all alone

burn out like a cigarette
to achieve something great
fall like ash, rise like smoke
learn it from cigarette dear folk

don't panic if something goes wrong
have patience and stay strong
after all a cigarette is finally thrown
as we die our body/story is sown...
A smoker can relate to
And a person can relate too
but a poet/writer can relate the two!
RADACACH Sep 2013
Life is like a cigarette
One flick of a match and you're alive
Bursting with breath

But just like a cigarette life goes just as quickly it came
Sometimes friends go before you
It's hard but you keep on going
Waiting for your time

As the cigarette burns it gets older
Just like you
Aging through life
Slowly dying

And then on that day you breath your last breath
Before you drop to the floor
Like a cigarette **** being put out
Maxine Rife Oct 2013
Why is it when i see you, your smoking a cigarette so this is for <3   I LOVE YOU and when you read this i hope you STOP.


The cigarette burns
your soul turns

The smoke does rise
The company with you lie but me

The menthol shivers
detroys your liver

I'm your friend and i say this because  I love you " Your acting like the cigarette is your lover and your friend"

The tar is released
Your Life decrease
Hades your life will get all for lighting your cigarette
George was lying in his trailer, flat on his back, watching a small portable T.V. His
dinner dishes were undone, his breakfast dishes were undone, he needed a shave, and ash
from his rolled cigarettes dropped onto his undershirt. Some of the ash was still burning.
Sometimes the burning ash missed the undershirt and hit his skin, then he cursed, brushing
it away. There was a knock on the trailer door. He got slowly to his feet and answered the
door. It was Constance. She had a fifth of unopened whiskey in a bag.
"George, I left that *******, I couldn't stand that *******
anymore."
"Sit down."
George opened the fifth, got two glasses, filled each a third with whiskey, two thirds
with water. He sat down on the bed with Constance. She took a cigarette out of her purse
and lit it. She was drunk and her hands trembled.
"I took his **** money too. I took his **** money and split while he was at work.
You don't know how I've suffered with that *******." "
Lemme have a smoke," said George. She handed it to him and as she leaned near,
George put his arm around her, pulled her over and kissed her.
"You *******," she said, "I missed you."
"I miss those good legs of yours , Connie. I've really missed those good
legs."
"You still like 'em?"
"I get hot just looking."
"I could never make it with a college guy," said Connie. "They're too
soft, they're milktoast. And he kept his house clean. George , it was like having a maid.
He did it all. The place was spotless. You could eat beef stew right off the crapper. He
was antisceptic, that's what he was."
"Drink up, you'll feel better."
"And he couldn't make love."
"You mean he couldn't get it up?"
"Oh he got it up, he got it up all the time. But he didn't know how to make a
woman happy, you know. He didn't know what to do. All that money, all that education, he
was useless."
"I wish I had a college education."
"You don't need one. You have everything you need, George."
"I'm just a flunkey. All the **** jobs."
"I said you have everything you need, George. You know how to make a woman
happy."
"Yeh?"
"Yes. And you know what else? His mother came around! His mother! Two or three
times a week. And she'd sit there looking at me, pretending to like me but all the time
she was treating me like I was a *****. Like I was a big bad ***** stealing her son away
from her! Her precious Wallace! Christ! What a mess!" "He claimed he loved me.
And I'd say, 'Look at my *****, Walter!' And he wouldn't look at my *****. He said, 'I
don't want to look at that thing.' That thing! That's what he called it! You're not afraid
of my *****, are you, George?"
"It's never bit me yet." "But you've bit it, you've nibbled it, haven't
you George?"
"I suppose I have."
"And you've licked it , ****** it?"
"I suppose so."
"You know **** well, George, what you've done."
"How much money did you get?"
"Six hundred dollars."
"I don't like people who rob other people, Connie."
"That's why you're a ******* dishwasher. You're honest. But he's such an ***,
George. And he can afford the money, and I've earned it... him and his mother and his
love, his mother-love, his clean l;ittle wash bowls and toilets and disposal bags and
breath chasers and after shave lotions and his little hard-ons and his precious
love-making. All for himself, you understand, all for himself! You know what a woman
wants, George."
"Thanks for the whiskey, Connie. Lemme have another cigarette."
George filled them up again. "I missed your legs, Connie. I've really missed those
legs. I like the way you wear those high heels. They drive me crazy. These modern women
don't know what they're missing. The high heel shapes the calf, the thigh, the ***; it
puts rythm into the walk. It really turns me on!"
"You talk like a poet, George. Sometimes you talk like that. You are one hell of a
dishwasher."
"You know what I'd really like to do?"
"What?"
"I'd like to whip you with my belt on the legs, the ***, the thighs. I'd like to
make you quiver and cry and then when you're quivering and crying I'd slam it into you
pure love."
"I don't want that, George. You've never talked like that to me before. You've
always done right with me."
"Pull your dress up higher."
"What?"
"Pull your dress up higher, I want to see more of your legs."
"You like my legs, don't you, George?"
"Let the light shine on them!"
Constance hiked her dress.
"God christ ****," said George.
"You like my legs?"
"I love your legs!" Then george reached across the bed and slapped Constance
hard across the face. Her cigarette flipped out of her mouth.
"what'd you do that for?"
"You ****** Walter! You ****** Walter!"
"So what the hell?"
"So pull your dress up higher!"
"No!"
"Do what I say!" George slapped again, harder. Constance hiked her skirt.
"Just up to the *******!" shouted George. "I don't quite want to see the
*******!"
"Christ, george, what's gone wrong with you?"
"You ****** Walter!"
"George, I swear, you've gone crazy. I want to leave. Let me out of here,
George!"
"Don't move or I'll **** you!"
"You'd **** me?"
"I swear it!" George got up and poured himself a shot of straight whiskey,
drank it, and sat down next to Constance. He took the cigarette and held it against her
wrist. She screamed. HE held it there, firmly, then pulled it away.
"I'm a man , baby, understand that?"
"I know you're a man , George."
"Here, look at my muscles!" george sat up and flexed both of his arms.
"Beautiful, eh ,baby? Look at that muscle! Feel it! Feel it!"
Constance felt one of the arms, then the other.
"Yes, you have a beautiful body, George."
"I'm a man. I'm a dishwasher but I'm a man, a real man."
"I know it, George." "I'm not the milkshit you left."
"I know it."
"And I can sing, too. You ought to hear my voice."
Constance sat there. George began to sing. He sang "Old man River." Then he
sang "Nobody knows the trouble I've seen." He sang "The St. Louis
Blues." He sasng "God Bless America," stopping several times and laughing.
Then he sat down next to Constance. He said, "Connie, you have beautiful legs."
He asked for another cigarette. He smoked it, drank two more drinks, then put his head
down on Connie's legs, against the stockings, in her lap, and he said, "Connie, I
guess I'm no good, I guess I'm crazy, I'm sorry I hit you, I'm sorry I burned you with
that cigarette."
Constance sat there. She ran her fingers through George's hair, stroking him, soothing
him. Soon he was asleep. She waited a while longer. Then she lifted his head and placed it
on the pillow, lifted his legs and straightened them out on the bed. She stood up, walked
to the fifth, poured a jolt of good whiskey in to her glass, added a touch of water and
drank it sown. She walked to the trailer door, pulled it open, stepped out, closed it. She
walked through the backyard, opened the fence gate, walked up the alley under the one
o'clock moon. The sky was clear of clouds. The same skyful of clouds was up there. She got
out on the boulevard and walked east and reached the entrance of The Blue Mirror. She
walked in, and there was Walter sitting alone and drunk at the end of the bar. She walked
up and sat down next to him. "Missed me, baby?" she asked. Walter looked up. He
recognized her. He didn't answer. He looked at the bartender and the bartender walked
toward them They all knew eachother.
mk Jun 2015
YOU'RE LIKE A CIGARETTE
INTOXICATING TO INHALE
BUT ALL TOO EASY TO EXHALE

YOU'RE LIKE A CIGARETTE
EASY TO LIGHT
BUT EVEN EASIER TO PUT OUT

YOU'RE LIKE A CIGARETTE
I KNOW YOU’RE KILLING ME
BUT I STILL TAKE ANOTHER PUFF

YOU'RE LIKE A CIGARETTE
I’M A CHAIN SMOKER
& TONIGHT I CAN’T GET ENOUGH
// late night addictions //
raw with love Dec 2014
i bought a pack of cigarettes tonight, even though my lungs don't work quite right.
i sat on the stairs in the yard of the old house with its walls crumbling,
with its facade turned to dust.
the air was so cold it stung my fingers, frost licking my face,
turning my cheeks blood-red but nothing hurt
as much as you do.

i smoked a cigarette tonight, even though my lungs don't work quite right.
the smoke filled me up and i feared
it would leak out of all the holes you punched in me.
it didn't. i choked and i coughed and it felt a little like drowning.
like your mouth on my mouth, like your teeth on my neck.
i choked and i coughed and it felt a little like you
so i liked it.
who cares i almost died.

i smoked a second cigarette tonight, even though my lungs don't work quite right.
nicotine ran in my veins,
blue rivers along my pale skin and it felt, it really felt
a lot like love. a lot like you. a lot like us.
galaxies scattered across my skin, poison running in my blood,
yes, it felt a lot like us.
i didn't choke this time, but i think you would have laughed
at the way i ******
on the cigarette ****.

i smoked a third cigarette tonight, even though my lungs don't work quite right.
i swallowed cancer like a drug and it stung
at the back of my throat, and it burned and it burned and it burned
as ash gathered at the burning end
and fell to the ground like snowflakes,
little flakes of ash on my sneakers
and it reminded me of your kisses a little, i didn't choke this time.
i laughed. a bitter laugh.
you hurt at the back of my mind as i put
the cigarette out and i thought about the way
you'd look at me, boldness in your eyes, hair a little all over
the place and your mouth
shaped in a little "o"
as you blew circles of smoke out.

i smoked a fourth cigarette tonight, even though my lungs don't work quite right.
the cold stung but not as much as my lungs burnt and my brain burned
and you hurt.
i blew smoke out but never quite like you did,
and i thought it looked and was a little
ridiculous maybe
to burn the leaves of a plant wrapped in paper
and fill our fragile bodies with the exhausts
we breathe out smoke like broken steam engines,
ain't it funny, haha.
you'd laugh, harshly, you'd bite me, you were always
a little rough.

i smoked a fifth cigarette tonight, even though my lungs don't work quite right.
it's not half as venomous as you were, i decided.
i put it out.
cigarettes are so not worth the hype.
you were.
you are.
kgl Dec 2014
like a cigarette, ignited and raised to your scornful lips
you made me your addiction
and i let you consume me
Zack Phillips Feb 2013
I found my mind in the eye of a cigarette
The thing that I curse and despise, the cigarette
The thing that controls my life, the cigarette
I lost my freedom in the eye of a cigarette
Heba H Feb 2015
he moved her
like a cigarette
between his fingers
both made him feel good
he let her in
and felt things
he never quite understood
but when he's done
like a cigarette
he'll simply turn her off.
As I **** this cigarette
my life go's up in smoke,
in clouds of gray and white
some day I'll die of stroke.

If only I would quit
this habit that I have,
my lungs would never rot
all cancerous and scabbed.

And though I know this all,
to my love I still return,
for nicotine I crave for nicotine I yearn.

Take this poem to heart,
and let thy cigarette go,
for dieing of lung cancer
is the slowest death I know.
wanna hear me  reading this?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AdOHXCTrZSk
Payton Summer Jan 2015
Why do you only come around when you wanna feel high?
Saying I'm your drug, pulling my skin between your lips like a cheap cigarette
A few minutes of heaven for you to forget everything, all the songs of pain you created
And I hold on to the hope that maybe
You began regretting every breath you took,
Every moment wasted on a cheap cigarette
Because the thought of you hating me,
Your hands built to torture me,
Is much easier to swallow than the idea that maybe you loved me,
You could not have felt anything towards me because
I am a disgrace, a **** up
I'm completely out of luck
I am another thing for you to regret,
I'm nothing more than your cheap cigarette,
And that's why you only came around when to lie,
You only showed up when you wanted to feel high
Just anonymous Apr 2015
Your passion lit me on fire like the end of your cigarette
You had me screaming my love from the rooftops
But just like your cigarette, you put me out
And now I'm screaming from the fall
Kerry Moses Apr 2013
a cigarette burned away
ashes fell, flicked aside.
tar burned words in
lungs, nicotine
holding them back,
gasping for breath.

a cigarette burned away
in the dark, lying beside
me, chest rising, falling.
trails of burnt emotions
curled around us, lifting
higher, higher.

a cigarette burned away,
smelling sweeter than it should,
wrapping, enthralling itself
in every space, corner, molecule, atom,
warming those dry, brittle lips
against the winter wind.
caught between the clouds,
in confusion,
a cigarette burned away
Ady Sep 2014
I am jealous of your cigarette,
won't you place your lips against mine instead?
Inhale-
Exhale
A dance of rapid breaths.

I'm jealous of your cigarette,
of how delicately you seem to hold it
and yet never let it go until, of course,
it burns your fingers;
but I promise I'll never do such a thing as hurt you.

I am jealous of your cigarette,
of the aftertaste and the time it takes away from you,
of how you confide in the smoke in times of desperation.

I'll be here, your addiction,
you won't need to light me up;
and leave you a better taste.
Uh, the product of listening to Arctic Monkeys at 1 a.m
From Jess's Lips Jul 2018
She’s got a cheap cigarette
she uses to bury us all in smoke.
It hangs off her lips
and wobbles when she talks.
She’s cracked open a new book,
another ****** romance.

It’s always romance,
she says, taking a drag from her cigarette.
It’s in everything, in every **** book.
Each word she speaks is followed by a puff of smoke,
small clouds that form as she talks
and roll off of the curve of her lips,

the very same lips
that told me romance
is for suckers, told me talks
of love are talks of nothing rolled into a cigarette
she’d never smoke.
She buries her nose in her book

once more, leaving me to stare at the book
cover and nervously gnaw at my lips.
The empty space between us is full of tension and smoke
and somehow, a stubborn romance
that hangs in the air like a half hit cigarette
hangs on the edge of an ashtray. She talks

to me, around me, and about me, but our talks
never include that tension, though I could write a book
full of the way she glances past her cigarette
at me, how her inviting lips
beg me to foolishly romance
her by hurling apprehensive smiles through her wall of smoke.

The tiny wisps of smoke
that swirl around her dance as she talks
about this dime-store romance
novel she happened to pick up, a devastating book
about a man who spent his life with his lips
sewed shut. She finally puts out her cigarette.

The smoke from her cigarette peters out and silence settles over the two of us.
I move my lips and no sound comes out. When she finally talks
again, I cross my fingers in hopes of being the next romance book she wants to discuss.
I never actually posted an edited version of this, so here it is. This is a sestina which follows this form:
1. ABCDEF
2. FAEBDC
3. CFDABE
4. ECBFAD
5. DEACFB
6. BDFECA
7. (envoi) ECA or ACE
Months of stale, cigarette smoke
and spilt **** water pleasantly
offset the stench of cheap cologne
and ratty, abused furniture.
    
Fictitious stories occupy this tiny, dim
apartment, birthed on the lips of
rebellious juveniles whose tongues
pierce the ears of our elders.

In a forsaken corner, Jeremy lounges
awkwardly on a grubby-plaid sofa that
suitably complements his button-down shirt.  
I join him.

Behind his right ear rests a lonely cigarette, while
another sits snug between his lips, set ablaze
by the 1968 Slim Model Zippo he inherited from
his beloved grandfather.

His transparent sense of self-worth emanates
from his grubby, grease-stained hands, scuffed boots,
blotchy-checkered flannels, and faded blue jeans
that are completely obliterated with holes.

I look into his pale blue eyes, the depth of which
often goes unrecognized.  Jeremy is a soft-hearted,
pudgy youngster with the kind of chunky cheeks
that all grandparents love to torture.  

But his marred, acne-ridden face betrays the transition
that has been forced upon him.  Slowly, his trademark
grin appears across his face – subtle, mischievous, and
typically without reason.  But this time it appears justified.

Jeremy takes a moment’s break from his cigarette to drop two
hits of acid.  A new drug for him, he hopes to find relief from
his seething anxiety, evidenced now by the wide expansion of his
chest as he takes another, more lengthy and powerful pull from his cigarette.

The mundane chatter that fills the room continues, a seeming
necessity to offset any potential awkward silence. I feel as if
this noise is closing in around us.  But just as suddenly as I
feel overwhelmed by this sensation, the noise stops.

I look around, noticing everyone’s eyes staring in my
direction.  Jeremy is still next to me, now giggling
like a little school girl.
I begin to feel sick.

Jeremy swiftly leans forward, giving his
cigarette a premature but honorable
death, eliminating its glow as he smashes
the cherry into tiny bits against the ashtray.

As he sits back against the couch, I can see that
his eyes are now indifferent. Foreign.  With a perplexed
and fascinated stare, he watches the pearly-white smoke
slowly slither upwards towards the ceiling.

There’s no question in my mind that his
soul has fled. Jeremy sinks further into the
couch, turning his vacant eyes in my direction.
I want to *****.

His high-pitched giggle has now subsided into a
low whimper.  Gradually extending his left arm into
the air, he tilts it from side-to-side, examining it as if
an infant discovering his genitals for the first time.  

Bike wheels appear in the corners of the room.
Entertained, his eyes rapidly zigzag from the
corners of the walls to his hands. He asks me
if I can see the wheels. I don’t respond.

Intervals of psychotic emotion begin to cycle. Jeremy’s eyes
fill with tears as he tries to understand the hallucinations
engulfing him.  The expression on his face betrays the reality that
he has stepped onto the never-ending theme-park ride from hell.  

Together we leave and walk to the bus station, Jeremy
walking slowly and whimsically. The bus arrives,
and I hand him a few crumpled, single-dollar
bills as I attempt to instruct him where to get off.  

All I can envision is his mother’s first reaction to her son’s arrival.  
Would she collapse at her son’s knees, crying like a mother whose boy
has come home from war?  Would he forever be an awkward guest
at the dinner table? Would she disown him?  Would he become a feral child?






I no longer know what day it is. I am surrounded by lockers
and students, trapped in a tunnel of shadowy walls.  As I stand
alone, I find myself entranced by the blinding, January sunlight
that floods through the double doors a mile away.

My vision is unexpectedly blocked by a figure
standing in front of me. Clothed in little but jeans
and a bright, white t-shirt, Jeremy stares at me, his eyes
mirroring the emptiness I now feel.  

“Do you have a lighter?”  My hands pointlessly search my pockets for
what I already know is not there. “No, man. Sorry.” A look of confusion
spreads over his face, and I suddenly cannot help but notice the sick irony
of the scene in front of me - Jeremy flooded in light as if born again.  

My thoughts linger here too long, and just as swiftly as Jeremy
appeared, he is a mile away sauntering out through those double
doors. Estranged, I continue to stand here, hoping with
futility that this isn’t the last time I have looked upon him.
Year: 1995
Willow Sep 2018
It’s an hour close enough
To the number of no return
We contact through the space
As we once did before time

A cigarette before ***
Is not what the humble mind
Would immediately jump to
Only the outsiders would assume so

A cigarette before ***
Simply means a breath of air
Before all wind is stolen
By the intimacy of a conversation

A cigarette before ***
May role off your tongue
Tarnished by a society
We constantly run from

A cigarette before ***
When the *** is climatic conversation
And the cigarette is just the breath before
To prepare yourself for the race.
Rachael Judd Feb 2015
As i watched the moon disappear into the morning light
Pulling on a cigarette
I fell in love with life
As the dark sky created morning air
JR Falk May 2015
The day that we met, I watched you press a cigarette to your lips and laugh.
I cringed.
How could a paper stick filled with nicotine leaves and other little ingredients
bring a satisfying, calm five minutes?
We talked about how you were trying to stop,
and how I’d never, ever smoke myself,
and how that was a good thing.
We laughed.

Six months later and I haven’t seen your face in over a week.
A month ago, we were lying in your bed talking about how we’d
always love one another and always have each other,
and you pulled out a cigarette.
You reiterated that it calmed you down but I just grimaced.
How could a paper stick filled with nicotine leaves and other little ingredients
bring a satisfying, calm five minutes?
I wanted to ask again, though I know how addiction works.

You can’t really explain it.
All I’m sure of is you always know you could quit one day.
What I don’t know is if you ever really wanted to.

I took a walk to clear my head of the memories of you last night,
to get some fresh air for the first time in over a week.
It was overall ironic because as I tried to forget you,
as I breathed in the fresh Wisconsin air,
I pulled out a cigarette.

I stared at the rolled paper between my fingers,
and I saw your face.
I could smell you through the air,
taste your lips,
and wondered if I could really replace that connection in my head,
if you really should be represented by impending death and
overwhelming scents that never really fade.
I wonder because I know at heart, you were never made of tar,
you’re just sticking to my mind longer than
you ever really intended,
it was just what you were made to do.
I know you were never made to remind others of death,
though I know you wanted to be a few times.
I know you’ve encountered it and
I know you think about it at least twice a week.
You’ve always reminded me more of a sun,
because you’ve always been bright in my mind,
you’ve always been something I looked forward to seeing,
something that warmed my heart just by stepping into my presence,
you remind me of a fresh gasp of breath,
and that’s why I put the cigarette to my lips.

That’s why I lit it.

That’s why I started smoking,
Not to think of you,
Not to try to remember your taste,
Your scent,
But because
if a cigarette became my ten minute escape,
it’d be my go-to,
and you wouldn’t be.
I could get the calm you experienced and not experience you,
I could feel something other than missing you.

When I snuffed out the ****,
I was actually smiling.
I felt free of you,
free of the holds your love brought to me.
For twenty minutes,
I felt complete happiness without thinking about you
for the first time since we met.

So that’s why next time we see one another,
when we do become friends again like we promised
each other that we would,

Next time we meet,
I’ll press a cigarette to my lips,
and I’ll laugh.
We’ll talk about how you were trying to stop,
and how I’d never, ever smoke myself,
and how that promise was temporary,
just like us.

Just like the cigarette.
5.21.2015
Steffi Mar 2016
The city is shut, sparing its prey until tomorrow. Night rules, dreams creep down the street, eyes dead
Her poised being is the center of universe, that girl
She is loath to beg yet for the twenty fourth time of the night she sings out, God?
It’s two in the morning and they are sitting at the balcony, God and her, both holding a cigarette
Mother and father are in screaming colors but she is, only, the darkest blue
Two of them are contradiction, a vexing rendezvous but they yearn for each other so once in a while they talk

People talk
A boy across the house is found dead
Parents roaring, raging, crashing the ground, he’s wearing a pair of new basketball shoes. Blue.
He is one of million, a delicate kind, very comely, a subtle presence. Neighbors murmur maybe God
fell in love, maybe God enraptured by the boy. But God is peeking behind the closed door with the girl
Between their fingers still a burning cigarette

Maybe it’s the taste of Marlboro Red, the girl
wishing an epiphany, a revelation, for its been too long, the girl and God
writing each other’s eulogy. The girl has been dead for God and God has been dead
for the girl, ruptured for a very long time, there’s no way back. No long talk
can fix the burn of cigarette,
the eternal crippling affliction taped up in every cavity inside the holy temple of their body

A lady in the house with doors and windows painted blue
is murdered. She was having a dalliance and neighbors talk
behind their open bible. God cringes, God recoils, her god is a beige-tied, cigarette
scented with hair slicked back. She was in his thrall, calls her name in a mesmerizingly fetching way making her girl
again, an ingénue with a pair of chatoyant eyes. Bodies clashing, her muse, they fuse, he choose to ruse, dead,
God is amused, time is lapsed, but perhaps she was not divine. A lady in someone’s car trunk, murdered, dear God!

Inhaling. Conflating. Cigarette
smoke all over the veins. A bright blue
car parked across the street. A week since the boy died. A week since the lady went missing. People talk
about somewhere this week another dead
body is going to be found. Maybe in the park under the slide or on a high school bleacher, like the girl found God
under her bed. The first encounter of God and the girl.

God
and the girl run out of cigarette
counting the days God and the girl
Next time won’t be cigarette and balcony. God and the girl next time at a bar with blue
sign where sinners and saints sipping absinthe because God won’t talk
to anyone but the girl. God and the girl sipping absinthe because the city is shut. Eyes dead.
it's really hard to see the sestina pattern, but the six words i use are dead, girl, god, cigarette, blue, and talk.
an entire day of abstaining from "syringe",
whoever said it was:
the perfect dis-satisfaction -
supposedly it passes as quick as someone
puffing on crack...
                well...
                      the first cigarette...
when "quitting"... after years of 20 a day...
and this quitting: because no cheap
ciagarettes on the horizon from moldova...
or bulgaria...

    the first hit... feels like electricity...
i can feel it from my head...
right down to my toes...
          in my heels...
the tingling at first... then it all subsides...
into a sensation of a thrown stone
into the stomach:
like a nun jumping a bungee...
i feel like a teenager... who first sipped
alcohol...
the carousel of intoxication -
yet: so contained...
        there's the thrill and an
insurmountable number of adjectives
to the sensation:
face like a sponge head like blitzkrieg
theatre...
         i'm "quitting"...
well... 10 years exposed to the numbing...
perfect the ritual:
i guess i must...
    how long will it last... long enough:
to base the drinking on what becomes
the cigarette: on the peripheries:
and closure...

must i take any more revelation drugs...
apart from what's taxed and legal...
a solipsistic cigarette and some
gomme syrope: putting ms. amber
into the refrigerator...
              
i can feel the horde the tsunami from
a fat head through
a whirlwind dropped into my stomach...
and then the magic toes: tingling...
of course: i'm "quitting"...
quitting as much as...
mellow lou reed contra iggy pop
when bowie was with him in berlin...

"quitting"... the initial hit is over...
the first impressions...
the formality is thrilling...
then comes the diffusion:
the informality of fractions and percentages...
from the brain... the nerves...
perhaps the heart...
and the last place to look into:
the liver...

         and other... soft-tissue glue parts...
and the ritual:
a packet of benson & hedges...
wrapped up with about 10 rubber bands...
it has been waiting for me
for the entire day...
and now that the night is here...
a day when an apple tree was planted
along with a cherry tree...

the garden is looking more and more
presentable for sale...
but before the sale: it must be enjoyed...
i never thought that...
a cigarette: after... this short prospect
of abstinance...
is almost like the first...
but when coupled with the whiskey...
hell... i can't remember the last
time i drank and it felt like...
i was a teenager: under-age drinking
in one of those ****** clubs that
high-school girls go to find boys
with cars... out of school without
a-levels...
and boys go... to find... ms. ambers...
and jazzy gits of mr. fuzzy mr. funny...
the bavarian brothers: the weisers...

please! please! more...
these days of "quitting"...
             because what could be fun
about an absolute cold-turkey...
when you have a stash of...
  600 cigarettes... and... if the math is
about right...
and since the free movement of
people is a rapunzel dream off-the-cuff...

600 cigarettes... if i get it right...
move from 2 per ritual of going to bed...
into 1... that's... either a year
with missing 56 days somewhere...
no rolling tobacco though...
look m'ah! no bongs no syringes!
look p'ah! no snorting bleeding nose...
no... plum bruises from...

as long as there's an inhibition period...
a period of: i wish i could send
a postcard from... Basildon, Essex...
to... someone obliterated by a craze-maze
of lights... like... whatever...

i just heard stories...
                  about the effects of other drugs...
but... it's not like they come back...
with straitjackets to rekindle old flames
of "crossing the threshold" within
the confines of tobacco and alcohol...
moderately: well: not to quote the ideal
units consumed...
     i'm pretty sure i read some pickwick papers
today and... dickens "forgot" some...
conjunction words...
unless of course: his style...
                    -open            
                          to question-
                        esp. adjectives that...
or is it... nouns that act like this that and the other:
as if verbs...
            
    roughly half an hour... the full extent of
a cigarette...
the very first is probably the same
as the "very first" when you're "quitting"...
from circa 20 per day...
to 2-a-day...
                      "quitting" and first getting
hooked...
           the whiskers and fire fathers
                                   of the apache
              are a balancing act that follows...
oh sure... i'll quit smoking...
when the ritual is over...
i have left the casual smoker behind...
somewhere... over coffee...
over the tradition of that cigarette after
a meal: the digestifs smoke-up...
i left these smokers behind...
the nervous smokers...
the waiting at a bus-stop smokers...
the after *** smokers...

          the day is coming to an end...
i'm going to enjoy some music...
drink a little... i'll start calling this smoking
cigarette pattern... what? what else?!
my tobacco ramadam!
chances are... i'll still be unable
to appreciate roxy music...
   and the english dandy...
                       the music is here...
the little bit of *****... and the "pipe"!
here comes my face...
here comes the zoo...
            
             but i'm quitting... "quitting"...
the wolf of wall st. -
                      drug addict... that all depends
on how you treat tobacco...
the cigarette... abstaining for a day...
after a "hiatus" from healthy breathing...
viruses and car zinc and lead exhausts...
cow farts...
                  
    a terrible way to treat tobacco...
i find... is the casual... informal way...
a bit like... internet access...
whoever grew up with it being stationary...
like... a telephone... or a phonebox...
it was never carried:
always a returned to:
like a swizz safety-deposit box
in a bank... that could...
bypass tax regulations and subpoenas...

the good old days...
saturdays the park... the high street...
the car park... climbing to the top
and spitting phlegm bombs at people...
peter ******* richardson...
and kieran o'mahoney...
samuel richards...
         a ****** among the irish...
in england...
then again: richardson...
eh...
                                   ascot?
      i.e. a shcoot?!
                    the break between my first
ritual cigarette...
         and my closing affair for the night...
whether i drink less or not...
in the middle of the night
i wake up on the floor...
         i sleep on the floor for about
an hour... two demons want to ****
in my bed... then i'm thrown back into
the bed of cushions and mattress...
  only yesterday i killed someone in my dream...
and i was... like the zodiac killer...
anonymous...
i heard hook & sinker teases of:
the crime scene read like a crime thriller...
to appease the ego...

two days running thrown out of bed...
this is a terribly composed...
it is... "quarantine" poetics...
i'm "quitting" smoking...
                   i'm making tobacco...
i'm giving tobacco ritual rites...
                   no lazy tobacco smoking...
end of the day... ms. amber in hand...
maxing out on 2!
the next two? the next day...
              the same packet of cigarettes...
2 inside with a lighter...
wrapped up using about 10 rubber bands...
a like-for-like replica of
pin-heads "tattoo geography"...

       yes... because... someone's nearing
the snorting olympics?!
           if all you were given...
was tobacco and alcohol...
             the first one... oh! mein! gott!
it feels like being a teenager... once more...
and experiencing the alcohol carousel
for the very first time...
tobacco? that came later...
after the alcohol... after the ****...
the **** came in age 21...
the tobacco came in... age 21.09...
whatever that implies...

                      it's nice... though...
absitance... you wait for the entire day...
by the of it... some variant of... tourette's kicks
in... it's all very nice asking for
cupcakes and bagels...
scones and daffodils:
or... suicide by: lily-of-the-valley...
i.e. room filled with them...
and no ventilation...
talk about... no hanging... projects...
of Seneca cutting wrists in a bath...
just... getting drunk...
and being allowed to fall asleep
in a vacuous room filled with
lily-of-the-valley bouquets...

             we can talk about suicide... no?
when... it's... beautiful? no? ha!
how was the hemlock... prescribed?
as a drink?
             i... it's almost irritating that...
i will not write anything more sensible
after i take the 2 cigarette to the grave of sleep...
no matter...
i wasn't hoping to invest in much:
today gave me enough.
"I wish I had a cigarette."
The man as he looked down
at his half empty glass of whiskey
at the bar in Paisley Town

Little did he know what that dear
cigarette was bound to be
In the form of a strawberry blonde
no older than twenty-three

- J.S.
David Hall Dec 2012
Cigarette smoke and despair
I’ve come to know the smell
It adorns the walking dead
As they haunt their waking hell

They have gathered here to die
Desperation has its price
Cigarette smoke and despair
Is the flavor of their vice

Neon lights a sirens call
Taking comfort in the glow
Cigarette smoke and despair
The last smell they’ll ever know
Salma Elaouni Aug 2018
I need a cigarette
I want a pitch black coffee
And a cigarette

I need a window
On the 7th floor
And an empty flat
Streets with chaos and corruption
Allys with secrets that stink
And you out of my head

I want a wounded room in the middle of a clutter
Where the cracks speak the terrors stuck in my throat and silhouettes with night stories.

I want you
Right there by the corner
Where I can inhale you in the dark and steal your scent like a gem I could keep on my chest.

I want you
Out of my body
Yet it is windy
It is dim, lonely and hallow
It is pulsing and it is late
Late enough to sit by the window
Sipping at that pitch black coffee
Waiting to be saved by the morning
Or a cigarette.
I do not even smoke yet here is another poem about him
Daniella Star Jan 2015
Light the match,watch it burn
Hear the wood crackle as the wood burns awayHold the cigarette to your lips and light the end
Slowly inhale exhale the stress
Then watch the smoke disappear with your problems into the air
I understand why people smoke even though I don't smoke.

— The End —