Friday, February 19, 2016

Retro 90s part 2


Cigarette butts.
I walk city streets daily and see those butts everywhere: the number one item collected on coastal cleanup days that are so toxic to wildlife and the land and water. Someday (hopefully soon) tobacco users will have no filters or reusable filters or pipes only.

My neighbor V.
I've been asking him for several years to please put his butts in the garbage container not the compost bin and not the recycling bin. But still he puts his stinky-ass gross butts in the compost bin. Why?! I don't get it.

Here's a poem I wrote back in the 90s that helped me to finally get off cigarettes, after almost a decade of smoking. It's been on my mind lately...


Cigarette Still Life
in six parts 


I.

You of French spelling in packets of twenty: 
I am lured by your colonial charm 
like in the Hollywood movies of the U.S. of A. 
I am seduced by Bogart and Bergman in Morocco, 
and Hepburn on the Amazon.  I am hooked 
on your gold band and leopard-like filter. 
I dig your rising smoke in its swaying style. 
You are oh so sexy. I aspire to your power. 
See me on my hands and knees praying 
for your most highest, precious grace. 


II.

You got me Marlboro man, pioneer, rugged 
individualist. Won't you come on down 
from that billboard and take me away, 
far away, from these harsh city streets 
and sirens...


III.

Nah, I want to be the tough and fearless martyr. 
Joan of Arc must have smoked. There she is 
in the center of the city on her galloping horse, 
a hand-rolled cigarette dangling from her lips.


IV.

Cigarette Still Life look at what you've done: 
I wanna be working class and buy cartons on sale 
and chain smoke inside with all the windows closed, 
the air conditioner on and watching my daily soap. 
Fuck you, you're the best with booze and dope. 
Damn you're cool in pool halls and roof tops.


V.

Oh, this suffering poet needs you my friend, 
my comfort late into the night and early or 
just about any time. Life would never be the same 
if you leave my side. Only two bucks a day and 
I am filled with pleasure and contentment.


VI.

Cigarette Still Life: you lied to me in your dying, old, 
addictive ways. You're typical of The Great Society 
telling me to smoke for fun and adventure 
yet you are the same boardroom topic 
for targeting teenage girls. The same tobacco 
of The Slave Trade. The same arrogant asshole 
who smothers Indians and Mexicans. You are 
the petroleum by-products, the freon and fiberglass. 
You're that creep on TV with the perverse smile. 
You are the murderer of millions. You are death 
hidden behind a cloak labeled "freedom."



1996

No comments:

Post a Comment