Day 3: Ode to Nicotine

Ode to Nicotine.

There must be something seriously wrong with me.

Heated office chatter catches my ear and I lean forward, edging a little closer to catch a strain.

They’re discussing smoking.

And not in a good way.

Talk of rotting lungs, poisoned with tar and the big “C”,

Utter bewilderment “how anyone could continue to do such a thing, still”.

I don’t smoke anymore.

It’s not good for my health.


Even as I turn my head away from the debate and cast a glance out of our office street window

I remember.

There – standing proudly, his every move dictated by his


A rough resembling of human existence

Lifts a hand, in that knowing exaggerated motion, towards his lips.

He is, isn’t he.

The whiskers curl from his mouth and through his yellow stained fingers;

Nails as dirty as the day is long.

Man’s idle brogue is quick-fired;

Coarse intermittent words that are short and intimidating

Pierce through our window like stray bullets.

Every other word is a word he shouldn’t have said

And he knows it.

He doesn’t care.

“Sex” and “fuck” and “cunt” their shortness lacks the sweet but he is indulgent.

Another motion, another draw.

The extra small limb hangs erect from his mouth

As endless decayed language

Pours out unbridled.

It points at the world

Daring it to speak against its putrid form

Twitching up and down

As though conducting a private macho marching band.

Cock stroked the stubble from several days ago and let smoke loop out of his nostrils;

Such a modern day Dragonian.

The odious vapor follows his words

Slipping through every crack and crevice

Of the wall that divided us.

No escape.

It will be absorbed by you

And cling to your being as a snake would screw its muscular body and strain

All skin and coils to suffocate you.

Oh, I could smell that sweet smell

Twisting my Biro between gritted teeth so hard

I was in danger of spilling its blue blood.

I greedily downed a muddy slug of tepid cheap coffee

Forgotten a few hours previous.

At least I have caffeine.

They can’t take that away from me.

I say “I miss you” in my head  and clench my fists a little tighter

Praying that the chatterers don’t notice my silent mindful treason.

With my thoughts I am blasphemous

Against the pink flesh of cleansed lungs.

My cerebral outpourings are archaic,

Strung with colonial top-hatted men stroking beards and waving fat cigars;

Even they smell such of old books,

A mustard ripeness that intrudes upon your senses.

All that knowledge we should have that sits proudly in burgeoning stomachs

For we are full of it.

We are the generation that know.

Those glossy packets are stamped with our disapproval,


If they won’t burn a whole in your lungs

They’ll burn a whole in your wallet.

But we are full of it.

Cult Reject Copyright 2012

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