ablaze addiction air alarm andiron aroma arson asbestos ash ashtray backdraft backfire bake ban band barbacue bellows billow blacken blaze blend bloom blow blowtorch bomb bonfire bong bouquet brand breathe brimstone bud bunsen-burner burn butt campfire cancer candle candlestick canister cannabis carbon carbon-monoxide carburetor carcinogen carton "catch fire" cauldron ceasefire chainsmoker chalice char charcoal chimney "chipper" choke cigar cigarette cigarillo cinder "coffin nail" coal combust conflagrate consume convection contain cook Corona cough crack craving cremate crematorium Cuban cure cutter dank dependence detector detonator diesel ditchweed dog-iron dopamine drill drag dragon draw dynamite ember emission engine enkindle emphysema escape evacuation exhale exhaust exit explosive extinguish fag fatwood feed fiery filtered fire firebug firecracker firedog firefighter fireplace fireproof firetrap firetruck firework five-alarm flame flammable flare flashover flickering forge freebase fuel "full flavor" fume fumigate furnace fuse ganja gasoline gasp grate grenade grill gun gust habit hash Havana haze HAZMAT headshop heat hearth hell hellfire hellhole hemp herb hickory hit holder holding holocaust hookah hose hot huffing humidor hydrant ignite incense incendiary incinerate inferno inflammable inhale iron joint kiln kindle kindling kings ladder lamp lantern lava Lent light lighter lightning locoweed log lox lung mantel marijuana match matchbook matchbox menthol nicotine oil-lamp opium oven pack parch parejo patch panatela paper "peace pipe" perfecto phlogiston pipe plume pot powder presidente puff pump punk "put out" pyre pyromania pyrotechnic quit reefer retardant ring roach roast roll "roll your own" screen scorch sear second-hand shade-grown signal singe sizzle skywriting slag slim smelt smolder smoke "smoke-filled rooms" "smokes" smokescreen "smoking a cloud" "smoking gun" smother smudge "social smoker" spark spiff spit spread stain steam stifle stogie stove strike subdue suffocate sulfur squib tabacco tallow "take a hit" taper tar tinder tinderbox toast tobacco toke torch torpedo "touch off" trigger unfiltered "ultra lights" urge vapor vat vent ventless ventilation volcano votive wax weed withdrawal wheeze wick wildfire wind wrapper yellowed yulelog Zippo 100s 420


Poetry (any form or style) and Micro or Flash Fictions wanted for an anthology on SMOKE. Not just the black clouds rising from the five-alarm fire next door, or the billowing plumes of smoke warning us of a forest fire, or the emissions from factory smoke stacks, apartment house incinerators, and crematoriums, smoke rings rise from cigarettes, smoke pours out of headshops, pipe shops & cigar stores--see that purple haze rising over the fields of poppies and marijuana we just planted--we've used it to communicate via smoke signals and skywriting, to cover our tracks and disappear with and without mirrors, combat the enemy on and off the battlefield, kill bugs, flavor food, cure illness, declare peace treaties, and fragrance our homes. Got the idea? Release it onto the page.

Guidelines: Submit up to three poems/micro fictions or two flash fictions at a time with a fascinating bio of 35 words or less, not just limited to publication credits, copy/pasted in the body of an e-mail (no attachments, please) to roxy533 at yahoo dot com & . We will also entertain up to six one-liners or 2 short stand up routines at time. Previously published work is OK as long as authors have retained the copyright, which will be returned to them after publication. Simultaneous submissions are encouraged. If your work is accepted elsewhere, and you still have obtained rights to republish, just let us know where and we'll be happy to acknowledge the other publication.

If you do not receive a response from us within a month of your submission considered it rejected and feel free to submit again. Due to the volume of submissions we cannot respond to each and every individual submission. Selection for the on-line edition are made on a ongoing basis as we receive your submissions. However, final selections for the print edition will made after the October 31st deadline. (In otherwords not everything that made the cut for the online edition will appear in print.) Please do not query. When in doubt, send the submission to roxy533 at yahoo dot com &

Thursday, May 28, 2009

She is

a yellow heartbeat
seepage flooding her lungs-
she reaches for
clear blue air but
the error of a smoke-full world
sticks to her throat
corrupt powder-sugar lingers
on her tongue
forever in that place
where you and I are
trapped in our own waxen bodies
waiting till that heart
browns and rots and fills with
the silence that
comes with no more

by Raj Spencer

Raj Spencer is a poet's daughter. She has seen the ways of the world, and is graduating high school and Junior College, simultaneously (Summer 2009). Raj likes to string words together when no one is looking.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

their dissipation

the wood burning under the saw, sweet smell
of dreams outside New York
suspending us over Shasta campfires, smoldering
burnt fish vapor and red’s dying whine
his old man cigarette breath
reminding me that this is wrong
old men don’t french kiss children
and smoke isn’t always sweet cigar
cloves of you my love
mary jane frolicks
or hooka in the back of the pick-up truck
sometimes, it is just burnt embers glowing
a history, lives ashen
each second, ending,
desperately holding on
till the last coal dissipates to dust

by LisaAnn LoBasso

LisaAnn LoBasso
You’ll find LisaAnn LoBasso wandering the world, reading poetry in smoky clubs and beyond. LisaAnn has asthma, and prefers, if possible, to avoid all smoke.
Books in print: In the Swollen and Oleander Milkshake.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


by Stephen Mead

Tribute piece to Marianne Faithfull, part of the series "Swan Songs".

(If you have trouble viewing "Marianne" here please go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FeB5lVLyaZY)

Stephen Mead

Stephen Mead is a smoking poet and artist living in northeastern NY. Creativity reins in the voices in his head. “Drag,” his homage to women icons, a piece combining poetry and art, can be found in his book Selected Works, available through Amazon & Lulu.com.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Cigarette Smokin’ Acronyms


Before it’s
Okay to

East and

Resulting in

Oxygen to


Led to their



Truth has been
End now.

by Jason E. Castro

Jason E. Castro won't sell you furniture, start revolutions or sing for Simon Cowell. He's been previously published in the on-line magazine Danse Macabre

Meditation on Three Girls Smoking

They are my students,
the young, with
the young’s trite pack,

and because they see
themselves, I suppose,
as secret

and sophisticated,
I can watch
from my window.

They’re sixteen,
already puffing too long
to stop,

but in this context,
they tug their elbows
and suck.

I too,
and thought my mother
did not know.

Then one strange day I quit
as if my body said

Soon they will return
to my classroom
to write

their stale little stories,
the dragging in
to draw out.

by Lois Marie Harrod

Lois Marie Harrod

Lois Marie Harrod used to smoke cigarettes, but upon learning she was pregnant, began to smoke words, four books, two children and five chapbooks of words, the latest of which, Furniture, was easier to burn than Part of the Deeper Sea.


Where There's Smoke . . .

There's a Starbucks man
Lips encircling a cigarette
in James Dean demeanor
Suckle love chiseling his cheekbones

And I inhale simultaneously
Sharp and shallow
Unlike him and his lazy draw
two tables away
Unaware of my ill-mannered stare
Of his smoke signals that send
seductive language to like kind

Silent alarms sounding
more than secondhand smoke warnings
Flashbacks of Salem cigarettes
and other stale hungers burn fresh
And the saint of safety
is supplanted by devil-may-care

I wonder whether his hands
are as hazardous
as the come-hither nicotine
Whether the heat rising from my belly
is vicarious or lascivious

Either way I want to cut and run
Coffee half consumed
Leave the cravings commingled
with caffeine in the cup
Instead I stay spellbound
Die-hard held by old conflicts

Caffeine combining with compulsion
And with questions like
Will I outlast his next light-up
Listen to life in long-term whispers
Or will I banish hazards to hell
And burn in the fire of gratification
Its short fuse a live-out-loud
shout of fortitude

by Ellaraine Lockie

"Where There's Smoke..." was previously published in PRESA.

Ellaraine Lockie

Ellaraine Lockie is a poet who prefers poetry printed on sheets of handmade paper made from the inedible parts of fruits and vegetables using a method she invented and published in her book, The Gourmet Paper Maker, now available in six countries.

Sunday, May 24, 2009


Smoke filled summer sky       Oak leaves frame fast fading light                              Beauty finds its way
byJudi Brannan Armbruster

Smoke filled summer sky
Oak leaves frame fast fading light
Beauty finds its way

by Judi Brannan Armbruster

Judi Brannan Armbruster hopes you vote for medical MJ in your state! She lives north of the infamous Emerald Triangle. Her "girls" are just about ready to go to ground for maximum harvest! If you are not active in what is going on for your state, she asks you to check out 420magazine.com.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Karl, Esther, Mark

I smoke. I smoke because it’s all I know.
Years ago, ashes began my father—
he had no roots to speak of.
His foster family cared for him well enough
on the farm, the dry summers of central Michigan
cracking to brittle leaf.

The ashtrays in Karl and Esther’s living room
always empty, and emptied;
ash-blue walls,
shelves filled with tasteful, hateful

It was wonderful, my first cigarette—
at college, gin and tonic in the other hand
under the green dorm party light,
I felt like myself as never before,
a new grace descending
as I inhaled the autumnsmoke
of those dried leaves.
Abroad, I studied the exotic labels
on the packs: filigreed lettering,
Mongols on horseback.

All our relations
agree to disagree:
we shrink from each other
in mutual distaste
at the obligatory gatherings,
even as we smile and
extend a papery hand.

Esther does not smoke.
(She merely appears as a puff, a cloud,
wan face and powdery hair,
nervous, thin hands plucking at her
apron, hoping aloud that the pork chops are
not too dry.)
Karl does, with a brandy preferably,
but he prefers that I don’t.
I have to sneak out of the house to do it,
like some shameful act;
my friend hides them for me in her
glove compartment
until I move away.

Now I’m the nomad on horseback,
scattering Karl and Esther’s ashes over London:
they dribble from the end of my
neglected cigarette

by Carol Wierzbicki

From her forthcoming chapbook Top Teen Greatest Hits (Poets Wear Prada, 2009).

Carol Wierzbicki

Carol Wierzbicki has run poetry series at ABC No Rio and elsewhere in NYC. Her work has been published in Long Shot, The Cafe Review, Public Illumination and Evergreen Review, and the Unbearables anthologies Unbearables (1995), Crimes of the Beats (1998), and Help Yourself! (2002), published by Autonomedia. She also is an editor of the Unbearables anthology, The Worst Book I Ever Read (Autonomedia). She compiled and edited Stories from the Infirmary (Universal Publishers,1999), an anthology of fiction and poetry on chronic illness. Her book reviews have appeared in The Brooklyn Rail and American Book Review.

a dollar a pack at the rez

in my mother's house
even the once lily lampshades
are nicotine yellow
the delicate lace of doilies past
crocheted, now curled, lung-like
tumorless but strained
smushed under plaster owl lamps
the ash collects in thread webs

my father is on the floor
prone, pillow-propped
chainsmoking and watching Jeopardy
my mother pops corn in the kitchen
I am afghan-wrapped on the
hand me down Marlboro-red couch
the butter scent drifts through
but after eighteen years of
breathing second-hand
I have lost my sense of smell
Heightened due to compensation, I hear
rogue kernels slapping the bowl
refusing to be Redenbachered, proper

mother settles into cushions next to me
I finger the pack of generic Indian cigarettes
Natives, they read, that she tosses to the table
A dollar a pack at the rez, she says
Handful of grease and sacrificed maise
I watch her gray skin puff and exhale
I weighed five pounds when I was born
Cord around my neck, blue but feisty
But it was the seventies, she'd say
And at least she didn't drink.

by Janice Brabaw

Janice BrabawJanice Brabaw is author of two books that detail her struggle with depression, borderline personality disorder, and binge eating disorder - And Again: A Memoir of a Life Disordered and a collection of poetry called Universe, Disturbed. She is the editor of The Best of Stain - an anthology of performers from the two series she founded and curates in Brooklyn - Stained Glass Confessional and An Echo, A Stain. Her work has been featured in several lit magazines including Poesis, Violent Femininity - A Journal of Female Poets, The Toronto Quarterly, A Brilliant Record, The Cartier Review, and Ophelia Street.

She is launching a new quarterly literary publication Persephonous Blue. For submission guidelines and to find out more about Janice please visit her website at:

Thursday, May 21, 2009

IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO SMOKE  (for acapnotics everywhere)  

please go out into the hall.
If you do not want to smoke,
please go out into the
dirty, filthy, smelly, humid
backstairs hall.
If you do not want to smoke
while you work,
please work outside.
Please take 15 minutes
of your 15-minute break
to run down the 15 flights of stairs
to get downstairs
to the dirty, filthy, foul,
smelly, putrid,
air outside.
Please do not stand in front
of the building.
Please stand in the middle
of the oncoming traffic
to better inhale the dirty,
filthy, foul, smelly, putrid,
noxious, wretched, stinking
air outside.
If you do not want to smoke
while you eat,
please eat outside.
Please leave your table and
your wine and your dinner and
your dinner guests and stand
on the sidewalk outside.
Please take your dirty,
filthy, smelly, stinking
dinner guests outside.

If you do not want to smoke,
you can remain locked inside,
hermetically sealed,
happily, legally,
breathing in the odor
of the dirty, filthy, smelly,
putrid, foul, noxious,
wretched, stinking

by Chocolate Waters

Chocolate Waters now eschews the evil weed, but still thinks smokers are treated much worse than the tobacco companies themselves.

Visit her on the web at www.chocolatewaters.com!

Home Is Where . . .

. . . ever I have felt at home--
in each bedroom, for example,
a slice of time has called my own.

Or else on mountains molded
from molten rock, old
volcanic ash, pumice-stone rains.

Or strolling a beach, wondering
(as the waves weave
their staggered path across
quivering sands): how much
difference there is, really
between this daily
drum-beat of surf and
a tsunami?

Or perhaps in Brooklyn's backyard--
shielded by the shade breeze
that caresses my flesh
on a summer afternoon.

This poem is none of
these places, however.
it is, instead., an unfolded bed--
which is not my bed.

In a room which is not my bedroom--
or hers, even, since the only
bedroom in this apartment
is occupied by sleeping children.

Who did not wake as the volcano
spewed out its molten core
and the tsunami crashed, then
receded, leaving behind only
the rhythm of two drum-beat hearts.

Which recline here, now,
caressed by the late evening
breeze, interlacing with
human fingers that will linger
forever over each other's flesh.

to remember
the last time
any place
in the universe
felt as home
as this.

by Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom lives in Brooklyn, NY, and works as a decorative painter and faux finisher. He has been published by Caprice, The Poet’s Pen, Medicinal Purposes and Flutter. Performance venues include the Saturn Series and Bar 13 in NYC and the Traveling Poets Reading Series, Bakersfield, CA.

Visit Bloom on the web at www.stevebloompoetry.net

Friday, May 15, 2009

Autumn Sacrament

In the street where we lived
Smoke like blue bubbles
Rising from piles
Of run-away leaves
Maples and oaks
Beeches and sycamores
Threw down their burdens
dancing for joy
Down all the sidewalks
Watched the leaves turning
To colors we gathered
and raked every yard
Had its own offering
Ready and waiting for
Fathers to kneel
Squatting before them
With matches in hand
Flames rocketing skyward
Explosions of color
A one-minute offering
So quickly they
Sank into dark
Ashes glowing
Spirits ascending
In great plumes of
Smoke hiding our faces
Erasing the stars.

by Marian Veverka

Marian Veverka
has spent her life on the shores of Lake Erie. She has written two novels, unpublished, and lots of small stuff - poems, CNF, shorts stories -some published.

Home on Fire

On Christmas Eve I unwrapped purple fleece kitty cat pajamas
given to me by your father that were two sizes too big.
As I undressed we laughed about them.
I put them on, danced around, the waist band hugged my top ribs
and we slept until a stranger pounded on our door.
You ran out to see in boxer shorts,
told me about the fire and I stood up,
my head in hazy smoke that stood like clouds on mountaintops.
Our two cats circled my feet, they looked up at me
and I started coughing.
I got to the front yard and saw her home:
a lit up ornament in the darkness. Firetrucks
lined the street, a dizzying array of activity
on a silent night. The smoke poured from windows,
my throat throbbing from poison, we looked
at the smoke stained stone, out of the black
I saw a fireman holding the old woman like a bride.
Through the front door they came
and we all stood surrounded by the blinking signs
of urgency. I looked around and saw neighbors
had planned for the worst: some had brought purses,
a photo album, a little girl from across the street had a wagon,
one doll riding. And I looked at you: t-shirt, boxer shorts,
a corduroy coat and myself, in too big fleece pajamas
and I realized the fire was contained.

by Tasha Cotter

Tasha CotterTasha Cotter is an MFA candidate at Eastern Kentucky University. Her work is forthcoming in Danse Macabre and has appeared in Sojourn, Hanging Loose Press, Leaf Garden Press and elsewhere. Cotter lives in Lexington, Kentucky with her husband and two cats Chloe and Harper.

Sunday, May 10, 2009


Life is an attic room
Packed with memories,
Old and new, shiny and sharp,
Broken or patched together.
They are piled where they fell,
One atop the other,
Hiding older ones
Beneath the new.

A trunk full of this,
And a case of those,
A few of these spilled across the space.
The bits of ephemera
Collected through a lifetime
That define not only
Where we have been,
But what we have brought back.

Each time we draw in
We pull another memory
Into the attic of our soul
Disturb the dust
Refresh the contact
With what we were
To build
What we are.

Some moments we waste
And others we carve
Our initials on
Tying them to our soul
Chaining them
To ourselves.
Making them ours.

And as we move through
Time’s pathways
To the next beginning,
We leave the room
Empty, a bit at a time,
Smoke through a keyhole.

by Christopher Reilley

Christopher Reilley is a poet, artist, illustrator, father,computer geek and jobseeker from the greater Boston area. He makes his own wine, is a fabulous cook, and can be found with some regularity at slipperyfiction.blogspot.com

Smoke Dream

The glamorous city I remember
has become a war zone overnight.
Desperate street vendors offer green
specked rice. Black choppers
land in ditches. Sundown, they
slam us into bunkers behind thick
iron doors. We huddle together,

conjuring how it was before:
bright flags everywhere, music
spilling from exotic mouths,
sweet smelling temptation swirling
out open doors. Now it looks like we
may not make it. On a street corner,
a broken man shambles toward

me, fumbling with a cigarette,
unshaven, hair blaring out from
under an American ball cap, clothes
covered with soot and smear. He moves
spastic, demolished by this godless
place, this craven circumstance. Close
enough to touch, I see that he is you.

by Greta Bolger

Greta Bolger

After decades of impersonating her father, Greta Bolger has finally settled on the womanly side of the tracks, kissing the few willing babies who will kiss her back and coaxing flowers to bloom in thought balloons that arise from the heads of the disillusioned. She practices art in words and pictures as well as in daily life.

If Two By Fire

The city is burning.
Come flee with me to the hills.
The Greeks have burst
from the belly of their great horse.

This is another poem
about the ruin of our universe.
They'll char the city
make it black and drag
that hag Helen back.

There are lines on her face now,
almost as if the entire war
had been scratched out in flesh.

This is the war of the old,
let Troy burn with a whimper.
Let's go to the hills
and let the dying world, die.

We'll walk together
along river banks, through fields,
grow fat and old and drunken
and recall the night the
burning city kept us weary.

by Adam Tod Leverton

Adam Tod Leverton

Adam Tod Leverton was born in Canada, but now lives in Poland. His wildly modest ambition is to have a million people read his first chapbook, Broken Wing, a collection of what may be loosely described as 'love' poems. If you like this poem and would like to check out his entire chapbook please contact him by email atleverton at yahoo dot ca for a free pdf version. His work can also be found in Angelic Dynamo, Best Poem, Censored Poets, Claremont Review, Clockwise Cat, Conceit Magazine, Dangling Hook, Decanto, Falling Star, Green Beard, Halfway Down the Stairs, Mississippi Crow, Purdee, Poets Against War, Poet's Ink Review, The National Post, Open Minds Quarterly, Perpetual, The Monsters Next Door, Scar TV Radio, Shine!, Spoken War, Static Movement, Whatever is Pure, Word Slaw, and Ygdrasil. He is the poet in residence at Purdee.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Hello! Hiroshima? Hello? (Los Alamos calling)

This city of blisters
is so much like my home town
it always rains;
the girls on the street will cry into the arms of the boys
who look in different directions;
everyone speaks a different language
even when the meaning means the same things
because it's their way of listening for something different;
the fish in the restaurants is always very fresh
if not actually alive;
these trees are palm trees, though still ever green, and
so is the moss smearing itself across all the concrete walls.

Except for all these few things,
it's exactly the same as my home town
(also, the keloid scars on the back of the neck of the man on the street car that goes by the river that goes past the house where I live when I live there).

It's a double sunrise day in my hometown and
the mist or the fog or the smoke or whatever it is
comes out of the mountains and
threads itself through the ghosts of trees on its way to lower ground.

by Robert Masterson

Robert Masterson
Robert Masterson is a writer/teacher living in Westchester County, New York.

Robert Masterson's Blog
on twitter

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Another Day Without Lin

I combed cranberries from the vines,
clutched a handful and squeezed and squeezed.
That was her blood, thin, the plasma and the water,
the tendency to all things pink and leaking.
Her face was the color of smoke.
There was the re-entry, the sentience of one's own
bone marrow, the stirring of fish beneath the naval.
I placed two green apples on the windowsill, cores intact.
Pears fell silent as shade. Inside organic persimmons,
I felt a pulse, imagined the threat of neo-plastic shadows
casting towards center. Then I scraped the skin off a fuzzy peach
and dreamt of sunshine turning to California and
California turning to an island surrounded by an ocean
of white semi-sweet waves. Low tide and in remission.
I squirmed into a wooden crate and sealed my self in.
Splinters pierced my thoughts.
I made this promise.
I'd never eat until I was eaten first.

by Kyle Hemmings

Kyle Hemmings lives and works in New Jersey and wishes he could draw like R. Crumb.


Life chased me until the running
Was a numbing race
I ran
And ran
Until a clearing came
I fell to cold hard bedrock(stone)
Silenced by the endless chatter of the living
Death found me as I sat(criss-cross)
Eyes closed smoking the weeds that grew
Upon my grave
And asked
May I?
"My life is pain
The kind that doesn't settle
Comfortably on powdered cheeks or waterproof mascara"
We embrace
Death says:
You know...what pains the most is Living
Not the peaceful letting go...you know

by Peacegirlout aka Rebekka White

PeaceGirlOut aka Rebekka White

Peacegirlout is a Poet
the kind whose
rebellion springs from desperation
and emotional fragility
she's merely kept alive by truths so miniscule
it turns night into day

Meet Me At Giant Wash

In the Bear's Den Bar on Franklin Avenue
a black mother bear looks down from the countertop
like a spirit through a rotten cloud of smoke,
a room of pickled faces, Ojibwe and Irish,
nearlyas preserved as the beast.
I live just a block away,in a building with the porch falling off.
Summer nights friends and I tiptoeonto the sagging boards,
drink wine and watch the passing trade.
Next to Bear's Den is a laundromat that has burned to the ground,
with a mural on the side of a big white woman
in red pumps and dress, her hair in a kerchief, her lips
as red as brick, pinning up bedsheets to dry
and she is so happy, she is saying Meet Me At Giant Wash.
But she never finishes folding that bedspread
on the side of the building, they haul her rubble
away in trucks, still smoldering, becausea tenant upstairs
lit up and dozed off, and that's how it goes,
one building at a time the neighborhood gets carted away,
and the big black bear, paralyzed, each hair erect
with nicotine dew, rubber lips pulled back to make her look more
ferocious than she is, teeth bared against the wrecking ball,
comes next.

by Mike Finley

Mike Finley

Mike Finley remembers what Paul Newman's Luke used to say, "Smokin' 'em up, boss!" He works as a copywriter and lives in St. Paul, Minnesota.

He can be reached (and read) at http://mfinley.com

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A Secret Styvo Goodbye

You turn up on the doorstep with a crazy smile and a bent daisy
you tell me it’s been a year.
You almost miss the chair.
It’s eight in the morning.

You do an air high five.
And tell me on the top of your voice how great it is to be you.
Then you fall asleep on my bed.
With your pockets still full of stuff.

You pashed my friends
I didn’t mind.
You kept catching taxis when I needed you.
Blowing smoke between your teeth
telling me your night’s out of focus, the bars,
the blue neon lights of the pool table
making everyone look 3am beautiful.

I used to go crazy listening out for the front gate.

You wake up cheerful
but your eyes are telling sad stories.
You read me lyrics from a scratched notebook.
Your soft pack is flat
one squashed secret Styvo left,
that will be it
It’ll be goodbye again.

by EZB


Poet and spoken word performer EZB just toured North America in 2009 following an invitation to perform at Montréal’s Festival Voix d’Amériques.The winner of the 2006 Nimbin Performance Poetry World Cup and multi-Slam champion, EZB featured last year at the Melbourne Writers Festival, the Newcastle Young Writers Festival and at Melbourne’s famed La Mama Theatre. She also toured in a live music and poetry collaboration with Sean M Whelan and the Mime Set to Castlemaine, for the Australian Poetry Festival, and to the Woodford Folk Festival. She has also recently performed at the Melbourne International Arts Festival and the Night Words Festival at the Sydney Opera House, and is a regular performer at Liner Notes, a legendary Melbourne spoken word night dedicated to interpreting a classic album. She toured New Zealand in 2007. She is probably going to put out another book this year.

She blogs at http://atomicladybomb.blogspot.com/
Visit her a MySpace at http://www.myspace.com/emiliezoeybaker.

A Very Leisurely Cigarette

I stopped smoking on a Monday
the week before Valentine’s Day
because there was someone
I thought I might like to kiss,
an ex-smoker with a very nice smile
and a penchant for frying fish.
but I got sick of the snow
so I went to Florida instead
where despite a sudden cold snap
it was warmer and friendlier
than New York.
My friend picked me up
and she was smoking a cigarette,
(I think it was my favorite brand)
so I figured I’d smoke along with her
in a companionable sort of way
not to mention that cigarettes
were much cheaper, almost free
when I thought of all the money
I saved by buying them in Florida
so I smoked cigarettes all week long
feeling pretty happy about it
until Valentine’s Day when
Mister Maybe I’ll Kiss Him called
just as I was inhaling
and I remembered
that I had stopped smoking.

It’s hard to admit
even to myself
that I had quit smoking
over one hundred times
which may sound excessive
to some but not to me because
I stopped using drugs every day
for over twenty-one years.

After the phone call
I began to wonder
but couldn’t decide
which in the long run
would bring me more pleasure
the smiling fish fryer
or the reliability
of a pack of Marlboros
always in my pocket
so on the way to the airport
I stuck a nicotine patch
onto my left bicep
just in case I developed a taste
for a fish frying man
but I ripped it off one hour into the flight
and forgot to clap when we safely landed
so focused was I on the vision of myself
smoking contentedly outside Terminal Five.
I caught a ride with an unlicensed driver
and insisted that he pull over
at the closest convenience store
where I bought a pack, ripped it open,
and leaned against his turquoise Buick
leisurely exhaling streams of smoke
as vapid and addictive as the city
to which I had, once again, returned.

by Puma Perl

Puma Perl
Puma Perl lives and writes in NYC. Her work has appeared in many print and on-line publications and anthologies. She has been a featured reader in various New York City area venues. Her first chapbook, Belinda and Her Friends, was recently published by Erbacce Press, She is a firm believer in the transformative power of the creative arts and a former degenerate smoker.

To find out more about her new chapbook visit her publisher http://www.erbacce-press.com/#/pumaperl/4531745901.

Viist her on MySpace at http://www.myspace.com/rubymydear916.

Smoking In The Girls' Room

smokin' in the girls' room with
my fellow "bad girls"
school nurse two doors down the hall

by Faux Maux

Faux Maux

Faux Maux is a playwright, actress, ranter, dancer and lover of words. Words can be found at fauxmaux.livejournal.com along with obligatory pictures of her kitties. Fauxmaux.com is her site and she can be found at the other regular online haunts. She has written, performed and produced theater in NYC for 20 years, having a grand old time making Art.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Smoke that dream before I cream you

A rough month ensues, working on several projects simultaneously, doing publicist work and helping people too.

I’ve got all my own mishigas too sufficient to sort through. A memories life sake, a backache, earache filibuster, Monroe birthday zone, a black hole, don’t know where to go. A vagabond review, a Scarsdale Hebrew cemetery, morsel of dainty tastiness nastiness a black hole of madness no home to go to.

Stuck inside my head, a poet’s world, inspired to drive down dirty get high on some Thai stick, trying to get skinny on the sly, sounds tinny, the words stuck in my eardrums, tum de dum

Exhale poetry with scarlet U2 embolism demolishes dents an entire world out there me capsized in the cave in a mountain dew bats flapping in my head I breathe new scents for a few sense amillia, vanilla will do me fine.

Inhale Exhale, a little cheech and chong, put it in a little pill for me. I want to kill that roach, don’t encroach on my spot, shit I see you got your eyes on a brand new spanking spaldine, bounce da ballie, brand new – higher than that kite you want to make take flight.

Fire your ass off stop sass saw me in half. I wanna make some war in cognito infinito, vagabond report retort a torte of flamingo a golden gal glimmer if I offer you a drizzle of Acapulco gold.

If you only got sensimilla, with nice big blue green buds, a thai joint will bend me fine, ven aqui, pasa lo, share it, … please.

Don’t do me like that. My hand’s open – greed.

Give me some of that weed, I need some time to digest the rest but so far will take I'm not a lawyer. I’m a voyeur, not a destroyer, not part of the choir, I live in a temple excoriate licorice on my breath, a little violet lipstick, blissful Babel bagel babe of a comet a carnal cattle pick up your bustle and hustle along. Mazel Tov!

Damask cilantro, don’t ask, another whiff of that smoke, floating up from all that patchouli incense I use to mask the scent of that hashish oil mixed with opium.

Up in smoke it went, again and again.

Cheech & Chong

Chrisco Labrenz had this to say about his original creation.
"I had the pleasure of giving the original picture to Tommy Chong in person. That was shall we say....NEATO!!!"

To see larger version, click on picture.

Chris hangs his shingle at a local video shop in Edmonton, Alberta, freelancing while working on Moocowkids, a graphic novel to be released in the near future. Featured online at deviantArt and gracing the recent cover of The Cartier Street Review, Chris has a fanclub at facebook under Chrisco Labrenz.

contact Chris Labrenz

In a vineyard...

In a vineyard a tired old man is smoking a pipe--Tatjana Debeljacki
by Tatjana Debeljački

by Tatjana Debeljački

Tatjana Debeljački

Tatjana Debeljački was born in 1967 in Užice, and still living there. She writes poetry, prose, haiku and aphorisms. Her works have been published in the following papers: Vesti- Užice, Jesenjin- Belgrade, AKT- Valjevo, Latica- Podgorica, Bilten- Novi Sad, Glas Banata- newspapers Debeljački - Kovin. So far she has had four collections of poetry published: A CD-book, A HOUSE MADE OF GLASS, published by ART – Užice; YOURS, published by NARODNA KNJIGA, Belgrade; VULCANO by Haiku Lotos, Valjevo; and the most recent AH-EH-EEH-OH-OOH published by Poeta, Belgrade in 2008. She is a member of Writers Society of Serbia and Serbian Haiku Society.

Visit her blog, Kuća od stakla: http://debeljacki.mojblog.rs/

Sunday, May 3, 2009


Sometimes I feel the urge
to smoke again –
feel the pepper cloud
sear my throat

Force burnt geraniums
through tainted nostrils,
taste the acrid crumbs
upon my tongue

Stain the tender space
where fingers meet
from pink to mustard brown

Waken daily to a wheezing
coughing choking barrage
of lungs deprived of air.

I miss
the glamour of it all.

by Barbara Reiher-Meyers

Barbara Reiher-Meyers

Barbara Reiher-Meyers is a Long Island, New York poet, board member of the Long Island Poetry Collective. She curates the Long Island poetry calendar for Poetz.com, runs monthly workshops in Ronkonkoma, sends weekly emails of local poetry events, and has edited several volumes of poetry. Sounds Familiar is the title of her first book of poems.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

after the reading

we linger on the sidewalk
cigarettes slip from pockets
way past time to leave,
cling to each other’s words
still lilting, ears longing,
not for touch,
not for light conversation,
but the taste of more,
of something nearly sacred.
lips spill stars, fire, music.
listen to the pulse –
smoke, magma, blood.

by Lori Desrosiers

Lori Desrosiers

Lori Desrosiers grew up on the banks of the Hudson River, but now lives somewhere between the world of her poetry and Western Massachusetts. She has a literary journal, an M.F.A. and several fat cats.


On Worship

Hurl laughter
into the face of meaninglessness.
Buy despair
another drink.
Watch doubt collapse.
Watch the burning cigarette
kiss someone else.
Watch as he dangles and flakes.
Watch jealousy spill out of the ashtray.
Watch shame tear off his shirt
and his, to part the sea of men.
Watch sweat on his skin trace
another promise. Watch sweat smear it away.
Give words lips, a throat, tongue –
Where you and I stand the mirror
is a knife. But you kiss me. You silenced me.

by Zhuang Yisa

Zhuang Yisa

Zhuang Yisa lives in Singapore. His poetry has been published or forthcoming in Sargasso (Puerto Rico), Yuan Yang (Hong Kong), ditch, (Canada), The Toronto Quarterly, Ganymede, The Salt River Review, and elsewhere. He also reviews for The Substation Magazine, an online arts journal based in Singapore.

Visit his journal, And so it goes... at zhuangyisa.livejournal.com

Tarot Card 0

The Fool tries to throw his voice

his efforts seem less than
adequate—his mouth moves,
shapes nouns, forms verbs.

gravity seems reluctant
to follow his commands.

the absence of smoke leaves
him silent, he moves to light
a cigarette.

he strikes the match,
sees words
alive in sulphur.

taking a drag, he listens
for a voice,

by Alex Stolis

Alex Stolis

Alex Stolis lives in Minneapolis, Mn. He just quit writing poetry.


Smoke dreams to suit your sense of taste, size, and shape
Go to your head like air-cured or oil-cured briar.
It’s enough to make a connoisseur go ape
Drawing, tasting, without inhaling’s a nice way to retire.

Satisfying, relaxing, and a fine aesthetic pleasure
Can be gotten in a variety of sizes, shapes and forms;
Standard or freehand, you could always get higher
On a pipe of Algerian, Corsican, or Grecian briar.

Meershaum’s not bad, but straight grain
Or birdseye can better light my fire.
Simply put your eyes to the test of a true admirer
Or collector. Why spend all that bread on wasteful smokesake?
When fifty, one hundred or two hundred dollar’s money
Enough to make a casual smoker quake.

Try a Dunhill, Viprati, or inexpensive Stanwell,
A soft charring flame or puff; a smoky cloud
To get you that much higher.
Smoky Latakia, Virginia, Burley or Cavendish mixture
Will never make you a liar.
Enjoy an exotic whiff of finely aged leaf;
Your taste buds will never tire.

Coarse cut, ribbon cut, dark rope or mottled flake--
Close your eyes and elevate your palate
To the heights of a mountain lake.
There under the cooling shade of a pine tree you’ll wake
To the aroma of all outdoors--mouth agape.

It’s enough to make a connoisseur go ape.
Smoke dreams to suit your taste, size, or shape,
Straight, cross grain, rusticated, or sandblast--
You can always get higher.
Nothing goes to your head like well-aged briar.

by Allan David Goldschmidt

Allan David Goldschmidt

Time Clock, Allan David Goldschmidt’s third book of poetry will be published by Poets Wear Prada later this year. His previously published collections are Of Sun and Wind and Woodwinds. Allan has been writing poetry for approximately 35 years, drawing for about 30 years, playing western flute since 1977, and Japanese Shakuhachi flute for 13 years. He was Assistant Art Director for Medicinal Purposes under the late Robert Dunn. A four-page spread on Allan’s multi-versatile artistic career was in a local neighborhood newspaper last year.

Visit him online at http://poetswearprada.home.att.net/AllanDavidGoldschmidt.html.

Friday, May 1, 2009


She’d forgotten to buy cigarettes for her party.

In those days, a hostess—
even one who didn’t smoke—
stood cigarettes on end in a container
that looked like a miniature silver-plated potbelly stove.

“Run down to Jerry’s for a pack of Lucky Strikes,”
she said to me. I was seven. “I’ll call,” she said,
“and tell him you’re coming.”
In those days, I did anything she asked.

I entered the woods behind our house, a trail
that led to a busy street. In the store,
Jerry handed me the Luckies with a matchbook
and told me to get the hell home fast.

I knew I had danger in my pocket.
Half-way back, I stopped in the woods
and took out my purchase. I read the pack: LS/MFT.
I struck a match to see what striking a match was like.

I wanted to delay going home, wanted to be watched
by unseen eyes in the forest as I struck a match.
I knew my mother was getting worried.
Where are the cigarettes? she was wondering.

In those days, danger promised to be something so fine.

by Anne HardingWoodworth

Anne Harding Woodworth

Anne Harding Woodworth’s most recent book, Spare Parts, A Novella in Verse (Turning Point, 2008), is about a friendship based on NASCAR. Her essays and poetry have appeared in U.S. and Canadian journals, anthologies, and at several sites on-line. She is a member of the Poetry Board at the Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, D.C.

Visit her webpages at www.annehardingwoodworth.com