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 &

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.

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