Tobacco at TwilightSitting in a sushi restaurant,heart still racing -was it worth it?I raced the sun on my bicycle.With a downward slope,and the wind in my favor,we tied.The sun creeping awaybehind the distant mountains,fighting the fickle windfor a consistent flame,I struggle to light afresh-bought cigarette.I crave not the nicotine,but the mood.Smoking the pack's firstWatching the twilight's lastI stuck around,on a busy street corner'til there was only darkness'til there was only filterSitting in a sushi restaurant,heart calming down -was it worth it?To the chopsticks and soysauce,I say:Let History and Poetry vindicate me.
For ElsieI moved away the long blinds that block the glass door, so I could look out at the lightly-forested suburbia beyond my balcony. The thin, fruitless palm trees, fans swinging restlessly in the heavy wind, reminded me that that I was both inside and, though far from home, still in California. Though it was hardly two hours from noon, my roommate was still in bed, allowing me some morning solitude.I kept a vague loneliness at bay with the company of one of my more exquisite green teas. Later, a fine black tea from China's Yunnan province would grace my gaiwan and decanter, bringing me to political thoughts. For the moment, I took pleasure in the mellow graces of my Bi Lou Chun and contemplated poetry and prose. The wind-swept trees outside became the paper in my head, and the tea acted as ink to write words with a mental pen.There was little to say, though I liked saying it, and I took the time for forethought between lines. I was going to need more water for the golden-tippe
A Ring in the BrowIs it a development of my own masochism, or am I just getting older?The instinct has died -I feel not"run!" nor "stop!"as he pokes the needletwice through my eyebrow.Rather, I think"Endure! Endure!"
Diner previewI was never much of a coffee drinker, but when I have a cup, I take it black. It doesn't appeal to me, the kitchsy masquerade that this beverage was fashionably subjected to. The mocha and cappuccino, the chocolate, vanilla, caramel, hazelnut, the foam, the whipped cream, the syrup; the bullshit! Anything to disguise the bitter, cringing reality that is a cultural caffeine obsession. They suck down these hot or iced, blended and mindlessly made concoctions, odering them large when the smallest size is already too much. Because these modern-day coffee house dwellers are a people of Consumption, not true Enjoyment.
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Coloring BookIt would be hard for me to forget the first thing I ever heard him say. There are a number of reasons for that, but I think the major factor would be the statement itself. I think most people would remember it, for that purpose alone. I could be wrong, though. I can't speak for other people."Don't leave orphans." That's the first thing he said to me. Don't leave orphans then, BANG!BANG!, two holes, one through each kid's head. He had a very precise shot. The kids were dead like their parents.You can take it a lot of ways, that statement. Sick, humorous, wise
your choice. I won't tell you how to feel. I'm just giving you the lines, color them in as you will. Those were just the first words he spoke to me.There's three of us Me, Him, and Her. Ages, appearances, histories; you figure it out. We do missions, odd jobs, whatever you want to call them. He brings them in from an agent, from a boss, from God, from "god"; does it matter? He tells us what
Kung Pao TofuA Szechwan-style restaurant, buttheir hottest itemisn't on the menu.My Kung Pao Tofu is packaged, andI smile to the employeesas I depart.If onlyI couldKari Outthat waitress!
Lotus Leaf TeaIt's been a long night, and my fingers smell like tobacco. I spent over an hour on my balcony, taking things apart, and piecing them back together. I went through three cigarettes, which, as I've mentioned before, I detest. I make a habit to drink this tea whenever I smoke, because it's a detox for the nicotine.I smoke to remind myself that I'm a hypocrite, and that I do things that are in no one's best interest. I drink Lotus Leaf tea, because I want to clean up and fix things. It's a hard taste to get used to, and it takes time. Gradually, I'll make the confrontations, admissions, and apologies. For now, I continue to make smoke clouds, and look for repentance in lotus leaves.