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Full Version: Nicotine (edit 3)
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Nicotine

Inside the night
I inhale the toxic fumes
for a few minutes focus
knowing hurdy-gurdy death 
waits around the corner
with all his aching cousins.

A bright dance of wakefulness 
as I listen to the crickets 
and tree frogs for direction,
but they lead nowhere
except to an empty bowl
that whistles for the next pinch
of shag and shadow.

I put death in my pipe
and smoke it.
It’s as simple as that.






The Nictoine Tango

I inhale the toxic fumes

for a few minutes focus

knowing hurdy-gurdy death 

waits around the corner

with all his aching cousins.



I stroll the streets 

and listen to the crickets 

and tree frogs for directions,

but they lead nowhere

except to an empty pipe

that whistles for the next pinch

of shag and shadow.

I put death in my pipe

and smoke it.

It’s as simple as that.





original version



I put death in my pipe

and smoked it.

It’s as simple as that.

Fuses of tobacco braid strands of nicotine

inside my deathless brain,

hurdy-gurdy death waits around the corner

with all his aching cousins.

I stroll the streets of invisible derelicts

and listen to the crickets for directions

but death leads nowhere

except to an empty pipe

that whistles for the next pinch

of shag and shadow.




.
Hi TqB,
it seems to me this begins at the end, and that title needs work Smile

Wondered about a stripped down version.

Fuses of tobacco braid
strands of nicotine                                  (maybe 'garrotes of nicotine' to build on the threat of 'fuses'?
a pinch of shag and shadow.                    and something similar for 'pinch'? Though there's a poision connection with 'pinch' so maybe not Smile )

I put death in my pipe
and smoked it.
It’s as simple as that.



Best, Knot


.
(05-04-2021, 01:45 AM)TranquillityBase Wrote: [ -> ]I put death in my pipe
and smoked it.
It’s as simple as that.
Fuses of tobacco braid strands of nicotine
inside my deathless brain, (just say brain instead why the adjective of deathless?)
hurdy-gurdy death waits around the corner (Hurdy-gurdy?)
with all his aching cousins.
I stroll the streets of invisible derelicts
and listen to the crickets for directions
but death leads nowhere
except to an empty pipe
that whistles for the next pinch
of shag and shadow. (Love the ending, shame there isn't anything else I have to say about this piece, but why shag? Shag means to screw someone)

Beautiful work, I love the ending but I also think this piece is near-perfect. Thanks for sharing.
Majestic, in this case "shag" is a cut of tobacco.  Usually used to roll your own cigarettes.
(05-04-2021, 06:21 AM)TranquillityBase Wrote: [ -> ]Majestic, in this case "shag" is a cut of tobacco.  Usually used to roll your own cigarettes.

Ok that makes sense, I should probably have done a google search.
(05-04-2021, 01:45 AM)TranquillityBase Wrote: [ -> ]I put death in my pipe
and smoked it.
It’s as simple as that.
Fuses of tobacco braid strands of nicotine
inside my deathless brain,
hurdy-gurdy death waits around the corner
with all his aching cousins.
I stroll the streets of invisible derelicts
and listen to the crickets for directions
but death leads nowhere
except to an empty pipe
that whistles for the next pinch
of shag and shadow.

I enjoyed the strong imagery of this one TqB
The fatality?/finality, inevitability of being a smoker.
‘all his aching cousins’ I read as cancer and ‘invisible derelicts’ suggested to me they were moving closer to death, both realms almost overlapping as it were.
A dark cyclical poem on addiction.
Sorry for the icky formatting, i'll get the hang of it soon

I put death in my pipe
and smoked it.
It’s as simple as that. <--love this line, hits like a punch. i wonder if you'd want to end there? it would change the feel of the piece (now, the ending is less ending and more beginning the cycle again, this would be more of a concrete end but possibly more emotionally effective depending on what you're going for)
Fuses of tobacco braid strands of nicotine <--i like the way this feels in my mouth but i do wonder how fuses can braid?
inside my deathless brain, <--the two "death"s in this line and the next read a bit too repetitive for me, i would get rid of this one. 
hurdy-gurdy death waits around the corner
with all his aching cousins. <--*snaps*
I stroll the streets of invisible derelicts
and listen to the crickets for directions <-- Love Love this line 
but death leads nowhere
except to an empty pipe
that whistles for the next pinch
of shag and shadow.


beyond changing the ending by moving the first 3 lines here, i might also consider repeating lines 1-3 here at the end. would change the cyclical nature of the poem to be a little more obvious but i do love the idea of ending on "its as simple as that."
Thanks Micah and Knot.  It's raining a deluge here, I'm smoking a lot (I am going to quit at the summer solstice, I tell myself), good time to get back to this one.
.
Hi TqB,
not keen on the title change (what Tango?) and I don't think the first verse adds anything (hurdy-gurdy death, whatever that is, lacks clean simplicity of the final line and, to me, undermines it).

Anything better than 'stroll the streets'?

maybe 'listening' for 'and listen' (L7) (then 'whistling' for 'that whistles'? (L11))

Change 'pipe' to 'bowl' (L10) to avoid the repetition?

Best of luck quitting, Knot
I like the tightened version TqB,
‘aching cousins’ still stands out for me, perhaps it’s the connotation of cancer I read into it. The image that it touches all of us. I may be miles out but that’s how I read it!
A waltz (replacing tango) might better reflect the cycle of addiction with its round and round nature.
Would it benefit from a space after ‘shag and shadow’?
Could ‘directions’ lose the s?
Also
‘I meet death in my pipe
It’s as simple as that’
might tighten this further/harder hitting?
Apologies but I don’t quite know how to edit ‘in poem’ yet if you get my drift. I am a dinosaur with technology!
Newbie