Ode to RJR –or– The S&P 8

I want to be respected
When it comes to smoking.
I am not a chimney.
I do not burn coal.
Tobacco leaf, bronzed,
Is strict pleasure.
Not a TV set!

Cocaine is OK
For gov’t purposes.
Otherwise, just missiles and snow.
A body.
American Shoe.
This is the age of the stock market —
Born and then risen again!

Someone moves behind a screen.
Not only is this not Kansas.
This is sweetheart deals.
Sundays & NASCAR.
The cars keep making circles
Until the gasoline is gone.
The hybrid of council,
Last in voting,
Wins by ten lengths.
Top speed?
100 mph.

Saakashvili, Saakashvili!
But that’s just a nickname.  Fuzz.

Someone is smoking in the bathroom.
Someone is making flapjacks
And dousing them with maple syrup.
The real stuff.
All the honeybees are gone
And the trees are dying of dry humor.

So I hold my pen
Like a baby birthing between my legs.
Maybe now they’ll give me those meds.
The red ones
Stamped with the names
Of good mutual funds.

And then here comes the headache,
The stomach purge.
Regret like a steamship
Crashing th’orizon.
It runs on seaweed
And all of its passengers
Are sick
And ready to sue.

It was all I could do
To keep from crying.
My megaton novel
Exploded before I did
And all I had left
Were these lines…

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