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Cigarette Break

I know, I know
even in this puddle I donít look like she does
that my hair wonít shimmer like hers:
oil on asphalt, after the rain

I know that my lumpy face
wonít smile straight as hers
teeth as even as train tracks
(once the braces were removed)

I know that my mouth is too big
my eyes are too honest
and my heart is still empty
echoing everything
a new room needing
bodies, motion, light
and the clutter of speech
confused with laughter

I know that I want you
in a soft and necessary way
that I long to push your hand to the shape of my need
until you cannot tell the two apart
that I want to press our bellies together
and feel the ridges of your ribs
like bananas in a paper sack

I know you cannot hear my whispering
persisting instead in wanting what will not have you
that you will not settle for my simple seduction
lacking in the dramatic complication
of your self inflicted wounds

I know
with all the certainty of rain
that standing in this parking lot
in blue jeans and fading flannel
where the concrete is becoming gravel
I know, looking out over town
as I inhale and exhale
fingering an unlit cigarette
I know, standing here consuming
ten minutes of uncluttered air gains me nothing
that no one is listening to these tilted conversations
that might be mistaken for prayers

I know, I know
I have to go back inside
where the air is full of noise
and the smoke surfaces above the grease
where I am only a parrot with no words of my own
a cracked vessel leaking specials with every breath
and the only consolation of not getting to be me
is not missing you
Dunno where this came from. Call it a ghosts spin off. I'm not sure I like it so much, I feel as though it should be plainer and more beautiful simultaneously. Essentially I think it should be smoothed out a bit, but I've tugged the corners as much as I can tonight.


~digitalcrayons is responsible for all of my random attractants.
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justb Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2004   Writer
Ooof. Nice ending. This had great voice all the way through.
Good job.
haunt Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2004   Artisan Crafter
this is nice, a bit like bubblegum. sweet and somewhat guilty, and it seems like the kind of thing the female reader would like to chew on repeatedly. however, there are some details that just don't work even on repeat readings:

lumpy face.

the entire fifth stanza. i think the sixth stanza is exposition enough and the fifth sort of knocks the wind out of what's to come.

i'm also not sure what leaking specials means?

this is a marked tonal shift from the previous as you noted, but it should work well with the others with a bit of polish.

polish is something with which i've become familiar, lately. it can consume the process if you're not careful. i'm sure you are, though. so i'm not worried.
epimetheus Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2004  Professional Interface Designer
I think you mean 'sentimental' reader, not just female.

Leaking specials means that she's a waitress and she has to tell the specials to every table she goes to.

Oh the process of revision. Re-vision.


haunt Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2004   Artisan Crafter
right. i was thinking specifics then, of course. thinking of people i knew who would devour this. all my examples were female. another crumbling mechanism of the mental shortcut. i know more sentimental males than females. i guess i just wasn't thinking about them.

i understand. sometimes my receptors are dulled by writing five papers in a weekend and such.

interested to see what happens.
morbiddreamweaver Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2004
love it! :hump:
terov Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2004
Oh yes. Perhaps not your most polished work, but it resonates with me personally. The din of dreary day to day existence is better than solitude and stillness after crisis.

I want to see where you head with this... Do I get a deviant-watch alert for updates, or just for original submissions?
haunt Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2004   Artisan Crafter
yeah, deviantwatches alert you to revisions. at least they do for me.
amyfae Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2004   Writer
This is lovely. It makes me want to fall in love with you. Or something *smile*.

First stanza really pulled me in with the puddle imagery, although I felt like there were too many words used to describe it.

I like the repitition of "I know" at the beginning of each stanza; it is somehow unobstrusive, a subtle device to pull the piece together.

Third stanza: "heart is still empty" didn't seem to fit as well...too...cliche? or something. But I like the room imagery you use after, and wonder if it would flow better if " still" was another "too" to parallel the others. I don't know. I really like " clutter of speech/confused with laughter" .

I love the fourth stanza. It is there that I would fall in love with you.

The fifth stanza I'm not so sure about. The ideas seem to be so much more complicated to understand...I had to be careful and multiple in my readings. It seemed different somehow from the rest of the poem.

Sixth stanza: You say "I know" only once and all alone and it doesn't look right. It's the only thyme I really realized the repitition was there, it was a little jarring. "ten minutes of uncluttered air gains me nothing" Something feels awkward to me in that line, and a bit in the one following, but mostly that one.

Last stanza: The double "I know" brings one back to beginning, and is lovely again. The parrot line and the one right after again feel awkward, chunky to me. I feel like they could be more elegant - and I like what they are saying, but...I dunno. I guess just awkward, like I said.

But I really really like the poem. And am all proud of myself for immediately commenting on one of your pieces instead of letting it sit around for months.

niteangel Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2004
Really a nice piece of writing. I stare at it and imagine each scene you mentioned....beautiful...also triggered my feelings, about my ex...
Buonarroti Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2004
How poetic... ;)

I'm sure you already know that it's hard to find good poetry outside of textbooks and so forth. But this... this is good. I feel it like a pain in my side, an ache in my stomach. I know this feeling. Very nice piece.

Oy, I'm too paranoid to post poetry here. =P
tornaura Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2004   Writer
I know that I want you
in a soft and necessary way
that I long to push your hand to the shape of my need
until you cannot tell the two apart
that I want to press our bellies together
and feel the ridges of your ribs
like bananas in a paper sack

one of the most eloquently, unobtrusively seductive bits I've ever read. Could benefit from a bit of tweaking, but can't everyone's...


Lovely, lovely.
benevolentsoul Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2004
Charles said you were decent. Most definitely...

- Keegan
gyroscope Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2004
another great piece of adam. this is one of the most lyrical poems of yours that i've read.

you have me looking forward to more.
kaujot Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2004
I can. Beautiful. You've expressed a lot of true feelings that I know I've experienced, and still do experience. Right now, really.
Blazer-san Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2004
Really great piece..
Amazing, I cannot find words for it...
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Submitted on
January 25, 2004
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