William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Cigarettes’

Nicotine

Many years ago, in our old hometown, there was a Japanese man in his nineties who had smoked cigarettes all of his adult life and loved smoking them still, all with no apparent harm to his health. There are people like that, people who can live on terrible, unhealthy diets, or who can consume alcohol in amounts that would make others ill, and yet thrive. As the story goes, with […]

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The Overcoat

Shall I insert a novel here, as Balzac might have done? Or go off on a vast historical tangent, as Hugo did in Les Misérables? I could even become repetitively religious like Tolstoy — but I should probably save that for my old age, in case I live that long. Cognac and a fine cigar, then a stroll à la Maupassant, along the boulevard, where everything is so beautiful, ironic, and […]

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Contaminated Spirits

It’s well worth putting on a mask and spending a short time in the thick, hazardous smoke for the birds’ sake alone. As before, within minutes of refilling and refreshing the birdbath, I saw a robin vigorously splashing in the water. Even as I stood there with the hose, I heard him chirping not far above me in the birches. Found early in the first chapter of the January 1877 […]

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Imaginary Cigarettes — Writing Smoke

Writing Smoke — 2009

Dear one, you asked me how I feel. I’m smoking imaginary cigarettes in a cloud of imaginary smoke with imaginary ashes in my lap. My coffee is almost real enough to coat the tongue and conjure the sound of clattering cups as dreams flash by the windows. Pshhhh — an old man opens the door, smiles at the bottles of ketchup on the counter and at himself for being here. […]

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