a mention of some lucky pay-offs

one of the things about being a writer:
people mail me boxes of good cigars;
it doesn’t happen quite often but it does
happen a surprising number of times.

the cigars are mostly hand-made imports
from Nicaragua and this is how
I learned to spell
an interesting and poetic

I smoke my cigars
drink my wine
and type.

I’m sure this is what they expect:
“hey, baby, I bet Chinaski is
hunched over his typer now
one of those long-filler cigars!”

as the night goes on
I get drunker and
the poems get more careless–
which is what I want.

and I suppose that the cigars do
and even cigar boxes fascinate me:
I don’t like to throw them
away, do you?

so I’m smoking this cigar and
I’m a writer with a desk
it was here when we moved in
at the right end of this
there is this open cigar box
lid resting against the wall
and inside of the lid
looking at me is
a little oval painting in
green, white, blue and yellow,
brown, of
three men working in the
tobacco fields
a house, trees, the sky, the
in the background.

it’s good being a writer
and being sent such
magic gifts as

when it gets going
there are sometimes
sundry gifts
such as women.
I’m sure that many of the
women who went to bed with me
did so because I was a writer
but I only considered
rejecting a few of them
because of this

I don’t reject these cigars
I think they improve the
make the wine taste better
make the fingers find the natural
and easy keys.

this is a thank you poem, ladies
and gentleman, for the fine
Nicaraguan cigars.

among this
sacred blue smoke
let me go on to
subject matter.

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