North Park News


I am featured in this week’s North Park News for the house concerts. There’s a picture of me reading a poem during one of the Steve Poltz shows in June. Unfortunately, the story can’t be accessed online, but if I get a real burst of energy, I’ll try to type it out.
Below is the poem I read, one of my “signature” pieces, but before you get to that, it’s a perfect opportunity to let you know I’ll be doing a featured reading at the E St Café in Encinitas on Monday, August 6th at 8 pm. Do come out!

The Kind of Smoker I Would Be

Sometimes I wish that I smoked
because it would give me something to do
during those times when I find myself waiting
or those times when I want to run away from people
their conversations or their arguments
I would at least have something to occupy my mouth during its silences
when it only wants to feel some pressure against it
without effort, without asking

Because that’s the kind of smoker I would be
silent, alone, taking it in and letting it go for myself
the way I would kneel and clutch my rosary
with sunlight shaken down from heaven
but I am not religious

I believe in something that I don’t know if it could be called
God or Self or Sun and Moon
only that there it all is and here I am in it
and I am satisfied with that knowledge
don’t want to investigate mysteries
like what lies beyond darkness of an April sky
or if something will be affected
if my body is returned to the earth with its skin and some clothes
or if it is scattered as ashes
my bones baptized by fire in death
far from the holy waters of birth

Ashes of the cigarette I would smoke
would be mingled in a bowl or a pot with the others
that I would then mix with water and
try to throw on the potter’s wheel
but I am not a sculptor either

I fall in love nightly
with the bare forearms of musicians
and secretly thrill myself
with the wonders of their mouths
that might press against mine
without effort, without asking

Like the way my cigarettes would
burn and live and die
by my mouth
these kisses exist quick and sweet between us
without regret
with love and not sorrow
because it has been so nice
to not be sad about love
for so long

I would snub out the cigarette with ritual
to end its burning and satisfaction

Celebrate it with hymns for its graces
and for all those that will come after
to also
burn and live and die
and to know my mouth
in its silences

©2000 Lizzie Wann. All rights reserved


2 Comments Add yours

  1. abby says:

    Amazing. This was amazing. Sometimes I feel the same way about smoking… it’s almost perversely glamorous

  2. Barbarella says:

    What beautiful poetry, Lizzie. Your talent for imagery is exceptional.

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