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for Angela

Š 2006 by Robert T. Marcacci, Jr. _______________


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sometime after 1:30 AM click this sucker alight begin to write while exhaling in the kitchen with the whirring water filter and heavy heat of summer Beijing

*

suck in lean my head left a bit tap it on the blue glass ashtray we lifted from Bar Blu feel it warm between two fingers my index and my middle rest on paper writing in the shadow of my hand stop to crush it out stop to sleep


independence day awakened by the phone i have to leave for work now i just woke up must shower Angela takes one smokes the last cigarette near the window listening to traffic look for the ashtray we only have one as the ash is getting quite long and may fall

*

back at the kitchen table the sound of the bathroom fan my charcoal throat feels dry i must stop and shower or i will be incredibly late

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open the notebook take cigarettes out of my pocket and put them on the table stop to remove cellophane wrapping tear one corner tap a Marlboro Light into my hand pick up the lighter while still holding my pen and get it lit my third one today the new pack rests on the table feel a cough coming up in my scratchy throat without a shirt in the kitchen listening to birds and Chinese voices hold this smoking fag only let go when it's done alone in the hot afternoon in West Beijing


nearly 6 PM after a 90 min. nap what i return to more and more each day as i age at the kitchen table in the shape of a semi-circle white blue glass ashtray its centerpiece munch M & M's between drags slowly realize this wake up as the sound of someone sawing a piece of stone buzzes outside the chair squeaks when i lean back stretch out my arm to lay the cigarette in the small groove killing time to write poetry the phone rings

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fresh from the internet lighting-up again at the same table contemplate preparing dinner actually procrastinate come down from the electronic high the internet is for me there i am no one wordy representation of myself in the blogsphere realm of boring nobodies resampling pop culture *

waiting for Angela to come home looking out the window women dance in the park men play drums the hot breeze cools me and blows ashes onto my chest in the grey light of dusk smoke swirls on the balcony Shuguanhuayuan before me


smoked three during a movie The Interpreter Chinese bootleg it started a few minutes into the film ended in a stuttery nightmare of pauses i should have waited longer before buying such a new movie

*

talked to my parents after the movie they are coming to Beijing in less than two weeks smoked again after getting off the phone stood on the dark balcony blowing smoke through the screens while talking to Angela washing dishes in the kitchen sweating in this heat

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sit down with the Bhagavad-Gita or as the introduction states it is commonly referred to in India as the Gita A Bantam Classic i click a red lighter into action light another cigarette read in the bathroom a good place to read religious text or write it some great works were undoubtedly written on the shitter or on the wall therein after getting this far white glare in my apartment getting to me well after midnight i retire to the bed to read


7:30 AM baseball on the internet $14.95 for a season i catch a partial game once a week or so

*

stare at an empty coffee mug exhale into the kitchen waking still in cool morning with a cigarette resting in the smooth lip of the ashtray

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one last drag before mashing out the cherry three crushed butts on a bed of ashes

*

once again with Bhagavad-Gita Krishna; I see no good in killing my kinsmen in battle. in the teacher's breakroom my first free second to relax in front of a row of lockers


now with Ms. Canon in the breakroom blowing smoke toward the window

*

now with the janitor a woman who has only smiled at me we both look out the window and a few times at each other warm air from outside sucking out smoke while my students watch a movie

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after work Anna and me go to a Chinese University to record our voices when we were finished i went downstairs to smoke and read China Daily

*

after dinner Angela was cooking when I got home as usual i fired up a cigarette looked through the rumpled soft pack to see how many more were left two back into my pocket


Angela was talking on the phone she came to get one i was smoking the last one i want to go out to buy more an excuse to leave the apartment and stop grading tests for a little while

*

took a walk out into the hot neighborhood smoked walking home stopped at a little shop in the building next to ours picked up two green bottles of YanJing five RMB and four crushed out my butt walking back

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smoked out the window on the balcony looking into apartments across the way white and yellow kitchens bedrooms and living rooms

*

Angela asks for a drag i ask her if she took her medicine she goes into the kitchen returns quickly i give the rest of it to her


after writing a lengthy e-mail to a friend i get up for another smoke in the kitchen this apartment isn't too small but there is a lack of variety in locale drink beer warm now after sitting out in this heat

*

sit with Bhagavad-Gita a package of cigarettes a few swigs of warm beer warmer in a light blue plastic cup

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take a cigarette between fingers of my left hand a pen writing in my right stop to manipulate lighter which clicks and clicks without effect i adjust the size of flame try again Bhagavad-Gita still unopened


Bob Marcacci, a San Francisco State University graduate and native Northern Californian, has been writing and publishing his poetry for more than two decades. Author of five e-books and one chapbook, his poems have appeared in many print and electronic magazines around the world. Currently, he is teaching English in Beijing, China where he also hosts the weekly International Literary Open Mic at The Bookworm.

A Dis Press e-book compiled and edited in Beijing, China, April 2006. Thanks to those of you who continue to provide Bob with your support and interest. Find out more about Bob, his life and his poetry at http://marcacci.blogspot.com. Send this e-book to someone you know or e-mail Bob with your rage or praise: bmarcacci@hotmail.com. _______________

Blowing Smoke Through Screens  

A poem by Bob Marcacci.

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