The Smoker

© Tomasz W. Wiszniewski

© Tomasz W. Wiszniewski

THE SMOKER

“Measure the man who walks
one path
And claims to have gentled water,
For dimensionless power is in his sights,
And, blinding pointed earths, a Devil
in between…
The ASHLAR WITH THE SECRET
HINGE
is of FACES too well
SEEN
and feet IN WHOOSH AND PATTERN
SHOD.”

Inside he was colors rippling,
Black and white on the out — 
The smoker, doomed survivor
Of nightclub weddings and deaths
And half-smiles, blows hotness
Into the city lights.

Aging ice into a rake of fire
Beneath the miracle ocher moon
Each hurried charge of rain
Makes sure to miss him,
His helicopter hair bulletproof,
And his monster truck limbs¹
Unheeded by the crowd.

And when the crowd drifts asleep,
From a fetish spire its heart dangled,
The walls that govern time²
Go superstar cold, like they had been
Deprived of memory, as though
The man-shaped smoke of white and black
Were less than visiting.


¹ From my notebook:

“The Smoker” is some sort of alien archetype, all-seeing, but never all-knowing; sometimes wholly unseen.

² As humans we compartmentalize our shared space into variegated private spaces, and in turn these spaces tend to compartmentalize our lives, or, alternately, our time.

These spaces, through a drawn-out play of customized attachment, become storied — living and breathing edifices. Following a certain grotesque logic, our homes are much like our bodies; they leak and break and require a sort of consistent ungodly upkeep.

(Though admittedly I’m being a bit pedantic here, I like thinking of time as “our times” instead, since we all have our subjective versions of time, often down to the very definition of the concept.)