FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

War in the Smoking Room

by ADAM ENGEL

Friday midtown. Friday payday.

Plantman at “CEO Cigars Accessories.” Quality, overpriced tobacconist. Walk-in humidor. Air-conditioned smoking room. Customers relax. Smoke. Wide-screen TV.

Recite the smoker’s ode:

green gone
brown dead
resurrection fire
leaf life
bloom tumors
like tulips
or teeth
oh pink lungs

Musty humidor. Fat, sticky Maduro. Smoking room television tuned to War.

Cigar store crowd: executives young, middle-aged, old. Suits.

Plantman in denim and Topiary Techniques t-shirt smoking darkest, most potent, not largest cigar.

Television: Siren Air Strike Air Strike

Older men their war. Middle-aged their own. Younger men had not war, cognizant men their age in combat even as young executives cigars. Senior Executives. Executives. Junior Executives. Vice-presidents. Directors.

Older wars superior to new, according to geezers. More skill more man-to-man hand-to-hand. None this push-button never see the hell you are, play it like video arcade, fish a barrel, no thrill glory, no hunt no blood, you see.

Middle-aged nightmares recalled guerilla warfare, jungle rot, defoliants, lack moral such such such.

Arguments went so. Young men red-eared silent.

Plantman watched through War haze cigar smoke planes devastating missiles blasting righteous cities hammered eerie jigsaw puzzles of indignity, confusion, pain.

Young Executives known no war but painful anecdotes old warriors. Bosses, Mentors.

Television commentators microphones steady thick of mayhem slaughter. Prime action folks back home. Gory talk. The Old Executive/Warriors explicit, baleful, tedious.

Discussion shifted where it should have been: cigars. Smoking Executives Smoking Room. CEO Cigars. Members several companies gathering informally. Enemies after all. Smoking. Sharing life histories, same room. Cigar ritual. Initiation. Not afraid to stink. Hah-hah-hah to up-turned noses trim health-loving wives.

Not afraid among men. “Straight talk.” But what if…the office…reveal what’s hidden…known among the women…at the office?

“Won’t get laid that way,” said one Senior Executive. “Women like a strong man with a strong cigar. We’ve got nothing to hide here. Not in this room, at any rate.”

Laughter.

Great Ceremony. Pause. Executive Light-Up. Sucking flames wood matchsticks. Bad light, uneven burn. Catastrophic waste. Cigar. Bad show.

“Cigar, gift of the Indian,” one waxed poetic, “cylinder of mellowness and virtue.”

Cigarette not cigar like shot of rye not snifter fine cognac. Life ripened goes to smoke. Lifts spirits. Anguish up in smoke of stink leaf. Process: green origins ripen smokeless under sun. Natural processes. Living systems. Green embalmed brown. Curing thought. Tumors like mushroom caps exploded lungs of the unfortunate. Up in smoke.

Bombs felled Enemy cities. Commentators explained: significance, explosions; shock, desire, fear, attack.

Fire of Plantman’s fat Maduro like an eye wept ashes. Smoke everywhere, everywhere smoke and talk.

This is an excerpt of a longer work, “Topiary,” by ADAM ENGEL, bartleby.samsa@verizon.net

 

Adam Engel is editor of bluddlefilth.org. Submit your soul to bluddlefilth@yahoo.com. Human units, both foreign and domestic, are encouraged to send text, video, graphic, and audio art(ifacts), so long as they’re bluddlefilthy and from The Depths.

Weekend Edition
April 29-31, 2016
Andrew Levine
What is the Democratic Party Good For? Absolutely Nothing
Roberto J. González – David Price
Anthropologists Marshalling History: the American Anthropological Association’s Vote on the Academic Boycott of Israeli Institutions
Robert Jacobs
Hanford, Not Fukushima, is the Big Radiological Threat to the West Coast
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh
US Presidential Election: Beyond Lesser Evilism
Dave Lindorff
The Push to Make Sanders the Green Party’s Candidate
Ian Fairlie
Chernobyl’s Ongoing Toll: 40,000 More Cancer Deaths?
Vijay Prashad
Political Violence in Honduras
Pete Dolack
Verizon Sticks it to its Workers Because $45 Billion isn’t Enough
Richard Falk
If Obama Visits Hiroshima
Margaret Kimberley
Dishonoring Harriet Tubman
Deepak Tripathi
The United States, Britain and the European Union
Peter Linebaugh
Marymount, Haymarket, Marikana: a Brief Note Towards ‘Completing’ May Day
Eva Golinger
My Country, My Love: a Conversation with Gerardo and Adriana of the Cuban Five
Moshe Adler
May Day: a Trade Agreement to Unite Third World and American Workers
Paul Krane
Where Gun Control Ought to Start: Disarming the Police
David Anderson
Al Jazeera America: Goodbye to All That Jazz   
Rob Hager
Platform Perversity: More From the Campaign That Can’t Strategize
Pat Williams
FDR in Montana
Dave Marsh
Every Day I Read the Book (the Best Music Books of the Last Year)
David Rosen
Job Satisfaction Under Perpetual Stagnation
John Feffer
Big Oil isn’t Going Down Without a Fight
Murray Dobbin
The Canadian / Saudi Arms Deal: More Than Meets the Eye?
Gary Engler
The Devil Capitalism
Brian Cloughley
Is Washington Preparing for War Against Russia?
Manuel E. Yepe
The Big Lies and the Small Lies
Robert Fantina
Vice Presidents, Candidates and History
Mel Gurtov
Sanctions and Defiance in North Korea
Howard Lisnoff
Still the Litmus Test of Worth
Dean Baker
Big Business and the Overtime Rule: Irrational Complaints
Ulrich Heyden
Crimea as a Paradise for High-Class Tourism?
Ramzy Baroud
Did the Arabs Betray Palestine? – A Schism between the Ruling Classes and the Wider Society
Halyna Mokrushyna
The War on Ukrainian Scientists
Joseph Natoli
Who’s the Better Neoliberal?
Ron Jacobs
The Battle at Big Brown: Joe Allen’s The Package King
Wahid Azal
Class Struggle and Westoxication in Pahlavi Iran: a Review of the Iranian Series ‘Shahrzad’
David Crisp
After All These Years, Newspapers Still Needed
Graham Peebles
Hungry and Frightened: Famine in Ethiopia 2016
Robert Koehler
Opening the Closed Political Culture
Missy Comley Beattie
Waves of Nostalgia
Thomas Knapp
The Problem with Donald Trump’s Version of “America First”
Georgina Downs
Hillsborough and Beyond: Establishment Cover Ups, Lies & Corruption
Jeffrey St. Clair
Groove on the Tracks: the Magic Left Hand of Red Garland
Ben Debney
Kush Zombies: QELD’s Hat Tip to Old School Hip Hop
Charles R. Larson
Moby Dick on Steroids?
Alice Donovan
Cyberwarfare: Challenge of Tomorrow
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail