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.

More articles by:
July 27, 2016
Peter Lee
Trumputin! And the DNC Leak(s)
Ann Garrison
Rwanda, the Clinton Dynasty, and the Case of Dr. Léopold Munyakazi
Brett Warnke
Storm Clouds Over Philly
Chris Zinda
Snakes of Deseret
July 26, 2016
Andrew Levine
Pillory Hillary Now
Kshama Sawant
A Call to Action: Walk Out from the Democratic National Convention!
Russell Mokhiber
The Rabble Rise Together Against Bernie, Barney, Elizabeth and Hillary
Jeffrey St. Clair
Don’t Cry For Me, DNC: Notes From the Democratic Convention
Angie Beeman
Why Doesn’t Middle America Trust Hillary? She Thinks She’s Better Than Us and We Know It
Paul Street
An Update on the Hate…
Fran Shor
Beyond Trump vs Clinton
Ellen Brown
Japan’s “Helicopter Money” Play: Road to Hyperinflation or Cure for Debt Deflation?
Richard W. Behan
The Banana Republic of America: Democracy Be Damned
Binoy Kampmark
Undermining Bernie Sanders: the DNC Campaign, WikiLeaks and Russia
Arun Gupta
Trickledown Revenge: the Racial Politics of Donald Trump
Sen. Bernard Sanders
What This Election is About: Speech to DNC Convention
David Swanson
DNC Now Less Popular Than Atheism
Linn Washington Jr.
‘Clintonville’ Reflects True Horror of Poverty in US
Deepak Tripathi
Britain in the Doldrums After the Brexit Vote
Louisa Willcox
Grizzly Threats: Arbitrary Lines on Political Maps
Robert J. Gould
Proactive Philanthropy: Don’t Wait, Reach Out!
Victor Grossman
Horror and Sorrow in Germany
Nyla Ali Khan
Regionalism, Ethnicity, and Trifurcation: All in the Name of National Integration
Andrew Feinberg
The Good TPP
400 US Academics
Letter to US Government Officials Concerning Recent Events in Turkey
July 25, 2016
Sharmini Peries - Michael Hudson
As the Election Turns: Trump the Anti-Neocon, Hillary the New Darling of the Neocons
Ted Rall
Hillary’s Strategy: Snub Liberal Democrats, Move Right to Nab Anti-Trump Republicans
William K. Black
Doubling Down on Wall Street: Hillary and Tim Kaine
Russell Mokhiber
Bernie Delegates Take on Bernie Sanders
Quincy Saul
Resurgent Mexico
Andy Thayer
Letter to a Bernie Activist
Patrick Cockburn
Erdogan is Strengthened by the Failed Coup, But Turkey is the Loser
Robert Fisk
The Hypocrisies of Terror Talk
Lee Hall
Purloined Platitudes and Bipartisan Bunk: An Adjunct’s View
Binoy Kampmark
The Futility of Collective Punishment: Russia, Doping and WADA
Nozomi Hayase
Cryptography as Democratic Weapon Against Demagoguery
Cesar Chelala
The Real Donald Trump
Julian Vigo
The UK’s Propaganda Machinery and State Surveillance of Muslim Children
Denis Conroy
Australia: Election Time Blues for Clones
Marjorie Cohn
Killing With Robots Increases Militarization of Police
David Swanson
RNC War Party, DNC War Makers
Eugene Schulman
The US Role in the Israeli-Palestine Conflict
Nauman Sadiq
Imran Khan’s Faustian Bargain
Peter Breschard
Kaine the Weepy Executioner
Weekend Edition
July 22, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
Good as Goldman: Hillary and Wall Street
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail