smoking is cool

22Mar10

I am going to admit to a bit of privilege here.

My dad’s little sister has high-class tastes. She owns a country house in East Hampton, and sometimes when she goes away, I get to borrow it. Yeah, yeah, the Hamptons, I KNOW. But it’s honestly one of my favorite places on earth – a comfortable house to spread out in, a short drive to the beach, and best of all: free laundry.

Amazing, right?

Solitude is a privilege of its own. When I was 24 I went off into the world with my camera and a backpack, and spent about four months in South Asia not talking to anyone. I learned a lot on that trip about self-reliance and my own peculiar rhythms. So now sometimes, if I’ve been building up some deep thoughts, I need to go off by myself and work through it. And I’m lucky to have opportunities to take that space.

So last week I was experiencing a bit of heartbreak and needed some time to get my head around it, make some bad art, figure it out. And my beloved auntie was going off on vacation and offered me the use of her house. I am lucky to have the kind of job where taking a couple spontaneous vacation days is generally not a big deal. Lots of things to be grateful for. Plus the beaches are empty in the Hamptons in March, and you know, it’s really gorgeous out here.  (there’s a reason why the rich people like it so much.)

I didn’t have much of a plan beyond “LEAVE BROOKLYN/WORK IT OUT” but I trusted I would figure it out. On the way out I stopped by my parents house and picked up their old typewriter. It turns out this was just was I needed.

Friends, don’t stop believing that you will outgrow your teenage selves. I just spent three days writing poetry – I AM ROLLING MY EYES TOO – and believe it or not, it was just what I needed to feel like my nice whole normal self again. I haven’t opened my laptop til this morning, because the sound of the typewriter has been so gratifyingly enough.

I am trying to use this blog to honestly chart my artistic progress, which means I need to mark this dubious achievement for the record. Most of these shlocky poems will never see the light of day, but here is the least emo of the bunch.

*

WHY I LOVE SMOKING

It slows you down.

Tobacco dried and elegantly wrapped in its paper casing
White until your inhaled flame evaporates it.

Like a cup of tea you breathe not sip.

Pause, stop.
It buys you time to think,
Run through the channels of your mind to see where they lead.

In the end, the smoke releases you,
You are lighter, airier, rested.

To the two little boys collecting feathers on the beach:

Listen good.

Do not believe those posters with their brown lungs and blackened teeth.

Smoking is cool.

It brings you closer to yourself,
to what is deliberate and thoughtful,
what is spacious and clean,
to what is sacred.

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