Sometimes a Cigar is Just a Poem

Freud is famous for phallic tobacco,
though he said at times it’s simply not.
But maybe it’s more than a mass of leaves,
brown and oily as if born from dirt.
Take from the top shelf this tube, for instance.
“Carpe Noctem” is its clever name,
insisting thus that you seize the night.
’Tis a multicultural mix in a magic wand:
from Pennsylvania, a pungent maduro
broadleaf wrapper, with binder and filler
from southern soil in sunny Nicaragua.
It is carefully aged, through art and craft,
for excellence truly isn’t instantaneous.
A ritual begins this grand occasion:
one trims the cap (triple-layered)
and brings blue flame to burn the end.
Drawing deeply, a draught you’ll get
of a fragrant herb fit for the gods,
not the scentless smell of the sorry realm
that cigarettes inhabit. And so we find
the urge to quality and artful leisure
in this hour-long smoke, endlessly complex.
A varied bouquet develops continually:
earth, oak, coffee, anise, chocolate
leather, pepper, licorice, fruit,
and floral notes. Finding it all
would be a challenge. Better to soar
in these heights of quality, o’er a hell of quantity,
even if only at the odd occasion,
for sometimes a cigar, a symbol of potency,
is just a poem to enjoy with pleasure.


(For an Odian, Óðinn’s haging on Yggrasil is one of the most important cosmogonic events. Next week features a heathen poem on that theme. Meanwhile, you can read my poetic translation of the original tale.)

Copyright © 2017 Eirik Westcoat.
All rights reserved.


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