Pessimist Poetry’s Foreword: Poem for Smoking

This poem for smoking stems from a personal experience that I’ve had. Nearly two years ago I took up smoking cigars as an occasional indulgence. With recent events in my life and an incredibly stressful job/home life, what was once an occasional indulgence quickly turned into a common routine I started performing every day after work. I’m aware that cigars are incredibly unhealthy, especially when consumed every day, but I continued doing it even though I’m aware of the consequences. While I’ve taken steps to cut back and have started managing my stress better instead of smoking as a temporary solution, I can’t help but think of other people who are so far down the rabbit hole that they couldn’t stop even if they wanted to. Addiction comes in various guises and is armed with quite the assortment of weapons; smoking is just one way that people get caught in an addictive vice.

Pump this body with your toxin,

slowly killing yourself day in and day out despite the consequences

Starting off as the occasional indulgence

but addiction’s serenade song lured better men into deeper waters

Want transitioned into a need and insatiable craving,

even as chemicals altar brain chemistry and feast upon finite strands of DNA

The damage is permanent,

an ode to the cripple who lost his independence

Forever a slave to substance in a trajectory toward tragedy

What’s even more tragic is the awareness reflected in the light of eyes slowly glossing over again and again.


Pessimist Poetry’s Afterword: Poem for Smoking

“The true face of smoking is disease, death and horror – not the glamour and sophistication the pushers in the tobacco industry try to portray.” -David Byrne

What did you think of this poem for smoking? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!