Morning Cigar


Morning Cigar


        A cigar first thing’s no good, yes I know: No, Doc,

        I’ve never understood what I’m doing to myself.

        But coffee alone can’t pry me out of this ragged sleep,

        push, tilt me toward today.


        The spurting match alarms at this gray hour whose

        quiet anticipation isn’t fit for such sinister fumbling,

        acrid curl snaking to sting nose and eyes to attention,

        shock the blinking mind awake.


         The one I light this evening will be more appropriate,

         though, more normal, another scheduled, poisonous

         reward well-earned by today endured, its only rub 

         another fitful night to come.



James Patrick


James Patrick is a retired English teacher, now an adjunct college instructor of speech communication and film. In 1999 I shopped a 40-page rebuttal of Roger Shattuck’s dismissive chapter on Albert Camus (and Melville) in his “Forbidden Knowledge” (St. Martin’s, 1996). Editors were supportive and encouraging but passed, mostly on its “book review” feel, but also perhaps because it was critical of a major academician, a taboo as I later learned from an insider. Ah.  Ariel Chart is his first professional credit   


  1. "The spurting match alarms at this gray hour" Marvelous

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