Fathom 1987



Inside Cover



Paul Keen (2)
Paula Alexiadis
Alex Gigeroff
Nicholas Strachan (3)
Joe Blades (6)
Kathy Mac (5)
Jesse Tremaine
Gina M. Beaton (2)
Roy W. McLean (2)
Stephanie Stewart
Simonetta Lanzi
John Blackmore
Robin Sarafinchan
Paul Doucette
Lisa Wentzell


John Blackmore



Some Cigarettes: A Collection


“Burnt out ends of smoky days...”
                                   T.S. Eliot

It was three o’clock.
I would’ve sold my soul for another pack of Camels.
Three left, seventeen
dead in ashtrays, glasses or thrown to their fate
out my only window.

A blue haze overcast the room.
My desk-lamp was discomfortable.
yearning to hang over a pool-table.
I wanted to hang over each word whispered
by an unassuming and sensual woman.

I lit a cigarette and stared at the book again.
The words blurred, reading in code.
Perhaps she will come to me tonight;
a drag on the cig to fill my mind
with nicotine imaginings.
Time and noise slumbered
and I know she did as well;
lying innocence in her warmth, alone
and I reeling in a lonely cold.
The last inhale of filtre burning
left its taste instead of hers.

It was four o’clock.
My eyes kept falling out.

The door knocked.
I was ready to sell
or sleep...

On a Wall Near the Trains

If only you were a cigarette
     I could hold in my hand.
I wouldn’t need a whole pack, just one.
I’d draw on you gently, like the last
                          before bed.

You could be a bottle of wine, not one
     I can’t say;
but I’d proudly drink not from the bag,
     cuddle the glass on a Janus night:
We’d sleep together under the Star.

I don’t want you to be anything of gold.
Maybe some black coffee in an old cup,
     the kind I clasp to warm my hands.
I’d like that
I really would.
If only you were
     where you could see me.
                  I don’t ask much.

And They Burn Out

A last inhale
and kill the cigarette
into the mass grave of his family.
My mouth tasting like a filtre,
I lie, head basking
in waves of a now-dead effect.

The ceiling
a body-length from my face
as the tiles with infinite
little holes focused and unfocused,
bounded and boundless,
the room.

The mouse
caged at my feet
keeps flailing its wheel
which squeaks a mocking rodent voice.
Going nowhere but trying, hoping,
it approaches exhaustion –
physical death,
yet a noctambulous mind
gazing upon Ceiling
and Rope.


last updated August 17, 2007 | © 2007 Fathom Publishing
poetry, prose, and artwork © individual authours | website created by Alana Paul