The Silence/Warning
Permanently
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Your Poem, Man...
How to Be a Poet
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Dear Reader
Kidnap Poem
Ars Poetica
Several Things
The Poet
Word
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How to Eat a Poem
Why I am a Poet
The New Poetry Handbook
A Loaf of Poetry
For Poets
Poet, Trying to Surprise God
Why I am Not a Painter
Apple that Astonished
Eating Poetry
A New Poet
How Can You Become Poet
Selecting a Reader
The Joy of Writing
Notes on the Art of Poetry
Why do Poets Write?
Glass
I Stop Writing the Poem
Poet's Corner
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THE BEST CIGARETTE



There are many that I miss
having sent my last one out a car window
sparking along the road one night, years ago.

The heralded one, of course:
after sex, the two glowing tips
now the lights of a single ship;
at the end of a long dinner
with more wine to come
and a smoke ring coasting into the chandelier;
or on a white beach,
holding one with fingers still wet from a swim.

How bittersweet these punctuations
of flame and gesture;
but the best were on those mornings
when I would have a little something going
in the typewriter,
the sun bright in the windows,
maybe some Berlioz on in the background.
I would go into the kitchen for coffee
and on the way back to the page,
curled in its roller,
I would light one up and feel
its dry rush mix with the dark taste of coffee.

Then I would be my own locomotive,
trailing behind me as I returned to work
little puffs of smoke,
indicators of progress,
signs of industry and thought,
the signal that told the nineteenth century
it was moving forward.
That was the best cigarette,
when I would steam into the study
full of vaporous hope
and stand there,
the big headlamp of my face
pointed down at all the words in parallel lines.


Billy Collins
A person is a fool to become a writer. His only compensation is absolute freedom.
~ Roald Dahl
An Obsessive Combination
Tasks
Teaching the Ape to Write
People Like Us
Man Writes Poem
Writing
poetry readings
The Silence
You Go to School to Learn
Dear Editor
The Trouble with Poetry
I Ask You
Excerpt
Rereading Frost
Home Fire
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The Trouble with Poetry - 2
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Sonnet
Poetics
Thesaurus
The Secret
Of Modern Poetry
live, on stage!
A Considerable Speck
The Best Cigarette
Digging
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