Pectoriloquy |


Elton Glaser, MFA
Author and Funding Information

Correspondence to: Elton Glaser, Akron, OH; e-mail: eglaser@uakron.edu

Editor's Note: The poet is the Distinguished Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Akron. He has won the Ohioana Book Award, two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, six fellowships from the Ohio Arts Council and has been included in The Best American Poetry 1997. While recuperating from surgery, “I couldn't continue my lifelong habit of smoking. But gradually I took it up again, as ‘Ceremony' indicates”.

—Michael Zack, MD, FCCP

Reproduction of this article is prohibited without written permission from the American College of Chest Physicians (www.chestjournal.org/misc/reprints.shtml).

Chest. 2009;135(2):583. doi:10.1378/chest.08-1707
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Five months after my divorce from tobacco,
I buy the first pack, tapping
Each one out
And sucking it down to the last reek
And bitter inch, until the air
Blurs to blue.
And soon it all comes back again–
The cough, the sour fingertips,
The charred lungs.
Maybe you can turn away from breathless love,
But not me. I marry my death
With smoke rings.




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