Tag Archives: cigarettes



Afternoon At The Flathouse


pd lyons


Open air

Cobble street,

Church bell rhapsody


Well worn doors

Rough stone walls

Into secret corners

Undisturbed as dust


In the Company of Woodbines

Waiting the slow pour

Of a pint



alone along the border line, ruff by pd lyons


alone along the border line
cigarette struggles

her finger tips
pale lips
naked throat
moving through fields
between snow
holes where there is still water

deep within
heavy heat awakens
her lover’s name.

now when all the west is orange
clouds race black across
ask in voices lent by  winds of winter
do you
do you
do you
through the taste of midnight
into the wound of sunrise
until the evening sparkles into dawn
even when the day light spreads out broad
do you
do you
do you
still believe

and on a double edge of sacred steel,
her own voice met by  winds of winter,
she answers




Three Texaco Ruffs by pd Lyons


There was this guy and his wife. They ran a Texaco service station in town. Their home was just behind the pumps and a two bay garage. Sometimes they’d sell Joey and me tickets when they weren’t going, face value box seat season holders since before the monuments. One of them would always pump the gas, no self service in those days, check under the hood? Checked the oil, front left looks a little low why don’t you drive over? We’ll fill it. We were just seventeen or eighteen, both of them were white haired and not yet feeble. But  his face and neck had been corkscrewed pinks and reds. And one of his hands, pearl wax white wrung out like rubber a glove still twisted. One day we asked her and she explained someone had pulled in for a fill up, tossed a lit cigarette while he was pumping. They used to have perfect triangle pine trees at either end of the house and across the street instead of a highway was the entrance to an eighty acre city park, fountains, formal rose gardens, small stone bridges arched over clear running streams.


Years later another town another Texaco full service or self. Used to get my truck worked on, watched while I’d wait, his little girl and boy playing around in the driveway sometimes ride their tricycles. Now its a Mobil station and you can still get gas, no choice but to pump it your self and if you want; hot dogs, tacos, donuts, newspapers, coffee, lotto, butter, milk, eggs and you can still get a pack of Marlboro if you want to. And if any kid played in the drive way now? They’d probably get run over.


Back in the day when I first met this girl she told me about how she and a friend had plans for robbing a gas station. A full service Texaco, this one on the way out of town, run by an old fellow plenty of cash from travelers to New Haven. He was really old and lived in a trailer behind the pumps stayed open ’til after dark. I’m certain I talked her out of it, we talked of other things instead like getting married and living without our families, she became my first wife and as they say one mans saving is another mans hell or I guess you’d have to say purgatory




God Lights a Cigarette, by pdlyons


God Lights a Cigarette

On the wood, shadows. Down the
windows, hazy through the drapes
spills the rain. The night,
curving rolling with motion still
whispers with winters needley lips
everything is passing through me.

There is you with your joy – me,
I’m trying to find depressions,
though I’m not sure what I feel.
You are magic mingling essences –
I am day dreaming on physical matters…
my lamp flickers with distress,
it moves the room with my voice:
help me
I’m drowning,

To be born of your music,
in your magic my life blooms,
my thoughts, words – dissolve into
rich emotions tuned to immortality.

Lost in the lighting of a match,
in between the space and flame –
I become the sparkle in your eyes,
then I return…
Slowly I am returned,
I am the gold ring in your ear –
the unnoticed sensation.
You are cosmic and I am waiting
for the next match.


With regards to Dennis Greig Editor, Lapwing, Belfast – sorry for spelling your name wrong earlier.

Snowing – From Salamanders, by pd Lyons


The black bird skims the tree the river the rocks and into sky is gone. It is snowing in May. The other day 80 degrees, now, since this morning a strange and beautiful sight, delicate greens of spring – lilacs in bloom, maples in red and the powdery puffs of sparkling white white snow so white. Among the deep rich earth colours of spring – a winter thief. Birds singing snow falling. Its snowing in May and we have to get down to the shop and buy a battery for the car so we can try and sell it. Snowing in May. The car that since we bought it months ago probably only ran right for a few days was fixed and still not right was fixed again and again so to sell it we have to get it jumped hopefully make it to the shop buy a new battery and get it running long enough to sell it so we can get some cash towards buying another with. The baby is sleeping. I wanted to paint today; so far nothing has come of that. I wanted to do a water-colour dancer wet down the paper let the colour mingle disperse, vanish and coagulate, to dance into a dancer. I did not expect snow in May in fact I expected it to be sunny that’s why I planned to paint I was not ready for this day and am in no mood to paint unless the sun comes out, especially with this car thing hanging. My wife tells me all I do is waste my time; all I do is write, paint, read, fish. What else is there to do? And oh yes always want to make love. My wife says all I do is a waste of time. Maybe if I worked fifty hours a week and spent the rest of my time watching TV she’d be happy? I don’t know though sometimes the girl strikes me as one who will never be happy. It’s snowing in May, my wife doesn’t talk she doesn’t know how. I ask her what she wants, she doesn’t know. I ask her why she’s unhappy and what we can do to fix it, nothing. She says she isn’t unhappy. When I ask her then why are you always mad and complaining she gets mad and complains that it’s just the way she is.

It’s snowing in May and I wish I wasn’t married to someone who doesn’t know what they want and I wish I could be gone even dead. I wish it wasn’t snowing and I didn’t have to live in constant tension. I wish I was free and in a new met lovers arms and I wish I had someone else to tell my dreams besides this machine of type. This type of machine that has heard more of my voice than any human ear. So does this machine make me one more victim of the modern age? If not for the invention of the cigarette and the typewriter, I would have no one to talk to!

It’s snowing in May and the machines are winning and the type of machine doesn’t matter only it’s a machine, the only dreams are told to a machine, my only intimate a machine, the only peace is the sound of machine pounding order, pounding everything into order, the order driving me insane is shorting my circuits, is making me die – I wouldn’t be surprised.

I am pouring cocaine into the nasal opening of this machine, cocaine the perfect lubricant making all run smooth smooth smooth no grinding smooth no squeaking smooth no pressure pounding, smooth cocaine cool soft so perfect lubricant. Not like the machine dehumanizer, cocaine the humaniser, cocaine the bringer of dreams, dreams no machine can dream.


It’s snowing in May and the baby is in his walker playing with a magazine while I am having black coffee. We take turns the child and I. He comes over to my work table, finds the basket of papers and water colours and is pulling on a picture that looks like an Indian Chief but at first was going to be a young woman, he chews it the background of ultramarine blue smears across his little face leaving his saliva splotches in the upper left hand corner makes it our painting. Now he is playing with my cigarette pack which he is always attracted to … so anyway that’s the story of how my son became an artist before even being able to walk, his very saliva worked into the painting.

It’s still snowing in May the whole world gone crazy, the flowers, the birds, my wife, the motorists in the highway, the whole river-fish-animal-plant-mineral thing is hay-wire and me and my son are having a ball making each other laugh painting writing laughing even at the snow, forgetting everything we ever learned I become the infant and he remains infinitely wise. We are having orgasmic experience here and now – being human, being working here and now we enjoy the good work of being alive. He with his water-colour blue beard, brave little fingers grabbing with delight the bells, the beads, the cigarette pack, and the paint tubes of the world. Me cigarette in mouth fingers cracking away grabbing too at my own life as he is as we are as the rest of the world isn’t quite as absurd anymore since it’s snowing in May – still.

( 1977 )


POST SCRIPTS ( After a year and a day of Pearl Harbour) by pd lyons

photographer unknown

photographer unknown

After a year and a day of Pearl Harbour
Your eyes would be this blue….


Should I sit here on the street?
Haven’t I had enough of streets?
All my life, hasn’t that been enough?
Inside, the safety of the cafe is
Like a tomb, full of concrete and steel.
So I sit on the street side, eat from un- labelled tins,
Tired of everything.
What pearls?
Only swine.
What tombs?
Only wet cardboard bodies.
Sucked into the current.


Paradise is not so very far from this.


Remember, she sat on the White Stone Bridge
Talking about how she and another woman,
Both singing, both draped in doves, stood above Mount Fuji.
Appropriately deified
By waiting photographers,
Black and white
Yet attempting to fly.


Remember, you losing your way
In Frisco over some slick little penis,
Piercing your armour with its determined
Burrowing motion only to slip out with a whimper,
Leaving you to know – you should have known better.
Later, out on the veranda, squatting over
An enameled basin, your hands a smear full of pleasure
Needing nothing then from any man.


After a year and a day,
My thoughts snake until broken
Stream along that gentle surf
Deserted now except by occasional reptiles
Come to feed on whatever it is they find attractive
Here in the harbour of lost cities –
I walk alone accidentally remembering
What lovers?
What ambitions?
What crimes?
Against what humanity?
These haunt my waking hours
Run rampant through my sleep.
Although these days it’s difficult to tell the difference,
Like yesterday or what may have been a yesterday,
Was that really someone on the beach? Someone running?
My pursuit sucked away by sand until I’m spinning.


So what happens?
After a year and a day of pearl Harbour
How can I tell?
The days
The sleep


Sometimes I make believe your pastel messages from Europe, still come.
I spend hours writing back
Drop you a line
Over the Arizona.


Once I hid your letters all over the place
So after forgetting where they were I’d accidentally find them
Sometimes I still do – find them.
They are the real ghosts here.


Run rope against my skin. Stick myself with things.
Lay in the sun until reassured by burns.
It got that difficult to tell –
Alive or dead? Asleep, awake?
For a while these things mattered
But now, no longer into pain
I mostly keep to the shade.
So sometimes are those sails on the horizon?
Trails of smoke as if from ship?
I don’t know. Maybe I am just dreaming,
Just waiting for news from the mainland,
Just waiting for the phone to wake me up.
After a year and a day of Pearl Harbour,
You know, I really don’t give a fuck
Either way there’s 9,227 cigarettes to go

~~~~~~~z z z
~~~~~~~ e e e
~~~~~~~ r r r
PPS xxx- ooo





Original version as published by The Legendary (May 20, 2010. Issue 17.)

Also appears in Myths Of Multiplicity, by Erbacce Press, Liverpool

When I Lived On West Main, by pd lyons

When I Lived On West Main

When I lived on west main street
third floor Victorian
Short walk for the liquor store past a little unnamed park
Not too far from down town

landlords’ cousins on the first floor
Stole my unemployment checks
put sugar in the gas tank
and I don’t know why

We had a Great Dane, brindle dog
got a cut on the end of his tail
And no matter what we did
He’d wag the bandage off.
Going up and down the stairs, hit the railings
Drops of blood splatter
As if his name was Jackson.

we bought a parrot
called em Caesar
Filled the living room with plants
And let him fly around.

Got oil lamps to save on electricity.
Tall hurricane lamps,
Scented oil glowed in every room.
Tall well screened widows let the sky in.
Wood floors creaked waltzed all night by ghosts.

I went to work in a toy shop.
I was happy about the baby.
Still painted. Still wrote every day.
Still thought I knew who we were.
It was the place where I’d smoke cigarettes,
As much as I wanted up into the middle of the night,
In that rocking chair your grandmother used to own.
Out over the roof tops, streaming lights, distant highways,
Weight of endless summer in the dark.




The Bicycle Thief of Hamburg, by pd lyons





The Bicycle Thief Of Hamburg

The bicycle thief of Hamburg has no arms.

She sits in the lobby waiting before the ballet

Smoking filtered cigarettes, which she holds

 between her toes  (her boots lined with

Dark wool so she needn’t wear any socks.


After the ballet would be her time;

From midnight to dawn,

She charms bicycles from their chains.

Freeing them from railings and fences,

From street poles and the bumpers of parked cars.


They would follow her, the bicycles of Hamburg,

Like children after a pied – piper. Then later in

The morning she’d walk, alone, those same streets

Just to see people standing with nothing

But an empty chain in their hands, where they had

Expected a bicycle.


And that was then

The true reason for her actions,

For at that moment

So as to hide her laughter,

She would forget herself and

Wish for arms.




( Sylvester day, West Germany, 1982 )


recently found this in an old  Connecticut magazine called Hobo Jungle. i seemed to have not had it on files anywhere else. It was published in autumn 1990 issue under the name i was using at the time : Djanet Tozeur. It was one of several pieces that they published during the early nineties. the cool thing was that they actually sent a check for each publication. my first paid for poetry! always liked them for that as well. they do not exist anymore and so for the first time in cyber world here you go the Bicycle Thief of Hamburg – a real person.





Calling It Love, a poem by pd lyons

back in 1985 i spent a month in Hamburg. it was January and it was one of the coldest ever. this is a poem from then

Calling It Love

Black Sea, palm tree dreams,

recorded Springsteen’s Badlands,

philosophic gift to a lover

borrowed from your room mate,

when you lived on a street named for lanterns.

Wrapped in your long black coat,

cross the city underground,

through heavy draped doorways,

nuzzle into smoke, and hot grog.

timeless sailors, reluctant to approach,

as if they knew something steel hidden in your pocket.

The last time you were here –

making cigarettes for a lover

borrowed from your room mate.

conversation a blur. Cinema forgotten,

unburdened in a room above the kiosk.

all sense of betrayal excused by adventure…

Next morning, walking home

dry steel footsteps echo,

as even you found yourself

believing in what you knew was not

and calling it love.

for cordula


Maiden Lane, poetry by pd lyons


Maiden Lane

spoon-fed in the dark room

draped by butterfly hands

angels tiptoe all around

curling quiet across the bed

behind sunglasses and cups of old coffee

home to lands edge from the sea

the city stirs a brown wrapped overcoat

with room for damp cigarettes

and no place else to go

among the 4 A.M.’s.


down the block of slow return lean

one last quarter into the viewer

and there as far away as

possible, the rusted Dutch

freighter makes its way through

another sleepless night

like rain.


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