The Odd Trio | Quitting

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United States - Georgia

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Jazz: Weird Jazz Spoken Word: Poetry Moods: Mood: Brooding
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by The Odd Trio

In the spirit of Charles Mingus's Scenes in the City, we have created an accompaniment to Jason Mosser's poem "Quitting."
Genre: Jazz: Weird Jazz
Release Date: 

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1. Quitting
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Album Notes
Jason Mosser


Smoke smoke smoke that cigarette
Puff puff puff it till you smoke yourself to death
Tell St. Peter at the Golden Gate
That you hate to make him wait
But you gotta have just one more cigarette
--Merle Travis and Tex Williams

Because cigarettes are walls
smokescreens between
where you’re going and where you’ve been

Because to smoke means not to do
Because smoking is not-doing
Because smoking becomes doing
Because quitting smoking means
doing things you didn’t do before
because you were smoking

Because smoking regulates doing
after meals or on the phone
the delayed gratification
the tedious repetition
of reaching for pack & striking lighter
lighting paper & dried tobacco
sucking smoke & blowing clouds
sucking in & blowing out
sucking in & blowing out
the systole and diastole
of nicotine junk habit

Because you don’t smoke cigarettes
Cigarettes smoke you
Your heart & your lungs
Your kidneys & liver
soaked in smoke &
toked & coked &
cloaked in smoke

To smoke or not to smoke
To smoke or to be smoked
Do not send to know for whom
the cigarette smokes
It smokes for thee
It smokes for nicotine junkie

Because of the nausea
the nicotine dizziness
Because smoking closes valves
causes heart to flutter
fibrillate blacken and die
Because it blackens the lungs
the esophagal sphincter
yellows the teeth
causes mouth cancer
lung cancer
breast cancer
bladder cancer
stomach cancer
cancer cancer
cancer cancer

Because smoking is putting a pistol
to your head as in Russian Roulette
each cigarette a chamber clicking
Click Click

Because no matter how
James Dean it is
no matter how rebel
how Garbo how noir
it is, it is still true
that Bogart died of lung cancer

Because tobacco death merchants
hooked me & maybe hooked you too
on nicotine junk
Nicotine death squads
hook teens on Sickorettes
hook those Nico-Teens
on Sickotine
Child psychologists
invent cartoon characters
to hook those Sicko-teens
Joe Camel pimps corporate sick-o-teen

Because cigarettes are slave drivers
Because smoking means selling self into slavery
to J.R. Reynolds and Jesse Helms
who push the poison, nicotine poison
who suck green blood from nicotine poison
who tear the fat from the cancerous carcass
Because smoking feeds on its own junkie sickness
self-consuming like the flame feeding
on what consumes it to self-extinction

Because of my stepfather
whose trail of butts and ashes
littered my adolescence
my stepfather whose heart
fluttered fibrillated blackened and died
everyday of his not-doing-because-smoking life
sucking skinny little death sticks
sucking death sucking it in
dragging death through the door
dragging it day after year
his brown bony emaciated body
like the silly little millimeter longer
cigarette he smoked smoked smoked
till he smoked himself to death

I see him standing, pleading with St. Pete,
bargaining right outside the Golden Gate
He’s asking, Do I have to go just yet?
I sure would like just one more cigarette


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