Smoke Ring is all about the relationship of a heroin addict to heroin. The poem is semi-pornographic, which is fitting because heroin creates an obscene relationship with the user. At the time I wrote this in 1972, I had a friend name Fox that was an extremely gifted artist and a heroin addict. He read the poem and said that it was pretty close for someone that didn’t do heroin. I told him that that was “close enough”.
The candlelight dances
on the silver spoon
borne in no mouth,
but cherished by many
as the candle of tranquility
and the substance of life.
There is no need
for other things or for you.
The sharp, happy pain
winks as the needle slides home;
big breath in, now wait…
slow sigh out.
Warm, wet, floating easy
into the arms of a lazy lover,
and The Lover smiles with you
like she is your very best friend.
But then you look closely and find
her teeth are all needles,
her tongue is a rubber tube,
and she screams feed me, fuck me, fill me.
You sweat, you smile, you ache, you cry
and then you hit the street
looking for the Candyman and hoping
that he won’t mind that you are a dollar short.
But, he does mind, and you only have the deposit
on six Coke bottles, you’d kill for a dime.
“Friend, spare change? Thank you.”
The candlelight dances on the silver spoon.
© Copyright 1972