Tobacco, that is—roll your own.
A pouch was cheap, gummed papers.
Got thirty cigs from a pouch, good
enough taste—no chemicals.
Roll ‘em tight so they’d go out
when you forgot them left
in an ashtray where some head
would think they were a joint
and inhale a surprise—everyone
carried a lighter or matches.
The inside liner of the paper pouch
had silver foil on one side and
you could unfold it and smooth
it out and the white backside
made a fine piece of permanent
parchment for writing poems that
refolded could withstand all the
tribulations of life on the road
stuck in a backpack with what
was left of the rest of your life.
Only, the paper was not that big
so that after time enough
living out of that backpack
the lines of my poems grew
shorter, like this.