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The Sacred in the Quotidian

Fall, 2005

Gene Berson

Filipine Snakes

You're goddamn right I expect you to smoke it!
Now you listen at this: that cigar's twisted up there like a dogturd on Hugo   
     Street but it ain't no such a thing.
The fact is, it smokes smooth as the Snow Queen's breath whispering outa
     The Sierra,
about springtime, when the snow starts to crack and slide ---
out onto the dried earth just before the clover
pops loose and gets to shakin in the wind under the bright sun.

That cigar's made in the filipines, where they got Bang-
Utot, that attacks a man's chest just before he gets set to dip his wick the
     First time.
I got this from Angelina Candelabra, when I was workin at the computer
     Center. She says that Bang-Utot 
is why they invented this style cigar, all twisted up like it is, and comin
     in a pack of three, like the holy trinity,
with a yellow ribbon tied around each end: the shape's
to take your mind off things for awhile, otherwise
the sexual urge inside a young man'll paralyze his lungs,
and he'll pertain to a nightmare, which is that he's chokin to death.

What it is is, there's a monkey sittin on his chest,
a She-monkey, meant to test him, and if he don't come-to and
yell out with his manhood cry, strong enough to crack loose
a ice-floe in the arctic (travelin by way of the San Andreas Fault, sheerin off
      just a little more of Point Reyes on the way)
his comin of age won't contribute to the turnin of the world
and he'll have all his blood vessels in his lungs
bust loose and drown his sorry ass --- which'll be the monkey's revenge
for all those times her sorrowful soul has had to witness
that monkey soup they make down there
with all the little hands floatin around in it.
All things has got to be avenged
in some way or other: so you got to smoke one of those cigars
clean down to the twist
and blow out with the prettiest thoughts you can imagine
so as the snow can drift between to the Filipines, through the etheric
astral id, and fill up the coconuts with white meat for the monkeys to eat,
which'll be earmarked as having come from your own soul,
bein as how you wished it out through your own breath:
if you do that, things'll go alright on your honeymoon night;
otherwise, you're a goner --- so go on and smoke that cigar
wishin good thoughts as you blow, so as you learn the difference
between a habit and a ritual.