By Martin Bemberg

A ready-damned-made americano, iced:
Where’s the taste it ought to have?
And where’s my money back?
I’m a coward, cannot ask,
But this preparation is one I cannot swallow,
Except I do because it’s one of the fixes I tell myself I need.

And as for that other fix, the smoky one I recently decided I ought not have
After watching a video about how to mediate and live a real life –
This nicotine secession has spindled me from etching love-note verses,
From love and awe-struck lyric lines, all even in their length,
From what a wonderful world this is to what is this fucking thing I taste?
And all this irritation because my fingertips
And lungs secede from the smoke called poison.

It is day four without and they say that three’s the hump
That I must conquer if I’m to ween.
It’s been serene save certain aspects…
This cold coffee being one, conversation being two,
Not smoking cigarettes number three.

Tomorrow surely will I wake unchained and ecstatic
In a way I might could trust this time,
And an iced americano pulled pre-made from a fridge –
When everyone knows it ought not be (even you, barrister)
It might could seem not so much a tragedy,
And hell – if I’m feeling just that good, I might just
Clean out the car, do my wife’s laundry, read Moby Dick
Or learn French and translate The Plague in one day.


They all say three’s the day you have to get past,
And I did and I’m sitting here on day four and I’m still cranky
That they refrigerate their god damned espresso here –
Espresso…if that is your real name.

I feel the remnant toxins clinging to my insides, say,
“Fuck off, punks! You meddling kids!” because habits are for faggots
(As the kids these days likely never say, and really shouldn’t).

But damn it, with the pills in now, my sponge-mind’s pristine fog at hand,
It seems just meet and right to take one last and at last final drag
To celebrate and fare thee well, increased risk of every ailment known to man.

The problem is it turns to two, and three –
It’s on day three you kick the habit –  what a magic number for secession;
It’s on cig three that three becomes the magic digit too for relapse.

Three’s repeating in my mind like white vinyl’s number
For revolution back in 1968, and by God if I make it to
Number nine, number nine, number nine, number nine,
I’m three times more the failure.

I blame the drugs and cafés cutting corners for the here we go again.