Nicotine Sonnet

PJ Christie has written a song using lyrics adapted from a poem by yours truly.

Here is the original version:

Nicotine Sonnet

When we met you smoked
Salem Lights, I think,
And your breath would stink
so bad that I choked.
Then one October night
I lit up
a Lucky Strike.
I don’t know what
Possessed me
To rip the filter off.
Now each time I cough
You bitch at me.

You quit cold turkey the
Day you smelled my breath.

You can listen to PJ’s song here. Ironically, PJ’s lyrical modifications mean that (despite the title) it’s no longer a true sonnet. But it’s a better song.

By weird coincidence I was contacted by Vince Gotera on the same day PJ posted the song online. Twenty-odd years ago, I took Vince’s class in formal poetry, and that’s where I wrote “Nicotine Sonnet.” Vince was one of those teachers who seemed like a mentor and a friend; even though I don’t write much poetry these days, I still feel like the lessons from that class stay with me. It’s great to hear from Vince again after many years. I guess Facebook is good for something after all.

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