# 87: bakhtin's smoking habits

“There is also M. M. Bakhtin, the Russian critic and literary philosopher. During the German invasion of Russia in World War 2, he smoked the only copy of one of his manuscripts, a book-length study of German fiction that had taken him years to write. One by one, he took the pages of his manuscript and used the paper to roll his cigarettes, each day smoking a little more of the book until it was gone.”
     Paul Auster, The New York Trilogy

unwrote rolled smoked
each page vanity daubed
as air guitar
put in
168 hits in 0.07 seconds
like a trooper my wife said
holed in the brown room
visitors virtuous in gas masks
one leg gone not a problem after all
nowhere to run     to
work/world dialogue self-enclosed
name jokes done
I eat those words
what's more important
when you're going to die
a good book or a good smoke?
turgenev's     tolstoy's
then mine     rolled like rizlas
german fiction 1880-1939
backwards to the titlepage