let there be light

by May 21, 2015 0 comments

One lousy packet exchange
and I knew it was going to be
a long semester;
he busted my ass for writing
“lighted a cigarette”—

“it’s lit,” he wrote. “lit!” “lit!” “lit!”

For whatever reason
this really seemed to piss him off,
perhaps he was having
a bad day,
problems with the wife
or maybe my short story
had put him in a foul mood.

I thought about standing
my ground,
telling him that Patricia Highsmith,
whom I admired
a hell of a lot more than him,
often used
“lighted a cigarette”—

But I didn’t want to start any shit
with the guy;
what with student loans and all
he pretty much had me
by the balls.

So I changed every
“lighted” to “lit”
per his request,
printed up the revised copy
and slid it in a 9×12
manila envelope.

Then I kicked back
on the sofa,
cracked open a cold beer
and
lighted a cigarette.

– Ben Newell

editors note:

Editor’s eye-candy, this. Ben tossed us this tasty bone – we bighted. – mh clay

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