on the page magazine

issue no. 1, winter 2000–2001
outsiders & community



by Julia Bloch

You can't smoke here,
which is hard on me
and Sherman. They can see
how we miss the fear

or the soft white care.
Even though it makes me sick
I miss it so. The blunt lick,
the red. The ash. The dare.

The curl against my metal
gate, measuring the day.
Smoking makes me more fey.
The filter is post-coital—

no one talks about sitting with
the extinguished, the one pith.

Julia Bloch has studied poetry at the Iowa Writers' Workshop and playwriting at the Playwrights' Center in Minneapolis. Julia lives in San Francisco, California, and is pursuing an MFA at Mills College.

poet's note
When studying political philosophy, I was always most compelled by the salient question of how an individual lives in community. I've begun to think about this question in the context of poetics—especially in terms of narrative, form, and a speaker who feels like an outsider.

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