A Good Cause
Feature Author Pamela Erens
Feature Artist: The Adventures of Max
Poetry II
Poetry III
Cigar Lounge
Zinta's Reviews
J. Conrad's Reviews
Skye's Reviews
Submission Guidelines
Links & Resources
The Editors

Welcome graphic

A fine cigar and good literaturetwo of life’s most enduring pleasures.”

The fresh innocence of a child’s face … follow the adventures of little man Max across our pages and let his wonder remind you: life can be a joy. In the squishiness of soupy pumpkin seeds, in a bin filled with blushing apples, jumping into a pile of leaves, or bathing in cool mud. A child’s joy can be maintained throughout our lives if we remember but one rule—to treat others as we would have them treat us.

“A Good Cause” features an essay by Alyssa Nogaski, raising awareness about human trafficking. We are none of us free if one of us is a slave. Somewhere else? Think again. The United States is trafficking in human beings every day. Learn more, get involved, make a difference.

As always, our pages are filled with poetry, fiction, nonfiction that bring to light the experiences of a few, or of many. Pamela Erens, our feature author, talks to us about searching for our spiritual twin, and about the understory of The Understory, a novel you must read. Trust me, you must. The Cigar Lounge goes beyond the usual cigar review—this time, it’s the cigar experience.

Read, think, take it in. Then, bite into an apple. Hide in a pile of leaves. There is so much we must change. But never at the cost of missing out the joy all around us.

With a good word,

Zinta Aistars


The Smoking Poet


The Smoking Poet—Fall Issue 2009

Issue #12



“Picking them does not mean Max is happy. Plump, ripe to take. Ready? Look – one has a bad spot.”


Book Reviews

13 1/2 by Nevada Barr

The Bridge, Stories by Jeff Vande Zande

Cracked: Timeless Topics Of Nature, Courage and Endurance, poetry by Alice Shapiro

The Crying Tree by Naseem Rakha

Deaf American Poetry – An Anthology, John Lee Clark, Editor

Full Bloom: The Art and Life of Georgia OKeeffe by Hunter Drohojowska-Philp

Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn

The Song is You by Arthur Phillips

Stains, poetry by Lori A. May

The Understory by Pamela Erens (feature author)






Cigar Lounge

Cigars, Memories of Dad and Regret by J. Conrad Guest

Desert Smoke by Allen Taylor

El Rey Del Mundo Olvidados, cigar review






In a dappled grove of oak and pine that pushes the Manistee away in a sweeping peninsular bend, a swift meandering game of hide and seek below steep bluffs, Max whispers because the river whispers.



Cover your eyes! He’s making a scary face. The train inches through a town all brown and grey. He emits his own vibrancy.

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