a poetry e-zine










Poems By Chris Butler

Contagious Cancer


I am a cancer cell,

intending to spoil

the whole bunch

by back-stroking down

the blood stream with

lymph fluids, while

establishing colonies in

the composting colon and

expanding real-estate

prostate space above a

towering tumor on the

left testicle, just to

lounge around the lungs

and be exhaled onto the

apex of the nervous system,

before spreading out

to this epidermis surface,

exposing my true self.


(Previously published by Zygote in my Coffee)






When a Pregnant Woman Reads the Surgeon General’s Warning


(Previously entitled “Lucky”)


The upside-down brown cylinder sits

amongst the rows of circular white filters.

I slowly slide it beyond the gold foil,

and my fingertips raise the cigarette

to its resting position between my lips.

I flip the lid on my shiny silver Zippo,

and as my calice-laced thumb rubs the wheel,

it sparks the flint that combusts the charred wick.

The flaming orange cherry bursts the tip

in a cancerous cloud of crackling steam,

as inhalation lunges against my lungs.

I round my mouth so swirls of smoke

spiral in disintegrating circles into the sky.

The ash drags along the paper and tobacco,

until I flick it with a snap of my wrist

and watch as dust drifts with the wind.

Once the glow reaches the cotton butt,

I drop it to the cold concrete and snuff it out

with my moccasin, extinguishing the smoldering light,

knowing I will decompose long before the remains.


(Previously published by Opium Poetry 2.0)



Chris Butler is a twentysomething nobody shouting from the Quiet Corner of Connecticut.

Copyright 2011  Chantarelle's Notebook