One mile off, scent the endless cigarette,
perfect product: the crop we grow to burn.
Night and day, the staff arrive to set
new paper rolls on spindles, which then turn
to take the cut tobacco as it drops
into the deepening ocean of production.
A filter falls in. Glue seals. A blade chops
both ends. And all so quick that every function
is a blur. The aroma of those millions
made every day floats into every scene:
the muted tones of offices, the brilliance
of toilets, halls, stairwells and staff canteen.
Watch them light up, these glimmering rods, the rolled-up notes of the high net-worth gods.
Born in 1970 and brought up in Aylesbury, Noon has been based in Berlin since the early ’90s. He is an editor of No Man's Land, publishing contemporary German writing in English translation, and has worked as a language teacher, in hospital administration, and most recently as a legal translator. This poem is from Earth Records, his first full-length collection available from Nine Arches Press.