...and they lived happily ever after. Smith & Lady: poets, artists, photographers & adventurers.
Our relationship was forged to the soundtrack of Yoko Ono's magic,
frenetic, love-laden song, "Walking On Thin Ice." ( play song )
Archive for August, 2007
Thursday, August 30th, 2007
colloidal suspension super saturation lack of downtime blues.
our last full day here was a full day of work. since we’re renting a friend’s place, there was the 2 hour walk to the supermarket to replace staples of theirs we’ve used, washing dishes, doing laundry, mowing back lawn, scrubbing up, vacuuming, putting back the furniture that lady had moved so she could make art.
then there’s the ritual (40 times past 13 months) of packing our backpacks. it’s weird, but when 2 people stay in one place more than a few days, they accumulate stuff – people are stuff magnets. since we can only take what fits in packs our backs can handle, there’s always throwing away to do – pans, silverware, clothes, books, pillows, antique leather coat inherited from stylish dead granny, boots, wooden chess sets, original art, street trash found objects, blankets, sheets, food, fans, heaters, tents, camp stoves, sleeping bags, incense . . . ad-cost-nauseum. stuff gets easier to toss each move. first lesson learned last year was you have to want something a lot to carry it on your back up stairs and down country lanes.
and finally, disposing the last of the grass. a pleasant task here on friendly street.
Thursday, August 30th, 2007
pack today. leave london tomorrow. spend 4 weeks in mediterranean sun in southern france. fly to 8 weeks in cleveland ohio usa where this all began. read poetry repeatedly. go to lady’s first one-woman art exhibition. move to chicago, start life anew in one place for a year or two or three. figure out what all this means. ponder who we are. finish up a manuscript or three. shop em around.
london as people was special this time around. london as city less so.
it’s at least 10 degrees fahrenheit warmer where we’re going – sun there will replace the chilled damp gray of here. maybe that and the fact this journey is almost over will lift my mind. lady’s worried about my lack of inner bounce, my brooding of late. one would wonder how anyone on such a magic journey could be less than ecstatic, but we’re starting our 14th month of continuous world travel, and i began running down in month 9 – helped along by food poisoning in madrid on the way to morocco. i find i don’t like being homeless. and after 3 months in morocco, everything else seems pale – which is a hoot because i found morocco one of those situations you can’t live with, and you can’t live without… everything’s older, more exotic, and life’s more immediate. of course the constant stash of black moroccan hash helped.
part of my problem is i’m super saturated with adventure and exotic experience, part of my problem is i need safe base place of our own to recharge, part of my problem is the constant temporariness of always packing up and moving on, part of my problem is me being me. as lady keeps saying, “wherever you go, there you are” – or as lucifer puts it in paradise lost, “myself am hell.”
i’ve seen a lot of life, a lot of the world, a lot of different ways of thinking and seeing and being on this journey. i am indeed fortunate. now if only i were happy. sometimes i wonder if perhaps i’m used up. but usually i realize it’s just a lack of downtime, lack of time to process the incredible, abundant input, lack of time to recharge.
the silver lining in all of this is lady k – through all the heaven and hell of continually moving on, she’s constantly there for me as friend, lover, companion, collaborator, and wife. i’m a lucky man, in more ones than way.
and there’s of course more silveries besides: we’ve put so much along the way into our creative wells, our life data banks – lived behind the old iron curtain, lay in the sun in the south of france, watched pink flamingos stand one-legged in the mediterranean, trained across spain, lived 3 months in morocco.
without lady walking into my life 2 years ago, none of this would have happened. without her, i’d still be sitting in red and green art neon dark before my computer screen listening to meat beat manifesto and sending out yet another endless batch of shameless self promoting emails while waiting to die or become famous (is there a difference?).
Wednesday, August 29th, 2007
HAPPINESS VS AWARENESS
I remember a complete feeling of being in the moment. That all accounts were paid up, that there are no responsibilities, or that the responsibilities were enjoyable. Freedom. A rapture of thought, creativity, “what if” and “ah so this is so.” A new discovery, a new thought each day. No psychological addictions. Goals within reach or just had. Working the juice out of getting there and being here. Faith that the authorities were intrinsically benevolent, just a little ideologically flawed, faith that progress was being made on all fronts. Hope that there would be no more war, belief in “just” war.
As I become better and better, some become worse and worse. To know people and to be with them for a while and to watch things happen to them and to inevitably disappoint them is to feel pain and give pain. To live is to contribute to pain and to know this is irreconcilable with a single moment of perfect happiness. Maybe I can achieve perfect happiness by a transcendence of the political and personal scope of things, or is this magic thinking?
I want to know people who have become happier as they’ve grown older and more experienced. I want to know people who are happy even as they suffer repeat discrimination. People who forgive and continue to love those with whom they’ve grappled. People who have faith that they were loved without condition. I want to know people who think things and do things and teach things because they like to think and do and teach. I want to find happy people who are not oblivious.
Wednesday, August 29th, 2007
a good evening last night – lady cooked dinner for 5… the 5 consisted of 2 teachers, 4 poets, 3 artists. due to the fine conversation and the late hour, i had no time to blog – so here’s my unused leftovers from the past.
clicked on wikipedia’s definition of “underground” and got this beauty: Perhaps the best way to define it is a quote by Frank Zappa: “The mainstream comes to you, but you have to go to the underground.”
claud cockburn – â€œnever believe anything until it is officially denied.â€
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert denied reports of a planned coordinated offensive in which the U.S. would attack Iran and Israel would hit Syria and Lebanon at the same time.
The top 1% of income earners â€” those Bush calls his â€œbaseâ€ â€” saw their average pay increase by $146,000 last year. (Yes, thatâ€™s just the increase.)
Noam Chomsky – “the only thing I ever get irritated about is elite intellectuals, the stuff they do I do find irritating.”
i’m reading “The Intellectuals And The Masses – Pride and Prejudice among the Literary Intelligentsia 1880-1939” by John Carey (1992). h.g. wells and d.h. lawrence wanted to kill off all brown, black and yellow people because they were spoiling the beauty of the intellectuals’ view and were causing commonism to creep into the culture. ezra pound and t.s. eliot agreed with hitler’s fascist master race ideas. intellectuals back then felt common folk should not be educated, in fact should be killed because they were diluting the intellectuals’ world and creating garbage with their suburban existence. they also felt intellectuals should rule, and be given free food and money to live. it’s sad to see what folk i once respected actually thought.
Tuesday, August 28th, 2007
2 items of blog clarification:
the 3 fotos which were my last blog do have have meaning – which is:
foto 1 = the way of the flesh (tiger and half eaten dead deer)
foto 2 = the way of the spirit (flower & sun)
foto 3 = it is up to us which of the 2 we choose (human hand)
in my blog before last, lady thought my statement “there is no other side” depressing.
maybe, maybe not. i said there is no ‘other side’ because once you get from here to there, your there becomes here, your other side becomes this side, and you begin again.
the end of our 16 months traveling will be chicago – the other side of this journey. but once in chicago, we begin anew creating a new home, a new poetry scene, a new art scene, finding new utensils, new furniture, etc, so we start over with there as new here, with that side now this side.
it’s always going to be this side trying to get to the other side… it’s always striving today for a better tomorrow – but bottom line, it is always now and you are always here. so be here now as ram dass said. as long as you are alive, you’re living, and living ain’t easy… interesting perhaps, but never effortless. no matter what you’ve done, there’s more to do. you’re always a work in process, and the process is called life. you’re done when you’re dead – maybe.
The doubting vessel
Sours water, ruins wine
The damaged vessel
Holds its token
Service, beauty, duty, time
The one excuses
The other uses
Which in fact the finer find
The better bitter
The lesser greater
Truth is action, action prime
Monday, August 27th, 2007
Monday, August 27th, 2007
i hear our commander in grief is adding a dash of rue with a wooden spoon. big fly buzzing back and forth. dog bark down the lane. sit in sun and ponder worth. wonder who to blame.
at least in my own life, i know my bad’s my fault. as for the good in my life, i have to give a lot of credit to luck, timing, and chance.
before lady and i cast ourselves off from our country, she said we were like the spiders who spin a bit of web, jump off the edge and fall until a breeze catches their web and carries them to the other side. if they don’t make it to the other side, they crawl back up and fall again and again until they catch their breeze. but i just realized, there is no other side… life’s all spinning and falling and hoping – with no other side. or if there is another side, it’s called death. so we spinning and falling and crawling back up and spinning and falling.
Sunday, August 26th, 2007
By the way, Smith posted a new gallery of my pics
from Italy, France, Spain, Morocco, England this year.
Many of the pics have been blogged.
Sunday, August 26th, 2007
foto by lady k
here’s 55 fotos by Lady K from Italy, France, Spain, Morocco, England taken 2007. this is her best batch yet. have to do a greatest pics page of her stuff down the line.
by the time we return to the states in october, i will have spent 11 of 14 months in non-english speaking cultures. english is all i speak (besides poet). i find i like not understanding the language – it means i don’t have to talk to anyone. i have less and less to say the more i live.
Saturday, August 25th, 2007
“Shall we have another pipe?”
I don’t know. Is that ethical?
“Yes. So, Mr. Smith…”
“Who are you anyways?”
I’m a work in process.
“I like that rather than progress.”
I’m a refugee from the Procedure Police. I probably have less of an idea now than I did before we started traveling of who I am. I’m regressing.
“Well, I know who I’m not.”
I got little bits and pieces of secret knowledges.
“That reminds me. I remembered that I remembered and then I forgot. But I remembered that I forgot and remembered.”
One of Elvis’ early Sun songs was “I forgot to remember to forget.” Another one he had in the same vein was, “I’m left, you’re right, she’s gone.”
“That’s pretty profound. I didn’t know Elvis could be so profound.”
He didn’t write the lyrics, he just picked the songs. But he was a profound picker.
“This kind of trivia I like. It actually means something.”