two hats and a scarf hanging on wall hooks – foto by smith
looking at the internet, billboards, bus ads, wall ads and spam ads, it appears life in the usa comes down to how big your dick is if you’re a guy, and how large your tits are if you’re a gal.
the size of your body parts, your amount of disposable income, the brands your wear, and the status of your jewelry, clothes, cars, homes, spouse, watches decide how good a person you are, how great your life is, how worthy and important you are.
in the eternal war of mammon against spirit, today is MAMMON versus spirit, EVIL versus good, WRONG versus right NOW versus later, HELL NOW versus eventual heaven..
such shallow shit we share – and shouldn’t.
The Man keeps knocking
Down my front door
Wants to sell me some
Sorta social spore
Says grits & groceries
In the modern life
You need much more stuff
– excerpt from smith’s poem Bye Buy
on a less commercial plane, but still heavily invested in maybe money is my heart. i’m sitting here wondering why i’m so bloody tired. we walked a couple miles today, but nothing near worthy of exhaustion. so i took my pulse. my heart is beating 3 times, then skipping one beat. instead of 60 beats per minute (my average), my heart is beating 45 times a minute right now, which means i’m getting three-fourths of the oxygen my body needs and is used to. when you have 75% circulation, you lose a quarter of your oxygen and blood nutrients, the blood only removes 75% of your toxins.
the doctor in croatia 2 years ago said not to worry about my skipped beats unless it gets down to the 5 beats and a skip range.
sometimes i take my pulse and it goes 100 beats without skipping. it varies widely during the day depending on the time and how active i am. one night it was two beats and a skip when i was on codeine pain medicine, so i stopped taking that right there – which was a shame, because i’m a codeine man from way back. i find i begin to feel a decent energy level when it beats 8-12 times before skipping a beat. when it beats 60 times per minute, i feel unstoppable.
my normal heart rate is too slow to take medicine to regulate my heart, and our bank account is too small to afford an operation to install a pace maker. plus after the pain and trauma of my hernia operation, i really don’t want doctors to open my chest, break my ribs, and install a pace maker. besides, they were worried my heart wasn’t regular enough to survive the hernia operation – it was worrisomely erratic during it.
maybe my heart’s too big, too soft, too generous for this world. i am getting weary of the man wickedness in this world – if it weren’t for lady in my life, i’d just as soon not be here. she’s my joy, my direction, my goal.
the sad bad part of this is my heart skips worries lady. the uncertainty reduces her quality of life, stress strains her joy. and sometimes it gets me down as well. it’s no fun taking your pulse to see if you’re alive or not.
on the good foot, my mom Mother Dwarf had heart arrhythmia, and she died at 79 of something else entirely. she was overweight where i am thin and trim.
~ ~ ~
it took me 62 years to get my first book of poetry and art published, and i had to sleep with the publisher to get it done.
Zen Over Zero
Steven B. Smith
selected poems 1964-2008
69 poems / 22 collages , 78 pages, 6 x 9 inches, $12, through Lulu.com at
published by The City Poetry Press.
starburst (1987 collage in Zen Over Zero) – foto & collage by smith