...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, 2009
Monday, August 31st, 2009
polymiasma – foto by Smith
According to Quantum Mechanics, we cannot observe Reality without altering it.
Evidently when no one is looking, Reality is simultaneously all things and all possibilities at all times. It is only when we interface with Reality–by looking, smelling, touching, tasting, testing, thinking, poking, probing, asking, measuring, mapping–that it collapses from every possible thing to the one particular thing most matching our way of seeing.
For example, measure star light one way and light turns out to be a wave; measure it another way, and it’s a particle. Measure it both ways side by side simultaneously and light becomes two different mutually exclusive things at once.
In real life, light is probably neither wave nor particle because in real life there is no real life because it’s all illusion, the sound of one hand collapsing.
There are no right answers because there are no right questions, with no right times or right ways to ask our no right questions. We get the answers we do only because we ask the questions we do based on and biased by the culture and history we were raised in. Different questions would return different answers. We’re two-dimensional creatures asking three-dimensional questions in a nine-dimensional universe.
Our questions are but ghosts walking the Reality of illusion.
Humans see whatever they seek. Krishnamurti said when he was a Buddhist and meditated, he saw Buddha; when he became Christian, he saw Christ–you see whatever you invest your time, effort and belief system in.
Thus the mindset we interface with Reality affects our outcome. Think nasty thoughts and expect nasty results–and voila, it’s a nasty universe out there. Be good, and look for good, and you’ll experience a much less nasty notion.
On a Zen level: expect something, get nothing; expect nothing, get something.
That’s not saying that no matter what good you do or how positive you think, that Reality still won’t turn on you in a second and wipe you from this earth with neither thought nor notice.
But except for the random chance of utter destruction, our bottom line becomes enmeshed in what we expect, what we seek, how we ask, how we go about it all.
Be good, expect good–but be prepared for bad.
This is my personal philosophy; I call it Polymiasma.
polymiasma – foto by Smith
Sunday, August 30th, 2009
resting – foto by Smith
“I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth. – Umberto Eco
daddy? – foto by Smith
Saturday, August 29th, 2009
cartoon life – foto by Smith
I am–or was–an avid Quentin Tarantino fan. Liked his script writing, his film directing, his acting. Still think Jackie Brown and Pulp Fiction are great cinema.
Bit I started reassessing him after watching Deathproof, in which Kurt Russell drives around abusing and battering women before brutally killing them with his car. The film ends with three females sadistically beating him to death in a round-robin of violence (which to be fair he has earned). The movie seemed more a tasteless teenage boy sexual fantasy exercise in s&m than the output of a mature artist.
Then I saw his latest–Inglorious Basterds–which is little more than comic book sadistic violence and death using real people. He beats Nazis to death with a baseball bat, and scalps all the rest of the Nazis they kill. The ones they don’t kill, they slowly carve swastikas in their foreheads with big knives in extreme close-up. The movie’s big ending scene consists of machine gunning women, civilians, and Nazis to death while they’re trapped in a burning exploding movie house–sort of how I felt watching it all. The movie made me feel unclean, down, depressed; I felt it was porno violence disguised as comedy. Someone said that Taratino’s parodying America’s love of violence, but one doesn’t satirize a crime by committing the crime. You are what you do.
The movie made me flash back to Mel Gibson’s The Passion of Christ where Gibson has Christ sadistically whipped in extreme close-up slow motion for 20-30 minutes. Halfway through this brutality, the whipper switches to a hooked whip and the movie shows chunks of Christ’s flesh being ripped off in up-close slow-motion chunks while blood gracefully arcs and splatters.
Before The Passion of Christ, I was a Mel Gibson fan, but afterward I couldn’t stop thinking what a sick twisted mind he had to have to hide a bloody splatter flick in the folds of his unhealthy conservative right-wing religious movie. His later drunken hate-filled tirade against Jews just cemented my disgust for him.
Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds has me lumping him with the same sickos that includes Gibson. It’s taken me decades, but I’m at the point where I won’t watch anything by either of them anymore. To me they belong to the same Neanderthal hate mongering clan that includes Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Michele Bachmann, Sarah Palin, and Dick Cheney. May they each be hoist on the petard of their own verbal filth.
Although what is even more frightening than the sickos above is how large their audiences are, how rich they’ve become pandering to these hate-filled violent bigots.
cartoon violence – foto by Smith
Friday, August 28th, 2009
A cracked transcript advises heaven over a hip galaxy. The dealer intimates a central mystery. Behind his proved outline hunts the high imbalance.
Our injury captains every bigotry near a resulting railroad. The tangent postulates heaven. The railroad gulfs heaven. An outcome observes the dustbin. The dependent agenda bells stone underneath a stunt. Heaven moves stone across an unsuspecting downhill. Heaven condemns your immortal above our idealistic constituent. Heaven hardens above the ordered impulse.
Heaven farms. Heaven samples a still flood. A managing dialect fishes stone. Heaven spits throughout stone. Throughout stone strains heaven. The subtle originator piles stone.
Any baggage collapses on top of heaven. Stone weights heaven. The wrecked view slaves on top of the golden bandwagon. An ideological restaurant hangs from stone. Heaven suspends your motor above your airport. A gasp works over heaven.
Heaven extends the solved skeleton inside an irritated chicken. Can the grandmother chop a surviving house? Can the clothed head stare outside heaven? How will heaven certify the raving pigeon? Why does the designer warp ban stone?
Past heaven relaxes stone. Stone exists opposite a plain atom. Stone supposes heaven past the bump. A grass embeds stone without a spreading bulletin. Every stem misplaces stone. Stone pops a regarding gulf behind the dummy. The confine degenerates into your competitive gene within the snack. Our subjective structure corrects heaven past the questionable invalid.
Within stone walks heaven. The arrogance resides in a profound pointer before the hope. The governing manufacturer apologizes for stone. The mathematician accepts. A mystic presents heaven near a sickening silicon.
Heaven compromises stone below the jazz. Over heaven reads the egg. Heaven experiments with a tail below the unused hypocrisy. When can heaven overflow opposite the respectable heaven? When will my god serve as the integrated degenerate?
A collaboration between Lady and a random paragraph generator seeded with ‘stone’ and ‘heaven’ – http://watchout4snakes.com/CreativityTools/RandomParagraph/RandomParagraph.aspx
Friday, August 28th, 2009
behind the blinds – foto by Smith
Nothing to say today so I’ll let the news headlines once again say it for me. These are all from respectable sites, not from the tabloid trash, even though they certainly seem to be. No folks, unfortunately once again this it is the it it is, the it we’ve shit. I’ll add a couple cute pictures of cats to make it all more palatable.
Giant Rat-Eating Plant Discovered By Explorers
Man Causes Traffic Jam By Throwing Cash Onto LA Freeway, People Dash Into Lanes
Is It Okay to Fire People Who Smoke or Are Obese?
Obese People Have ‘Severe Brain Degeneration’
Woman Shouts “Heil Hitler!” At Jewish Man Praising Israel’s Health System
Ridge: I Was Pressured To Raise Terror Alert To Help Bush Win Re-Election
Conservatives’ Latest Lie
Coal Lobby Forged Letters From “Citizens” Opposing Clean Energy
EPA Fails To Tell Public About Weed-Killer In Drinking Water
Smoking Marijuana Does Not Cause Lung Cancer
Swedish Newspaper: Israeli Troops Kill Palestinians For Organs
Rush Limbaugh Warns That Obama Intends To Harm America’s Penises
India: Boy, Age 9, Charged With Raping Girl, Age 6
1.5 Million More Fell Below Poverty Line In 2008
There Are More Slaves Today Than at Any Time in Human History
Man Gives Teller ID Before Robbing Bank
Man Charged For Attacking Roommate With Coconut
How Yawning Got One Court Spectator Six Months in the Slammer
CIA Interrogators Used Power Drills, Mock Executions Says Report
NYC Mayor Bloomberg: Drug Companies, CEOs Don’t Make Much Money
Florida Governor Charlie Crist: I Asked God To Keep Hurricanes Away From Florida
Rep. Michele Bachmann: “Prayer And Fasting” Will Defeat Health Care Reform
I Wish My Slutty Christian Friend Would Stop Praising My Virginity
Microsoft’s Ad In Poland Photoshops Out Black Man, But Keeps Asian Man, White Woman
Sultan of Brunei pays Â£15,000 to fly London barber 7,000 miles for a haircut
Occidental College Offers Course In Stupidity
This is Smith, reporting from the shallow end of the gene pool.
a rare pocket of sanity – fotos by Smith
Thursday, August 27th, 2009
mint field at the Crosby Mint Farm, St Johns, Michigan – foto by Smith
Troubadour 21, a Detroit on-line poetry / art / fotos / short story site, has added five of my poems and one of my true short stories.
For the Smith menu, click on troubadour21.com/author/smith/
Or for individual efforts, try
Grease Your Grill
Alone This Train
White Boy Blues
My First Armed Robbery
A couple of weeks ago, Lady and I rode up with the hosts of the monthly poetry venue Lix and Kix (John Burroughs aka Jesus Crisis and Diane Borsenik) to St. Johns, Michigan (just north of Lansing) to read poetry at the Save The Crosby Mint Farm benefit–they’re the oldest continuously running mint farm in America and are being foreclosed due to $330,000 of debt.
After the benefit, on the way back to Cleveland, we stopped by the Beat Cafe in Detroit to read as special guest readers. William Burkholder and Carlton Smith III of the Beat Cafe readings are also editors of Troubadour 21 (it usually makes it more easy to get published when you actually meet the publishers in the flesh before submitting–although in London I got in the first two issues of The Delinquet before meeting the editors; then after I’d met them, they rejected me for issue #3). The Beat Cafe has a most excellent and vigorous poetry scene.
We’d gotten up at 5 in the morning, left at 7, and got back to Cleveland at 3 the next morning. Miles and miles and hours and hours to read 1 poem at the Mint Farm and 5 poems at the Beat Cafe. Poets are crazy – they’ll travel hundreds of miles and then pay someone else just to read one poem. In many events, like the Mint Farm and the Hessler Street Fair, poets are filler, not so much respected as just used to soften the spaces between the music and other events. Poets don’t get no respect. But at least in my case I got the girl, because my poetry and art are what lead Lady to me.
For a list of all the writers and artists available on Troubadour 21, click troubadour21.com/troubadours/
mint farm bandstand, mint barn, mint farmer – fotos by Smith
Wednesday, August 26th, 2009
marching mama – foto by Smith
Last Friday I followed Lady downtown for the 5th Annual Poor People’s March in honor of Martin Luther King. The marchers and speakers were a conglomeration of people for poor peopleâ€™s rights, prisonerâ€™s rights, stop the war rights, education rights, tax the rich rights, etc. We met at the State Building for speeches and singing, then marched to the County Building for more speeches, then on to the Federal Building for even more speeches. By this time we’d spent 3 hours so bailed when they went on to City Hall to speechify again.
Before we began marching, they passed out the following list of chants:
I need a J. O. B. so I can E. A. T.
Stop the war against the Poor
1 2 3 4 Money for Jobs, not for War
Money for the Poor, not for War
They say Cut Back, we say Fight Back
Bail out the People, not the Banks
Housing (Jobs, Income, Health Care, etc) is a Right, Fight Fight Fight
We don’t want Just Crumbs, We want a Basic Income
Welfare is the new Plantation, Justice calls for Reparations
No time limits on Public Assistance, We will build the Peoples resistance
We’re not here to blow off steam, We’re just fighting for the dream
Poor People (Worker’s Rights, Health Care, Education, etc) are under attack
What do you Do? Stand up, Fight Back
Hey, hey, Whaddaya Say, Single Payer All the Way
A Job is a right, We’re gonna Fight, Fight, Fight
Not one Dollar, not one Dime, Cutting Wages is a Crime
As we marched down the middle of the city streets flanked by flashing police lights, a marcher with a bullhorn would chant the first half of one of these chants and we would shout out the second part.
It was all rather predictable and mundane until we got to the Federal Building where a young man named Kevin said just because Martin Luther King advocated non-violence doesn’t mean we have to abide by non-violence. He went on to explain that slavery required violence to end it, as did the Viet Nam War. He said (quite logically in my book) that if the powers that be resort to violence against us, we have a moral right to meet violence with violence.
The folks from the other coalition groups were openly upset at his talk of actual rebellion, and as soon as Kevin finished speaking, they rushed to the microphone to say they DID NOT advocate violence under any conditions in any form whatsoever.
My law is DO AS YOU WOULD BE DONE. And the corollary of this law implies that if the power structures open the door by lying stealing cheating and resorting to violence, whatever they did to us may be done in return unto them. It’s called Instant Karma. What goes around comes around. What’s fair for the goose is fair for the panther.
I’m ambivalent about protesting in the city streets. Back in the late 1960s and early 1970s, I was part of thousands in Baltimore protesting the Viet Nam War, and it pretty much had no affect whatsoever on the Nixon regime. On the other hand, Lady and I were part of the protest last month to prevent the state Library budget from being cut by 50%, and after a large turnout and good press and TV coverage, the projected Library budget cuts were reduced from $237 million to $80 million. Perhaps local protests are effective against city and state governments while pretty much nothing affects the federal Government’s outlook.
poor people’s 5th annual march – foto by Smith
Monday, August 24th, 2009
jukebox Sunday night – foto by Smith
You never know when or where you’ll have a random unexpected art conversation with a stranger.
My in-laws took us out to dinner to celebrate my father-in-law’s and brother-in-law’s birthdays. As we sat down in the Great Lakes Grille and Flying Burrito Cantina I noticed back in the Cantina part there was a fiberglass or ceramic four-foot tall Hispanic male statue facing the juke box, like it was looking for something to play. I excused myself with “I think I see a foto” and went back, took a couple shots.
Didn’t know it, but I made the staff curious why I was shooting their juke box and statue, but they didn’t ask me, probably because I was a guest of one of their regular customers.
Across from me on two walls were ten paintings of musicians–from left to right were Lyle Lovett, Simon & Garfunkle, Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, Green Day, Jimi Hendryx, an unknown (I guessed it might be a badly done Bob Seeger or a bearded Bruce Springsteen or Santana since it had an electric guitar painted into it – another of our group guessed Bob Marley), then Crosby Still Nash & Young, The Who, and Neil Young. I asked the waitress if she knew who it was supposed to be and she said “Yes. You know I didn’t get it at first either but it’s a young Eric Clapton.” And I could see it. That explained the guitar, because back then London graffiti would declare “Clapton is God” of the guitar.
The waitress started to walk away, then stopped and said, “We were curious why you were taking a picture in the back of the Cantina.” I explained I was an artist and used them to illustrate blogs. She smiled and said she was an artist too, she’d done the zebra table. When we’d come in, I’d noticed a table top painted with a playful running zebra which I thought was pretty cool. Told her I’d seen it and liked it. She went on saying when the restaurant was the place before this place, she’d painted a Garden of Eden as well, but didn’t know why.
It was a pleasant exchange, and if I hadn’t done something odd and if I hadn’t inquired about the paintings on the wall, we wouldn’t have discovered her artistic side. We gave her our blog url and she said she was going to check it out and hopefully will see a small portion of her restaurant through my eye.
What an intricate woof and warp we weave in this weirdly wide wobbly whorl.
beside oneself – foto by Smith
Sunday, August 23rd, 2009
lap cat – foto by Smith
I was watching our calico-tinged tiger cat Mandy on the floor cleaning herself licking licking licking her fur and I told Lady “You know, I could gather up all her shed cat fur that’s blowing across the floor and glue it to my penis and then she’d lick my penis to clean it, thinking it was part of her.” Lady just looked at me, and we both looked at the cat who had stopped licking herself and stared at me with the weirdest look we’ve seen. It certainly looked like she’d understood what I’d said and found it disgusting. I told Lady I thought the cat had just given herself away, that she either understood our words or read our minds, whereupon Mandy started rolling on the floor in the cutest cat-way possible, trying unsuccessfully to make us believe she was just a cat after all – which is a very intelligent subterfuge which proves even more she’s an alien.
the Lady or the tiger? – foto by Smith
When I was 14, I was doing chores for my Aunt Norma who used to play piano for the Lawrence Welk Orchestra. She said she got paid almost nothing because he was a tightwad, but even after she left the band, she still received a birthday card every year for decades. Anyway, Aunt Norma had to go out and I was sitting inside with her little kitten and the kitten was licking my face with her rough tongue, and I started to wonder what that tongue would feel like on my penis so I put a couple drops of milk on my glans and let the kitten lick it. I don’t remember what it felt like though because just at that moment Aunt Norma walked through the door and I quickly leapt up pulling my pants back up, the kitten’s head still inside. Aunt Norma never said a word, but my face burned red.
Here kitty kitty kitty.
mÃ©nage Ã trois – foto by Smith
Saturday, August 22nd, 2009
cover of Charlotte Mann’s Hotel Poem – foto of Charlotte Mann’s foto by Smith
Lady and I were lucky enough to each have one of our poems and our foto taken by Charlotte Mann in her just released 9″ x 12″ 100 page hardcover book Hotel Poem, Poets of Cleveland featuring 47 Cleveland poets. We’ll all be gathering at Visible Voice Books tonight to read our poems out on the patio under the stars.
The book is $40 and contains a cd of 30 of the poets reading their poems. There were 20 copies of a limited edition book hand-printed by J.S. Makkos of Language Foundry which featured a linoleum print cover and special inserts which sold for $60, but those sold out. I believe most of the regular copies are also nearly sold out, but the remaining copies will be on sale tonight. The 47 fotos will also be on display at the Brandt Gallery tonight (which is right across the street).
Here’s Charlotte’s announcement
August 22, 2009 / 7:00 p.m. / Visible Voice Books 1023 Kenilworth in Tremont
Poets: Come read your poem from Hotel Poem, Poets of Cleveland
Poets: Open-Mic to follow (time permitting)
Poets: You will be accompanied by a jazz pianist
Poets: Photographs will be viewable across the street at Brandt Gallery (special extended hours for this event)
Poets: Tell your friends. Tell your families. Tell your other poets.
Poets: Check out the website: hotelpoemcleveland.com
Poets: Anyone who has bought a non limited edition Hotel Poem, Poets of Cleveland is due a CD. I have decided to include that in all the copies. If you got a book then let me know, I’ll get the CD to you. It’s brilliant, compiled by Jose Alberto Luna.
Poets: Thank You, Charlotte Mann
~ ~ ~
Here are the poems we have in the book.
~ ~ ~
this was once lush jungle
(until writers ate the trees)
– Lady, 6.23.2007
~ ~ ~
My psychotropic trauma
began before my Mama
cloned in chromosome
the she in me.
Back before my Poppa
anted up in oughta
spared my need
with better seed of he.
Genes for seeking others
genes for tricking brothers
flow from seed to breed
to heed or flee.
Being nice or naughty
isnâ€™t all about me
but a creed to be
leaving bleeding weed
on bead of thee.
To rise above my wiring
I try to tame desiring
by letting Eden be.
Original sin Ma may be
to our current crazy
more than lately hazy
leads from sea to troubled see.
So seize ya on the downsize
hope you see in upside
the making of our maybe
lies in we.
Steven B. Smith – 2.21.2009
~ ~ ~
Hotel Poem‘s Lady & Smith pages – fotos of Charlotte Mann’s fotos by Smith