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...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 March, 2010

fogball angels

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

fogball – foto by Smith

Another help angel appeared out of nowhere.

We drove 15 miles to pick up Guide To Book Publishers, Editors, & Literary Agents 2010 by Jeff Herman $29.99. Got back in the car and it wouldn’t start – no click, no turnover, no nothing. I checked the battery – cables were tight and clean and the battery is less than a year old. Oil level was fine. I’m stumped. Only thing I can think of is since it’s a stick shift and a small car, I could push it while Lady clutch-started it.

Suddenly a young black walking by man with his wife and four children comes over and starts poking around, decides he can use his car to give us a push to start ours so he and his son push our car backwards out of the parking slot as I steer, whereupon I turn the key again and it starts. Hugs all around and we head homeward.

Changed our dinner plans and decided to eat eight blocks down the street so we could walk home if it didn’t start. Came back out after miso soup and spring rolls to the same old no click no turnover no nothing blues. I figure last time we rolled it backwards 10 feet and it started, so I put my foot down onto the asphalt and push us back 12 inches, turn the key, and the car starts.

Of course this is the one week Lady needs the car Monday through Friday because she’s teaching an on-site client. I’ll wait and see if it starts tomorrow morn, and if not, if backing up will help.

(note – car started fine this morning without any tricks and I drove her to work just in case.)

This is like one of those worlds where you need magic spells, chants, potions and rituals to make reality work.

These aren’t our first angels.

In Krakow, Poland, we arrived at the new apartments we’d rented on a Sunday and couldn’t get in. No one answered the buzzers, and the agent that was to meet us never showed up. I stayed at the locked door with our bags and back packs while Lady searched for a public fone without success. When she returned, we were plotting finding the closest motel for a night when a blonde young woman showed up, said in English, “Oh, you’re trying to get in,” and called the building owners. They explained they thought we’d be there tomorrow and were out of town, so she called the cleaning lady of the building, had her let us in, picked up Lady’s backpack and ran it upstairs, got the cleaning lady to loan us her keys for a day, smiled at us, and disappeared. This was when we decided we had to buy a cell fone.

In Pezenas, France, I had a flat tire on the bicycle an hour or two from home. A long tall lean Frenchman walked up to me and said in English, “You have to go into the store right behind you immediately and buy an inner tube because the store closes in 10 minutes.” I insisted I could repair the tube and didn’t need a new one. He refused to listen to me and hustled Lady into the store to buy the tube. By the time she returned with it, I’d found my tube had a leak in the air stem and was totally unfixable. Had he not made us buy a tube, I’d have been tube screwed.

Also in Krakow there was a more-or-less prophesized angel of mercy. Sitting at our kitchen table our third week in Krakow I told Lady I’d been straight long enough, I wanted some ganja. Lady said where was I going to find it in a strange city where I didn’t speak the language. I said “Marijuana, marijuana, marijuana” and rapped the table and said “There, it will appear.” The next morning as we left the building, passing an open dark door 50 feet down the street I head “Smith” called out. I walked back to the door and saw a rock and roll singer we’d met the night before. I asked him if he knew where I could get any grass. He reached into his pocket, said “Someone just gave me this, it must have been for you,” and handed me a marijuana bud.

There’s magic all around us, we just need to be open, to look about and pay attention.



fogballs – fotos by Smith

 

smart art eye candy

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010



collection of Butler Institute of American Art – foto by Smith

More mind-eye art candy in a minute — but first, this warning from our writer.

I’ve gotten diarrhea twice this past week eating in restaurants; Lady’s been struck once.

Going down to Chiplis’ opening at the Butler Institute of American Art, we stopped just this side of Youngstown for lunch at Cracker Barrel. I took one bite of Lady’s order of chicken in yellow gravy and grimaced, then ate my breakfast eggs. Lady’s meal was so bad she only ate a few bites — but she was the lucky one; I finished my meal and got sick while she thankfully didn’t because hers was too bad to eat. She finds this odd because she’s eaten at Cracker Barrel for years and loved it, so hopefully this is just one bad link in their chain.

Then last night we stopped at Popeye’s over by 25th and Clark for a couple biscuits and thighs and this morning we both woke with diarrhea. Popeye’s is the only mutual food we shared. We’ve eaten there half a dozen times before with no problem so hopefully this was just a culinary glitch for them.

Of course we can not prove these restaurants were at fault, but in both cases the restaurant was the only food eaten prior to our discomfort.

Food poisoning is likely going to be on the rise here in America as we slowly sink into third world status while the rich steal all they can rather than reinvesting in America’s underlying infrastructure while divesting our health, social service and inspection agencies. Lady and I see our travel to Morocco and Mexico as pre-training for what’s heading our way here in America — no social services, no justice, no clean drinkable water . . . you know, what the land is like when we’re reduced to your basic survival of the richest.

And now back to the art eye candy, fotos taken down at an art museum financed by the very same rich I continuously attack.

The “painting” above as far as I can see is generated from a single light source at the top which is bounced bent reflected and mutated at multivarious levels and angles by being passed through varied colored gels to paint the wall with what you see.

The fotos below are of “Polychrome Cube With Cones,” 2001 by Norman Mercer (1916-2007).






collection of Butler Institute of American Art – fotos by Smith

 

down the rabbit hole

Monday, March 29th, 2010

collection of Butler Institute of Art – foto by Smith

This triangular Plexiglas piece in the collection of the Butler Institute of American Art is composed of colored Lucite and a mixed maze of mirrors, I’m guessing. You step up and look down into the Triangle and it is never-ever-ending land, with each small change in viewing angle you make uncovering a new universe of color, perspective and form.

I apologize for not writing the artist’s name down. I made a mad foto gathering dash through the museum while helping Chiplis install his current Neon Works in the 21st Century show. I’ll try to drive back with him when he takes the show down and get the names I missed.







collection of Butler Institute of Art – foto by Smith

 

pandora’s box

Sunday, March 28th, 2010

doctor doctor give me the news – foto by Smith

Pandora’s Box

She sips rum and coke
Smiles, glows
Says “I like this”
And sips some more

And sips some more

Wakes up weak
Foggy, hurt
Says “I don’t like this”
Goes back to bed

Next time
Same thing

The clock is ticking
Its time face endless
Loop within loop
Same pain drain

In circle rhetorical
Reminds me of me

– Steven B. Smith, 3.27.2010


mad as a hatter – foto by Smith

 

just like . . . whatever

Saturday, March 27th, 2010

Lady K reading in Toledo Ohio – foto by Smith

Finally, someone forwarded me an actually funny email (well, funny to me since I’m a wordsmith — perhaps not to you).

Some of these student metaphors are brilliant, genius, hilarious, make me wish I had written them, while others cause me to wonder what these kids are doing and seeing and thinking — like the one frying maggots in hot grease.

Why English Teachers Die Young (from laughing?)

Every year, English teachers from across the country can submit their collections of actual analogies and metaphors found in high school essays. These excerpts are published each year to the amusement of teachers across the country. Here are last year’s winners…

1. Her face was a perfect oval, like a circle that had its two sides gently compressed by a Thigh Master.

2. His thoughts tumbled in his head, making and breaking alliances like underpants in a dryer without Cling Free.

3. He spoke with the wisdom that can only come from experience, like a guy who went blind because he looked at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it and now goes around the country speaking at high schools about the dangers of looking at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it.

4. She grew on him like she was a colony of E. Coli, and he was room-temperature Canadian beef.

5. She had a deep, throaty, genuine laugh, like that sound a dog makes just before it throws up.

6. Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever.

7. He was as tall as a six-foot, three-inch tree.

8. The revelation that his marriage of 30 years had disintegrated because of his wife’s infidelity came as a rude shock, like a surcharge at a formerly surcharge-free ATM machine.

9. The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn’t.

10. McBride fell 12 stories, hitting the pavement like a Hefty bag filled with vegetable soup.

11. From the attic came an unearthly howl. The whole scene had an eerie, surreal quality, like when you’re on vacation in another city and Jeopardy comes on at 7:00 p.m. Instead of 7:30.

12. Her hair glistened in the rain like a nose hair after a sneeze.

13. The hailstones leaped from the pavement, just like maggots when you fry them in hot grease.

14. Long separated by cruel fate, the star-crossed lovers raced across the grassy field toward each other like two freight trains, one having left Cleveland at 6:36 p.m. Traveling at 55 mph, the other from Topeka at 4:19 p.m., at a speed of 35 mph.

15. They lived in a typical suburban neighborhood with picket fences that resembled Nancy Kerrigan’s teeth.

16. John and Mary had never met. They were like two hummingbirds who had also never met.

17. He fell for her like his heart was a mob informant, and she was the East River.

18. Even in his last years, Granddad had a mind like a steel trap, only one that had been left out so long, it had rusted shut.

19. Shots rang out, as shots are wont to do.

20. The plan was simple, like my brother-in-law Phil. But unlike Phil, this plan just might work.

21. The young fighter had a hungry look, the kind you get from not eating for a while.

22. He was as lame as a duck. Not the metaphorical lame duck, either, but a real duck that was actually lame, maybe from stepping on a land mine or something.

23. The ballerina rose gracefully en Pointe and extended one slender leg behind her, like a dog at a fire hydrant.

24. It was an American tradition, like fathers chasing kids around with power tools.

25. He was deeply in love. When she spoke, he thought he heard bells, as if she were a garbage truck backing up.

~ ~ ~

Lady K and I are reading poetry today at the 2nd annual “Feed The Gays” benefit put on by the GLASA (Gay, Lesbian and Straight Alliance) association of CSU students. This is the reading date I got wrong and we showed up for a month early. We read from 5 to 5:45. Lady and I are followed by Diane Borsenik and John ‘Jesus Crisis’ Burroughs, the hosts of the monthly Lix & Kix reading at Bella Dubby — they will be performing with musician JJ Haaz. Poets following the five of us on the Union Stage are Noon, Rachel Elam, Maura Rogers and Lexus (at least I think they’re poets . . . they could be musicians). On the Bounce stage will be the music groups Dead Peasant Insurance, Circada Sunrise, Alice Danger, Mask or Me (MJ’s Band), Anthony Covatta & Corissa Bragg, and Liquor Box.

The benefit is at Bounce/Union Station located at 2814 Detroit Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44113-2708, (216) 357-2997. Benefit runs from 5 through 11 pm and costs $5.


Butler Institute of Art lady K – foto by Smith

 

10 moral dwarfs

Friday, March 26th, 2010

a flag divided – foto by Smith

I’ve seen a lot of less-than-honorable actions from George W. Bush, but this video of him looking at his hand in disgust after shaking the hand of a brown-skinned Haitian and then wiping his hand off on Bill Clinton’s white shirt pretty much sums up the mama’s boy for me — he respects nobody and nothing but his own selfish bigoted self.

huffingtonpost.com/2010/03/24/george-w-bush-wipes-hand_n_511188.html

And while we’re down on this level, here’s my collection of harvested headlines on ten Republican moral dwarfs: Dumb, Dumber, Dumbest, Sleazy, Slimy, Thief, Murderer, Traitor, Coward and Liar. These headlines have appeared in respectable news sites the past eight weeks.

~ ~ ~

DOJ: We Can’t Release Cheney Records Because Of Late Night Comedy

Sarah Palin Spends More Than $60,000 Buying Copies Of Her Own Book

Glenn Beck Vs. God

Court Allows Torture Suit Against Rumsfeld

Factually Challenged Fox News Channel Hires Factually Challenged Sarah Palin

Karl Rove’s Big Lie

Dick Cheney Admits to Torture Conspiracy

Sarah Palin Has Tendency To Say Things That Are Not Accurate

The New Rove-Cheney Assault On Reality

McCain Whacks Cheney: Torture Violated Law And Helped The Terrorists

Palin: When Rush Limbaugh Says ‘Retards’ It’s Okay

Glenn Beck = Stupid + Hypocrite?

Rush Limbaugh’s latest bit of race-baiting

‘AS BAD AS MCCARTHY’ – Conservatives, Former Bush Officials Turn Against Liz Cheney

Cheney Told CIA To Hide Program From Congress

DOJ Report on Torture Memo: Yoo Said Bush Could Order Civilians “Exterminated”

‘McCain’s Letter Supporting Gay Military Ban Signed By Dead People

Rep. Alan Grayson: Who Wrote The Introduction To Cheney’s Book — Satan?

Glenn Beck To Jesus: Drop Dead

Cheney’s Revenge

Meghan McCain: Palin’s Double Standard Is ‘What’s Wrong With Politics Today’

Has-been Dick Cheney’s rants

Palin Advocates War With Iran After Apparently Misreading Buchanan Column

Ron Paul On Cheney: ‘He Caused A Lot Of Trouble For Our Country’

Stephen Colbert Compares Rove To A Ham

Chris Matthews Rips Palin: ‘Frightening,’ ‘Empty Vessel,’ ‘Nothing Going On Mentally’

Cheney used to be a much better liar than this

Glenn Beck: ‘Incoherent,’ ‘Demonstrably False,’

Rove: I’m ‘Proud’ Of Waterboarding

‘Sarah Palin Is A F–king Retard’

Cheney ‘Ignorant’ Or Distorting Terror Facts

Karl Rove: No Better Brobdingnagian Liar

STAFFERS: Beck Rehearses His Tears!

Liz Cheney: A Real Vampire Spawn

Rove’s New Memoir Says Iraq War Was Good Idea

Alan Grayson: It’s Hard For Me To Listen To Cheney Speak, He’s Like A Vampire

Sarah Palin: God Wrote Notes On His Hand, Too

UK Conservative Party Leader On Palin’s Popularity: ‘It’s Hard For Us To Understand’

Alan Grayson Calls Palin ‘Wild Alaskan Dingbat’ After Florida Appearance

James Cameron: Glenn Beck Is A ‘Madman’ & ‘F**king A**hole’

Palin Posts ‘Hit List’ Of Democrats With Gun Sights Over Districts

Cheney FBI Interview: 72 Instances Of Can’t Recall

Torture Trading Cards Feature Bush, Cheney, Et Al

E-Mails Show How Cheney Forced DOJ Lawyers To Approve Torture

Seymour Hersh Stands By Reporting On Cheney Assassination Squad

Cheney Takes Credit For Iraq Withdrawal Success, Despite Opposing It

Bush’s Torture Memos Author OK with Nuking Civilians, Drew the Line at Crushing Children’s Testicles


nothing
(for sarah, glenn, dick, george, yoo, liz, rush, bill, donald, karl & fox)
foto by Smith

 

neo neon

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

Jeffry Chiplis
Neon Works in the 21st Century
Butler Art Institute March 21-May 9, 2010 – foto by Smith

These are shots from the opening reception for
Jeffry Chiplis — Neon Works in the 21st Century
Butler Art Institute — March 21-May 9, 2010

I’ll be adding these and other fotos to Chiplis’ section of AgentOfChaos within the next week or two. Until then, peruse these or go to agentofchaos.com/chiplis/index.html for more Chiplis found neon sculptures.














Jeffry Chiplis
Neon Works in the 21st Century
Butler Art Institute March 21 thru May 9, 2010
fotos by Smith

 

fly eye us and granny

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

collage card made for granny-in-law – foto by Smith

My granma-in-law sent me a bornday card and us a wedding anniversary card this month, so I decided to make a collage thank you card for her. Figured it’d be easy because collage is what I do — maybe cut out a few cutsie animals and plop em down. But it wasn’t easy because most of what I cut out has dark or sardonic overtones to it because my collages tend to be cultural comments. Plus I have to satisfy my artistic standards as well – can’t just offer her a piece of greeting card offal. And just what sort of image do you make for an 84 year old pollyanisher – it needs to be sweet and cheery but not sappy.

Finally ended up with the collage above. I figure this to be the 55th collage in my recent book of 54 collages, so in the future this will be known as the “infamous lost 55th page”.

Continuing in an artistic cultural vein — It’s taken me 3.5 years to take 10,000 fotos on current Casio camera. Bought the original camera in October 2006 and have replaced it twice, transferring my large memory card from camera to camera. Last Sunday while taking fotos of Chiplis’ neon sculpture show down at the Butler Institute of American Art, my camera foto count hit 9,999 and rolled over to start a new foto file at 0000. It confused me – thought I’d lost all the special fotos from that day.

10,000 fotos in 1,277 days averages out to 8 fotos a day every single day (and some times the daily count has been as high as 50-70). I’ve been blogging two fotos a day every day so that means I’ve taken at least 7,500 fotos since 2006 no one has seen but me, with another 8,000 unseen fotos minimum from 2002 through 2006. If I died today, Lady K could blog two of my fotos every day for the next 21 years — not quite immortality, but a decent start.


fly eye us – foto by Smith

 

she me by me she

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

Lady / Smith melding – foto by Smith

Lady and I took these fotos of “us” down at the Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown while attending the opening of Jeff Chiplis’ exhibition titled Neon Works in the Twenty-First Century.

The art work that produced these fotos is a glass door with lights that alternately flash illuminating the person on one side or the other so that if two people stand on opposite sides and keep their faces at the same height, the reflection each sees is a changing combination of both people.

These are our views from both sides. Lady and I are melded, our many into one, rather like the Borg melds in Star Trek – “Resistance is futile.”

Of course I was so caught up in the piece I forgot to write down the artist’s name and can’t find it online. As an artist, I apologize to the artist. Tried to research it online to no avail.

I’ll blog some fotos of Chiplis’ opening tomorrow. It was a fine show, and the museum is already talking of extending it past its May closing.


Lady / Smith – foto by Lady K

Lady / Smith – foto by Smith

Lady / Smith – foto by Lady K

Lady / Smith – foto by Smith

Lady / Smith – foto by Lady K

Lady / Smith – foto by Lady K

Lady / Smith – foto by Lady K

Lady / Smith – foto by Lady K

 

Snoetry 2010: Steven B Smith reads 7 poems (10 minutes 53 seconds)

Sunday, March 21st, 2010

hanging balance – foto by Smith

My EGO is angry at the Crisis Chronicles Online Library — it has 23 entries for ME while other relatively unimportant nobody writers have way more, and I mean really minor talents such as

William Shakespeare with 155 entries
1600s = 181
1800s = 322
1900s = 765
2000s = 277
African American = 95
Autobiography = 28
BC = 60
British = 415
Cleveland = 238
e.e. cummings = 31
Emily Dickenson = 25
Hilda Doolittle = 66
Fyodor Dostoevsky = 26
Paul Laurence Dunbar = 37
Greek = 39
Indian = 24
Irish = 105
d.a. levy = 39
Edgar Lee Masters = 122 (it is hard to compete with the dead)
Edna St. Vincent Millay = 91
Novels = 32
Philosophy = 70
Plato = 24 (at least he only beat me by one)
Poetry has 1,375 entries (WOW ! ! !)
Religion = 28
Russian = 28 (what about Russian Religion???)
Short Stories = 56
Tres Versing The Panda = 35
Video = 150
Walt Whitman = 34
Oscar Wilde = 58
William Carlos Williams = 95
William Butler Yeats = 84

(This count is on the morning of March 20, 2010 . . . by the time you read this my count will be way off because the man adds entries faster than I can read them.)

At least I beat the Bhagavad-Gita (18), and I suppose I can’t rail too much about the 1900s, the 2000s, Poetry and Cleveland categories since I’m a subset.

My closest poet competitors are Lord Byron (17 entries); Langston Hughes, James Joyce, and Ken Kitt (18 each); Samuel T. Coleridge (19); Essays (20), and Kevin Bernhard (21). Kevin Bernhard is local, living, prolific and proficient, so I may have to kill him to keep him from overtaking me.

Oddly enough, the publisher/editor John ‘Jesus Crisis’ Burroughs only has 3 entries of his own poetry in the library. Don’t know if this is modesty or a desire to publish fresh elsewhere.

In spite of his having so few entries by me, I recommend stopping by – just the entries for Autobiography, Novels, Philosophy, Poetry, Religion, Essays, and Short Stories alone total 1,603.

(Crisis obeys the copyright laws; that’s why the entries are heavily weighted towards older writings where the copyright has passed into public domain; all current copywrit entries have been granted permission.)

FLASH – Crisis added a 10 minute video of me reading seven poems at the 12-hour Snoetry reading in Eastern, Pennsylvania last January 16. The video is a fair rendering of my current reading style. Once he adds it to the Crisis Online Library, I’ll have 24 entries, same as that upstart dude Plato. Check the video out at youtube.com/watch?v=u2Is3a_q7Ug.

It is rare for me to get a glimpse of myself performing. I see I need to get more force, joy and pizzazz in my performance to fly to the next level, interact between poems with the audience, look them in the eye more, and recite the dozen poems I’ve memorized rather than relying on the paper to protect me. I’m still too shy, enclosed and buttoned-down to let myself go in public – but oh you should see me in private . . . just ask Lady.

I’ve got good material; if I can get the performance and presentation clicking, there’ll be no business like poem business.

PS – The Crisis Library also has 13 entries for Lady K you can check out – Lady K.

The Crisis Chronicles Online Library is library.crisischronicles.com.

The blog the library is attached to — the tao, how, and what now of Jesus Crisis — is crisisblog.crisischronicles.com/.


trust and influence Smith – foto by Smith

 

 
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