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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,
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Archive for April, 2012

Tonight’s Advice to Tomorrow’s Me

Sunday, April 29th, 2012

2nite – foto Smith

This needs to be sung fun and jolly, like a Saturday morning TV children’s song.

Tonight’s Advice to Tomorrow’s Me

Whatcha gonna do when the oughts run round?
Whatcha gonna do when your thoughts dip down?
Whatcha gonna do when your heart ticks tight?
Whatcha gonna do when it’s not all right?

It is not the fall but the getting up.
It is not the fail but the making up.
It is not the fault of the other folk
If you’re the butt of the cosmic joke.

Forget the outer, it’s the inner view.
Regret’s your master unless you renew.
Yesterday’s gone around the bend.
Tomorrow’s chance to make amend.

Past makes perfect seems to suggest
You’ve taken leave of some sound sense.
Then seeps in when somewhere down the road
Sometimes too steep to carry the load.

It’s always here and now, this not that
No matter what jumpstarted this act.
Work from in to out till all sparkle clean
Then get to work on the rest of the machine.

– Smith, 4.29.2012


2morro – foto Smith

 

Street Fighting Women

Saturday, April 28th, 2012

Inside out t-shirt by Anna Arnold – foto Smith

Wrote this this morning, posted it, then took it to the Newfus poetry workshop. I figured if any poem of mine could use constructive criticism, this newborn was it. So here’s what I posted, followed by what the workshop group suggested I change it to. They did make it better.

Street Fighting Women

My wife gets up at 3, goes to bed at 8
while I retire at 11, rise at 6.
At 3:28 in morning
through sleep I hear soft “Honey?”
“Uhhhhh yea?”
“There’re two women fighting outside
and I don’t know what to do.
Should I go out and stop them?”
“Let me look.”
I stumble through dark cold to look out window.
On the sidewalk three floors down
two women are screaming at each other.
In our driveway is an unknown car,
a man standing foolish, silent,
staying away from the women.
I listen . . .
anger, outrage, but no violence.
“Don’t worry, they’re not going to hurt each other.”
We watch awhile.
One puts her hand on the other’s shoulder.
Shoulder woman jerks, turns, starts away.
Hand woman follows,
both still screaming.
Man sort of starts forward,
stops when they stop, keeping distance.
More yelling,
but it’s running down.
Shoulder woman finally leaves left.
Hand woman, man depart right.
I go back to bed,
unsuccessfully seek sleep,
toss and turn
trying to return to where I was
seeing no moral
no lesson
nothing but this poem.

– Smith, 4.28.2012

Workshop result:

Street Fighting Women

My wife gets up at 3
goes to bed at 8.
I retire at 11
rise at 6.

At 3:28 this morning
through sleep I hear soft “Honey?”

“Uhhhhh yea?”

“There’re two women fighting outside
and I don’t know what to do.
Should I go out and stop them?”

“Let me look.”

Stumble cold through dark to window.
On the sidewalk three floors down
two women are screaming at each other.
In our driveway is an unknown car,
a man standing foolish, silent,
staying away from the women.

I listen . . .
anger, outrage, but no violence.

“Don’t worry, they’re not going to hurt each other.”

We watch awhile.
One puts her hand on the other’s shoulder.
Shoulder woman jerks, turns, starts away.
Hand woman follows,
both still screaming.
Man sort of starts forward,
stops when they stop, keeping distance.
More yelling,
but it’s running down.
Shoulder woman finally leaves left.
Hand woman, man depart right.

I go back to bed,
unsuccessfully seek sleep,
toss and turn
trying to return to where I was.

– Smith, 4.28.2012



Lady hugging tree yesterday for Arbor Day
same tree 2 women were screaming in front of this morning
foto Smith

 

other words

Friday, April 27th, 2012

the check’s in the mail – foto Smith

Other words.

“Art is the elimination of the unnecessary.” – Pablo Picasso, Spanish painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, and stage designer (1881-1973)

“Be better to your neighbors and you’ll have better neighbors.” – Ernest Tubb, American singer and songwriter and one of the pioneers of country music (1914-1984)

“Hate is a dead thing. Who of you would be a tomb?” – Kahlil Gibran, Lebanese-American artist, poet, and writer (1883-1931)

“This world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel.” – Horace Walpole, English art historian, man of letters, antiquarian and Whig politician (1717-1797)

“Things are in the saddle, And ride mankind” – Ralph Waldo Emerson, American essayist, lecturer, and poet (1803-1882)

“Don’t look back. Something might be gaining on you.” – Satchel Paige, American baseball player (1906-1982)

“Politicians, ugly buildings and whores, they all get respectable if they last long enough.” – John Huston, American film director, screenwriter and actor (1906-1987)

“The Edge… there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over.” — Hunter S. Thompson, American journalist and author (1937-2005)

“Sometimes you have to play a long time to be able to play like yourself.” – Miles Davis, American jazz musician, trumpeter, bandleader, and composer (1926-1981)

(descriptions and dates from Wikipedia)


Cheers – foto Smith

 

Arbor Day & HeartFest

Friday, April 27th, 2012

A couple plugs, friends, for some causes and events about which I care. First, I’m involved in Occupy Cleveland and I do the newsletter for them twice a week. For months we’ve been preparing for HeartFest. We have the official celebration at Willard Park April 28-30 and then May 1 – 5 there will be activities that are at our space in Public Square, a bit more limited (as we could only afford the permit for three days). On May 2, Smith & I are reading poetry in the NW quadrant of Public Square at 6 PM.

So here’s the blurb for HeartFest:

HeartFest 2012 – April 28-30

Willard Park (Free Stamp Park) on Google Maps…

Stage schedule April 28 – 30 (subject to change)…
More events on May 1 – May 5 as well…

Join us as we gather our communities together for a 99% Spring festival. Everyone is welcome to participate! Festivities include family fun with the community, free food & entertainment, educational workshops, community meetings and general assemblies, local business spotlights, sames, music, poetry, a really, really FREE market & more! Please bring usable, nearly new, cool items/clothes/plants, etc., to donate and swap. Also: yoga, zombie walks, Planned Parenthood, art, speeches, kids stuff, toy giveaway, music… jamming. Bring your drums!

Questions? Email clevelandheartfestival@gmail.com.

. . .

The second thing I really, really care about, even more than HeartFest, is the celebration of trees and the planet enshrined today in Arbor Day and in holidays like Earth Day. I personally plan to go out and hug a tree today. Or more. Why not? I say, “embrace the label!”

In honor of the trees, Grandma and I bought memberships to Holden Arboretum in Kirtland this past week. For those who haven’t heard of it, it’s one of the most beautiful places I’ve seen in Northeast Ohio. Today and this weekend you can enjoy FREE ADMISSION all weekend! One of the major exhibits, opening today, is called “Vanishing Acts: Trees Under Threat.” The exhibit’s name is really a misnomer because we are going to prevent the loss of these species, but what the Arboretum is saying is that some trees have been harmed, and they are providing an opportunity to learn more about the issue and help in the actions to save our planet’s trees.

We’ve also ordered some tree seedlings from the Arbor Day Foundation and I plan on integrating them into my life in a very interwoven way. I’m giving some to my mom and some to my aunt, and am looking for anyone else who might want some trees as well.

~ Lady

 

THEME FOR ENGLISH B by Langston Hughes, 1924

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

Silent echo – Smith

Odd dream last night. I was trying to play drums in a band called Rubber Gun Chicken and couldn’t make a sound.

So while I’m pondering that, I’ll continue the personal silence meme and use another’s words for today’s blog . . . an 88 year old poem written by a 22 year old black man to his white professor which I’ve read at our last two gatherings to appreciative silence.

This is from pages 166-7 of Cleveland Poetry Scenes: A Panorama & Anthology from Bottom Dog Press 2008, an excellent book of articles and poems I’m honored to be in (surprised too, since I’m Cleveland’s archetypical outsider).

Langston lived in Cleveland from 1917-20 when he was 15-18; he graduated from high school here where he was class poet and had his first poem published in the school magazine.

THEME FOR ENGLISH B
By Langston Hughes, 1924

The instructor said,

Go home and write
a page tonight.
And let that page come out of you—
Then, it will be true.

I wonder if it’s that simple?
I am twenty-two, colored, born in Winston-Salem.
I went to school there, then Durham, then here
to this college on the hill above Harlem.
I am the only colored student in my class.
The steps from the hill lead down into Harlem
through a park, then I cross St. Nicholas,
Eighth Avenue, Seventh, and I come to the Y,
the Harlem Branch Y, where I take the elevator
up to my room, sit down, and write this page:

It’s not easy to know what is true for you or me
at twenty-two, my age. But I guess I’m what
I feel and see and hear, Harlem, I hear you:
hear you, hear me—we two—you, me, talk on this page.
(I hear New York too.) Me—who?
Well, I like to eat, sleep, drink, and be in love.
I like to work, read, learn, and understand life.
I like a pipe for a Christmas present,
or records—Bessie, bop, or Bach.
I guess being colored doesn’t make me NOT like
the same things other folks like who are other races.
So will my page be colored that I write?

Being me, it will not be white.
But it will be
a part of you, instructor.
You are white—
yet a part of me, as I am a part of you.
That’s American.
Sometimes perhaps you don’t want to be a part of me.
Nor do I often want to be a part of you.
But we are, that’s true!
As I learn from you,
I guess you learn from me—
although you’re older—and white—
and somewhat more free.

This is my page for English B.

— Langston Hughes


Cleveland building blocks – foto Smith

 

No Now Now

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

3rd eye certain – Smith

No Now Now

Soaking in hot bath
thinking next
processing past
when Ram Dass whispers
“Be here now”
so I stop
relax into now
only there’s no now now
no know
it’s flick bits of then
ifs, woulds, whens
perhapses, maybes
temp checks
time taken
token to
too
no silent vessel
but creak and clatter
patter matter

— Smith, 4-25-2012


Brain bubbles – foto Smith

 

Soap Opera Century Walk Bach To Me

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

Faulty window – Smith

Soap Opera Century Walk Bach To Me

Saw a cat sit and beat a drum with her tail
Thought of Jonah swallowing the whale
Of the life against which he lived to fail
But someone already told that tale

Then there’s Icarus flying too close to the sun
While the Minotaur after Theseus does run
And Medea over Jason kills her son
But she’s not the only one

Medusa with one look turns men to stone
As Isis hunts far for Hurus’ last bone
To reunite his body and death atone
Might have been simpler simply to reclone

Robin Hood robbed and taxed the rich
Whose greedy palms did always itch
For larger status tents to pitch
But too much want leads to the ditch

Hercules had to clean their stables
Because only he was able
Unless that is just another fable
And I’m sitting at the wrong table

All these tales tell outlandish lies
Trying to answer our unsettled whys
To explain what’s above the skies
The how and why we live our lives

But there ain’t no truth to a single one
Except for truth of having fun
Though bits of truth in each one sum
Yet no final answer till this this undone

Of course I could be wrong on all this
This endless list of missed and myths
I mean I don’t even know my is
Much less the way of bliss ‘n show biz

— Smith, 4-24-2012


Broken window – foto Smith

 

The Wolf Who Cried Human & The Pack That Wouldn’t Believe

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

Too much – Smith

The Wolf Who Cried Human & The Pack That Wouldn’t Believe

It’s not about me
It’s about you
No matter what you do to me
It still leaves you with you

In wanting is suffering born

The rabbit never stops running
for rutting
from stuffing
for eating
in rabbit run meaning

Feed the cat or listen to perpetual meowing machine

I’m askin’ not requestin’
Inquirin’ not suggestin’
Ain’t no shakin’ in the Shakers Circle
Ain’t no quakin’ at the Quakers wake

This is rather what I’ve done
I’ve flowed from sun to sun

Croon old placenta moon
In squid ink sky
Reflect on root
Over white water why

Rat shack me shank around a bend I go
Downstream between the healing and the heat

— Smith, 4-23-2012


Dr Smith’s prescription for reality – foto Smith

 

Yeasterday

Sunday, April 22nd, 2012

The road to hell is paved with good intentions
and I worked for the paving company
broke my back in hot slop sweat
to fill my sloppy seconds
– Smith

A few lines salvaged from my back-pocket notebook
(2 b used someday in a real poem)

Fog today in my worm turned mind

War is raw backwards, which is no way to live

Einstein’s time may be relative
but it’s all in-law to me

Is it yesterday or yeasterday
because our present raises like sour dough
from yesterday’s risings

— Smith, 4.22.2012


Yeasterday – foto Smith

 

Being at Peace in Community – Introducing Ourselves – Thoughts

Sunday, April 22nd, 2012

I was very calm and happy yesterday during our meeting, “Introducing Ourselves: Being at Peace in the Community.” Only a couple poems per se were read—the rest of the time we were wrapped up in intense, interesting discussion. I followed the discussion where it led, not wishing to impose too much of the initial kernel of the idea (meeting with police to stop violence) on the group but rather seeing where the community need is greatest. It seems that people are most concerned about children and community issues with children. At first we talked about the need to help stop bullies—we theorized that bullies are bullies because they have been bullied at home. So we discussed the need to create safe, kind role models who kids can emulate if they do not have that experience to draw from at home.

And we became very concerned about the perception of kids—like, for instance, if we were to just perform at a school one time and then move on to the next event somewhere else, what kind of expectations have we set up for the kids? Have we really helped things or have we just done something for the name of the project rather than the project’s mission?

So there was this sense of wanting to hunker down and really understand how to set the pathways to change even after we’ve gone to the next location (if that’s what we’ll do). And definitely the thought of following up and also preparing people – like meeting a week before hand and just kind of chilling with and meeting the community, then the next week doing the actual creative event, and then the following week (as an example of a time scale) doing some kind of follow-up action.

Then we really started learning more about the scale of issues in some parts of the community. I’ve not lived in a particular neighborhood where I’ve had to worry about being shot much. Some have. One person came in to the meeting and discussed the project with which he’s involved, the Community Greenhouse Project. This project is setting up in a neighborhood where there were multiple killings. I like the idea of the garden as a healing and integrative experience and hope that the project succeeds and helps people in the neighborhood.

We also talked about the need for people who have good heart to learn more rather than impose a mission ignorantly. So it was posited that some initial events could involve a kind of “we’re here, listening; please inform us and help us understand” message. Rather than broadcasting something “from above” it would be a mission of extended community building that is respectful.

Some talked about the existence of gangs—something that I hadn’t even considered, hadn’t even hit my radar of consciousness. I mean, I’ve read about gangs a small bit but didn’t really know that there were gangs in Cleveland. I really think that even if someone identifies as belonging to a gang that doesn’t necessarily mean that the person is bad. (My inside belief: no one is actually bad—it’s only the circumstances and the actions that might be bad.) So it is important to me to think about people in terms of them being people with families even if gang members, but to not ignore the reality of the issues involved with gangs.

There was the discussion of the need to explicitly identify core principles as a group and as perhaps individuals acting on our own or with other projects, and how this can focus collective vision.

We talked a little bit about how to get kids and parents more interested and perhaps slam poetry might be a means of doing this, as it is fashionable and involves diverse participants of various backgrounds.

So, lots of interesting talk, and I was calm (I’m an introvert), and I think that it might be a slower process than I thought but that’s OK. I mean, it could be a kind of organic, long term activity. I don’t want to overcommit anyone, though! There was also the thought that we need to keep the involvement fun and lighthearted to an extent so that we don’t get burned out. I really enjoy intense activity but also I don’t want to be tired all the time, so I am hoping to help keep it fun and productive and that it actually helps things.

I’ve attached some photos I took of my kind of unconventional notes jotting down of some of the ideas bounced around in the group.

My notes:

GREEN SOUP

PUSH KINDNESS, GENTLENESS & OPTIMISM

SMOKED SALT, SMOKED PAPRIKA & SHREDDED BEETS, HIJIKI WITH AVACADOS AND TOASTED SESAME OIL

REGAIN SOCIAL SKILLS

CLEVELAND, A GOOD COMMUNITY

RELATIONSHIPS

VISION

LEARN & LISTEN

WHAT’S GOING ON?

STOPPING BULLYING; STOPPING THE BULLYING OF KIDS WHO ARE BULLIES

THINK ABOUT THE PPL, PARTICULARLY KIDS AND WHAT THEY ARE THINKING AFTER THE EVENT

BE ABOUT THE PEOPLE, NOT THE “PROGRAM”

FOLLOW UP

REFINDING OPTIMISM

ASK PPL IN AREA ~ REC CENTERS ~ HOUGH

WRITE A PAGE & LET THAT PAGE COME OUT OF U

CONNECTEDNESS

BUILD A MODEL ON CERTAIN PRINCIPLES ~ WHAT WOULD BE OUR CONNECTION TO THE COMMUNITY?

“THE LONGER WE TELL THE TRUTH THE MORE IT WILL BE THE TRUTH”

SHYNESS

CREATIVITY & COMMUNITY

“WE WANT TO TAKE THIS TO YOUR AREA ~ TODAY WE’RE AT THIS PLACE IN CONJUNCTION WITH ____”

COMMUNITY CAN BE LIKE A GARDEN

OUTREACH

PEACEMAKER ALLIANCE

COHESIVE GROUP OF PEOPLE ~ POETRY COUNCIL

AFFECT INDIVIDUALS: GO DO THE POETRY, GO OUT THERE AND SPIT SOMEWHERE

REVEREND BILLY, PERFORMANCE ARTIST

U.S. SOCIAL FORUM IN DETROIT, WORLD SOCIAL FORUM

DETROIT URBAN GARDEN COMMUNITY

RON SCOTT, BOGG CENTER

COMMUNITY RELATIONS BOARD OF CLEVELAND

ALLIED MEDIA CONFERENCE DETROIT

“TRANSFORMATIVE SOCIAL CHANGE DISCUSSION”

SCATTEREDNESS, BUT HAPPY, OPTIMISTIC, CHILDREN BIGGEST CONCERN

EDUCATION

HOW DO WE GET PPL ENGAGED B4 PROBLEMS HAPPEN, 2 STOP PROBLEMS?

“ME & YOU”

PRINCIPLES, PEOPLE WITH PRINCIPLES OF ENGAGEMENT

UNDERSTANDING PEOPLE

GETTING ENGAGED

LEARNING ABOUT PEOPLE

CARING

THE VALUE OF TEACHING & ARTICULATING

TRUTH

BEING MORE CIVIL

REMEMBERING OLD VALUES AND REAPPLYING TO NEW CONTEXTS

~ Lady

 

 
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