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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 July, 2014

PEACE, HOME

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

PEACE, HOME

Peace, home

Right?

Peace is being at home

Like coming home from work and
relaxing into the patois of the patter

Some, a few folk, they need just a knapsack
and their feet

Me, I need a good couch, a roof,
my husband, cat and kitchen–
a well-stocked kitchen
and means to help
the world
to walk myself into it
the wider home, the world
then walk back to nestle
in my nest

That’s home

They say sometimes,
“When all of us are peaceful,
there will be peace”

Yes, that is one way home

Home can be a big cushion
we sink our pins into

Not every last creature has to be happy
and in proper relation with each other
for home to predominate

Altho it’d be nice
for all to be in proper relation
anyways

The chain of our moods
can be unbroken
yet still,
home,
this loam

Home whether I’m ready
it’s like a cot I lay in

Home a big cup
a big container, that cot

It will accommodate me
regardless of my status

May everyone have home

~ Lady

 

Good day, good mood, good wife, good cat

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

After writing and posting a poem a day for 9+ months, and blogging almost daily for 7 years before that , it was delightful to stop both the daily poem and blog, a definite sense of relief. Now whatever happens, happens, and what doesn’t, doesn’t.

We’ve posted 3,375 blogs since July 2006, perhaps 10,000 fotos, maybe 1,000 poems. We do do our bit for the contentverse, so where’s our fame and fortune? (I know, it’s in the mail, along with the check.) The cool thing is, except for our first six months, the last 8 years of Lady’s and my relationship is documented here for whenever we decide to write book 2, and some of our first 6 months is documented at AgentOfChaos.com.

Long, full day. Opened with a sunrise rooftop breakfast at the nature center, morphed into doctor visit to start ball rolling on my ceramic-cobalt left shoulder replacement, then the bank, Home Depot for a rubber trash can to turn into a composter, then bath, and back out for oil change and food shopping. It’s 6pm and I’ve been up 15 hours. Now vegetable fried rice, a few tokes to tone my tune, waste some time that’s never a waste because that’s when I ponder, peruse, and plan, and then bed.

Good day, good mood, good wife, good cat, and I’m rereading Kurt Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle after 42 years.

 

HOW CALLA LILIES ENFOLD

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

HOW CALLA LILIES ENFOLD

Peace and pace of space
calla lilies slip up into curvaceousness
like the glossy satin of legs arranged
in Vogue Magazine

Peace calm and easy,
strong and firm like water in the
calla lilies’ succulent stems

What leads to an arrangement
like steps, planks ascend to sacred altar
of a contemplative nest,
calla lily abode

Regarding
like the quietude
of legs crossed on a bench
in an art museum, one’s own private art museum
perfumed breaths and petals damping,
private hush

So much can function
as a calla lily does

~ Lady

 

Fifty-third Calypso

Monday, July 28th, 2014

We’re heading down to the Watershed Stewardship Center in West Creek Reservation Metropark to eat a sunrise breakfast on top of their grass roof. Looking forward to it even though the sky is rain-clouded because it will still be a great way to start our day.

Lady mentioned it’s been 6 days since I’ve posted my “daily” blog, so here’s my new masterpiece.

Anger Management

Rain and dark and chill in heat.
Cuppa coffee and a toke the coming day to greet.
Rinse gaily, add some salt, and repeat, repeat, repeat.

– Smith, 7.28.2014

And a Kurt Vonnegut masterwork from 1963.

Fifty-third Calypso
from “The Books of Bokonon”

Oh, a sleeping drunkard
Up in Central Park,
And a lion hunter
In the jungle dark,
And a Chinese dentist,
And a British queen —
All fit together
In the same machine.
Nice, nice, very nice;
Nice, nice, very nice;
Nice, nice, very nice —
So many different people
In the same device.

– from chapter 2 of Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut, 1963

Don’t spill the Ice-9.

 

sticky wicket mercy

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

Sopping wet from sweat from bicycling 61 blocks on an errand of mercy, then back again.

Months ago Lady with her ever kind and giving Ladyheart gave a lift to someone less fortunate. Later that night she and I took over some food to him at his apartment and gave him and his urine soaked trousers a ride to the free church dinner.

Lady called Meals On Wheels to see if they could feed him and they said have him call so we went back and loaned him her fone but the gentleman in need got feisty with all the questions and when they asked if he had trouble getting around, he snapped “I get around fine. I use a cane but it’s a fashion statement.” Since Meals On Wheels is for those having trouble ambulating, they turned him down. The man definitely has trouble getting around and basically cut off his nose to spite their authoritarian face.

Friday I recorded a tune with Peter and forgot to turn my fone back on afterward. Friday night I get a voice message saying he’d like to talk to us. Go over Saturday but he’s not there so Lady leaves her jar of fresh canned blueberry jam and a bag of food in his door.

Lady gets a couple more voice mails asking if she’d taxi him someplace.

This morning I find another voice message from last night, call him back and get “Sorry, voice mail box is full, go away.” Get another voice mail from him from another number and call back and get a third party who is not exactly nice, doesn’t seem to understand what I say, and hangs up.

Get curious why I’m not hearing my fone ring and discover my fone’s still off, so since Lady’s at work with the car and I know what it’s like to be in trouble and need a hand, I bicycle 61 blocks in the hot sun.

We talk. He doesn’t remember me because I’m not with Lady. Ask him why he called and he said he’s out of money and he thinks if he can get hold of Steve & Kathy, they’ll lend him some. I say “I’m the Steve of Steve and Kathy.” He hadn’t recognized me because I’m not with Lady.

I explain we are on limited income and can’t be his patron. He says he gets $1,000 a month from disability (he’s 83) and his rent is only $230. I ask, “If you get that much, why are you in trouble every month?” “I donno, I do stupid things,” he replies. He doesn’t drink alcohol or do drugs, so I don’t know what’s going on.

I tell him he cannot call us to ask for money or rides, and he says it’s good to know that. He’s quite a nice old man, I like him, but I can’t even afford to buy a little grass for myself so certainly can’t afford to raise him – besides, he’s 15 years older than I am.

I explain to him how he messed up on the Meals On Wheels because he insisted he had no trouble getting around. He says he meant he can get around the block he lives on, but not to the church serving free food. So we agreed that if Lady will call Meals On Wheels back and try to explain he was confused when he answered and ask if he can interview again, he’ll give less prideful answers. She says she’ll call them again, so we’ll see.

Then I gave him $7 and bicycled back in the heat.

Moral of story? Be careful to whom you give your fone#, and be aware that helping others sometimes is like trying to rescue flies willfully stuck to flypaper – you might get stuck yourself cuz it’s all one great sticky wicket.

Still, is better to try to help than harden one’s heart . . . otherwise you end up like Bland Paul or Mutt Romney or Ted Cruel, which is NOT a pretty picture.

(Took these two fotos on my bicycle way back home today . . . on the same car)

 

DREAMING

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

DREAMING

She’s under starlight on a park bench
Lincoln park in Cleveland

Head down in her chest, she dreams
a magic hour, dreams

She wakes a magic hour world

Queen Maab on a park bench

Dream blinking from her eyelashes
meets dream under starlight

Fairies’ve laid a jam and butter sandwich
on a blanket by her side

Milk and honey
sweet cold water
fruit and nuts

A bite like a kiss into white bread
delicious provisions and memories
of her childhood

Holy feral night in her little church
in the park under the stars

Moon her sun

She picks her lyre
up out of her bag lady disguise bags

She plucks and wakes up sparrows
who adjust in roosts with nips
and muffled chirps for hours
waiting for daybreak

When lucid light of suntime comes
she visits Civilization
for coffee

~ Lady

 

my 2nd singing (in public)

Monday, July 21st, 2014

Mad Sing You II musicpoetry Fest – foto by Yogi Jen

Yesterday was special for me performance-wise. The night before, Lady and I decided she’d join me singing a couple verses of my reggae song and play a bit of her angklung as well, an instrument whose Indonesian tones fit reggae perfectly. When we told Shawn Mishak just before our set (he’s the leader of the group Kid Tested, and the music portion of yesterday’s set), he said fine, maybe she would like to play his new metal pan of amplified push pins as well, it was something he’d been thinking of trying for awhile.

Started off with me shouting out a talking blues over Shawn’s avant garde guitar improvisations and Lady’s dropping push pins onto metal, then swishing them around. The second song was to be reggae with Lady singing the first verse, then ending with a verse she’d ad-libbed earlier, but instead of reggae, she went all Kim Gordon Sonic Youth on me and started spitting the lyrics out like bullets and hitting the angklung hard and dropping the push pins following Shawn’s gritty guitar, and I saw my lilting reggae blown away by punk bombers and gleefully went along with em. What a perfect set, totally unexpected, we all heard what we heard when we heard it for the first time, all my precepts tossed. Don’t know what we sounded like but it sure was fun, and perhaps my best reading to date.

Thanks to Yogi Jen for the fotos.






Mad Sing You II musicpoetry Fest – fotos by Yogi Jen




Mad Sing You II musicpoetry Fest 7.20.12014
Pat’s in the Flats
neon by Jeff Chiplis – fotosmith

 

2morro Mad Sing You II 1-4pm, Pat’s in the Flats

Saturday, July 19th, 2014

Tomorrow down in the Flats, 7 poet-music acts for a Sunday afternoon – MAD SING YOU II 2nd Annual poetrymusic Fest July 20, 2014, 1pm – 4pm a 21 and over show at Pat’s in the Flats 2233 W. 3rd St (bottom of Literary Hill) Cleveland, Ohio $5 cover charge.

Starring: Latex Menagerie (spoken word by Bree, Adam Brodsky & Russ Vidrick), Shelley Chernin, Jesus Crisis Ban/ne/d (poet John Burroughs), Tom Adams w/ Goggles Pisano, The Deep Cleveland Trio Band (dan smith, Morgan Ellington, Miles Budimir & Eric Anderson), Terry Provost (backing band, the Rickety Claque, featuring Dave Shaggy Snodgrass), and The Leftovers (featuring Steven Smith & Shawn Mishak) . . . and Lady will sing one song with me.

~ ~ ~

Updike

Young Rabbit Angstrom
felled by casual fucking
and former glory.

– Smith 7.19.2014

Finally finished “Rabbit at Rest.” Now reading another by Updike – “S.”.

~ ~ ~

Recorded this yesterday, a short talking urban blues, so to speak . . . click here to hear One Life to Live, Peter Ball music, mix and recording, me word and voice, or as Peter put it: Steven B. Smith – Vocals and Lyrics with The Planetary Extinction Orchestra.

One Life to Live (the song)

Am I running from the coming
of the fountain of afford?
Is the water getting wider
before we get to ford?

How’s the hide of hoarder
as he hoists his heavy load?
When the heck will this be paid for
as we stumble down the road?

I say sock it to em, sex it up,
add some color, bunny hop,
make it funky, do it down,
even clunky you can clown
defrown that upsidedown.

These are the questions lacking
in the running of day,
the personal people problems
per their portion of the pay.

We don’t have a lot of options
in the play or way of lay,
but then that’s not our business,
or at least that’s what they say.

I say sock it to em, sex it up,
add some color, bunny hop,
make it funky, do it down,
even clunky you can clown
defrown that upsidedown.

– Smith, 7.18.2014


foto by Lady K

 

climate change, income inequality, racism, sexism

Friday, July 18th, 2014

Lady tried to get folk interested in setting up a scholarship for an African American student, and it made me uncomfortable because race is such a sticky wicket, so I’ve been thinking about it – where does race place in the world’s problems?

Going by numbers alone, our #1 problem is climate change because that affects 100% of humans on earth regardless of income, sex, age, race, or belief . . . it is also killing plants, air, animals, birds, fish, seas, and soil.

#2 is wealth inequality since it affects a minimum of 99% of folk on earth.

Race is #3 because it affects all non-caucasians, or around 82% of the world population, perhaps even more since there is much non-caucasian racism as well.

# 4 is sexism because it affects 51% of humans.

Frequently folk are hit with all of the above simultaneously, such as a poor non-white woman anywhere on earth.

This is a shallow analysis because there are so many more problems like lack of healthcare, education, shelter, water, etc, but many of these are sub-components of the four problems above.

~ ~ ~

2 Days from now down in the Flats
7 poet-music acts for a Sunday afternoon

MAD SING YOU II
2nd Annual poetrymusic Fest
Sunday July 20, 2014, 1pm – 4pm
a 21 and over show
Pat’s in the Flats
2233 W. 3rd St (bottom of Literary Hill)
Cleveland, Ohio
$5 cover charge

Starring:

Latex Menagerie
(spoken word by Bree, Adam Brodsky & Russ Vidrick)

Shelley Chernin

Jesus Crisis Ban/ne/d
(guitarist Jj Haaz & poet John Burroughs)

Tom Adams w/ Goggles Pisano

The Deep Cleveland Trio Band
(dan smith, Morgan Ellington, Miles Budimir & Eric Anderson)

Terry Provost
(backing band, the Rickety Claque, featuring Dave Shaggy Snodgrass)

The Leftovers
(featuring Steven Smith & Shawn Mishak)

 

Split Pea Soup

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

go 4 it

4 Days from now down in the Flats
7 poet-music acts for a Sunday afternoon

MAD SING YOU II
2nd Annual poetrymusic Fest
Sunday July 20, 2014, 1pm – 4pm
a 21 and over show
Pat’s in the Flats
2233 W. 3rd St (bottom of Literary Hill)
Cleveland, Ohio
$5 cover charge

Starring:

Latex Menagerie
(spoken word by Bree, Adam Brodsky & Russ Vidrick)

Shelley Chernin

Jesus Crisis Ban/ne/d
(guitarist Jj Haaz & poet John Burroughs)

Tom Adams w/ Goggles Pisano

The Deep Cleveland Trio Band
(dan smith, Morgan Ellington, Miles Budimir & Eric Anderson)

Terry Provost
(backing band, the Rickety Claque, featuring Dave Shaggy Snodgrass)

The Leftovers
(featuring Steven Smith & Shawn Mishak)

I’ll be performing some version of this song: click here to hear Blues Happy.

Split Pea Soup

The Supreme Court:
4 slimetoads, 2 slugs, 3 decent women
3 free females, 6 corporate house slaves.

– Smith, 7.16.2014


so they say

 

 
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