...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, 2016
Saturday, July 30th, 2016
Surprisingly, this moan and groan turns into an affirmation.
Had to cut down on my stress and inner anger level so I’ve cut way down on news.
No longer read editorials, opinion pieces, what-might-happen articles, watched none of the republican or democrat conventions, and stopped following several negative Nortons on Facebook.
It’s mostly lies, smoke and mirrors anyway.
If there were truth in advertising, the republicans would change their name to the repugnants, and the democrats would drop their name entirely since they are definitely not democratic.
Also cut down on news about corruption and police brutality and people killing cops.
We all know corruption flows from the top down – the rich folk flout the rules, hide their money offshore, politicians are mostly bought and sold, the church covers up pederasty, corporations lie, cheat, steal and kill without penalty while not only not paying their taxes but getting large portions of ours as rebates. The military bombs civilians at will killing mostly dark-skinned innocents of all ages. The drug companies in America are some of the best extortion artists around, our health care is the most expensive in the world yet we rank 37th in quality. The oil companies are killing our land, our water tables, and the earth. Our tomorrows aren’t worth the paper yesterday’s printed on.
Pretty much the only folk who are tried and jailed are the little peope who steal or kill small – kill big and they honor you along with the Henry Killingers, fete you with dinners and book contracts and awards.
World’s always been this way, just not as much and not as openly.
About all I can do is follow Mr Roger’s advice and try to clean up my own act, make my corner a little brighter and happier for wife, friends, folk around me.
Zen monks have always said the task is to live a happy life in an unhappy world because the world’s always been unhappy and seems hell bent on staying that way.
I have to admit I’m not very good at brightening my own corner. But I am still trying, have been for decades, but it is so easy to slip and become one with the mudmen.
What helps me is being with the missus and the feline, enjoying the creativity of our friends, the warmth of family, the new baby born to the relatives, writing poems, making art, taking fotos, feeding the birds and listening to their chatter, the peace in the hour before dawn, ornamental grasses, the first cup of pre-dawn coffee . . . the list is literally endless.
And I have a marvelously moral and kind-hearted friend and companion in Lady K. Smith, who has softened and enlightened me these past eleven years with her endless effort to be good and fair to others, even when it costs her, especially when it costs her.
And there is always hope – I mean just think, in the early 1950’s we were ravaged my polio, then Dr Jonas Salk invented the polio vaccine and gave it free to humanity . . . I remember taking his sugar cube doses in three installments standing in long lines at elementary schools in 1955 when I was 9. It meant a lot to me because my father’s left leg was withered from having polio as a child so I knew how dangerous it was.
One day there was no hope, next day free polio vaccine. Who knows what great thing in science or humanity’s heart may come along and heal our current sickness. Maybe the greed and cruelty darkening these days has a cure just around the corner.
Whatever, I still try to keep hope alive in my heart. Begin every day with a refreshed batch of it when I wake, and it slowly leaks away as I stumble through the day until I get a bit depressed by bedtime and go to bed to sleep and recharge – my Sisyphus loop, rolling hope up each day’s new hill.
So here’s to hope, and my patron saints Mr Rogers and Lady.
Saturday, July 30th, 2016
A small bird flew in our kitchen window and tried to escape out the permanently closed stairwell window.
She was afraid to leave that window because MandyCat had gone into hunter mode and was quivering with desire at the top of the stairs.
The window’s 10 foot above the landing, so I got our broken 4 foot ladder and a broom and gently forced her down onto the art ledge where she was so terrified she was frozen in fear as I picked her up and sent her on her way.
I’m wondering how come the gods don’t help me on my way. I suspect they’re too amused at my struggle and like the entertainment.
The Headless Johnson Dream
New record. Remembered my dream three nights in a row. What there is of it anyway. Bunch of us were discussing what was wrong with a new statue of a man seated in a chair looking exactly like the 1915 statue of mayor Tom Johnson in Public Square, and someone said we should cut the head off. I said “That’s brass, isn’t it? Brass is much harder than copper. Not sure we could do it.” So of course next segment of dream I’m out in public, in sunny daylight, cutting the head off with a hacksaw blade – no hacksaw, just the blade. Then we’re all walking around, me carrying the head with one hand and my arm stuck inside the body – which is weird because the body weighs over a ton – and I’m worried because it’s daylight, there’s people everywhere, and I say “You know, someone’s going to notice us, and remember.”
Then Lady woke me just before 4 because I like to be up when she goes for her 12 mile pre-dawn weekend run so I have a feel for when she should be back in case there’s a problem. Believe being woken from the dream last three mornings around 4 is what has enabled me to remember them.
maybe a sparrow? feedback — friend Martin Sokolich says Louisiana Waterthrush, and online fotos seem very close
Friday, July 29th, 2016
Bad Want Ad Poetry & Presidential Debate Dreams Cleveland 2016.7.28-29
So many of my dreams are mundane extensions of waking life.
Tonight’s dream was ridiculous but low-key, kind of common. I was wandering the subway tunnels of New York City wearing a cheap brown ill-fitting suit wondering if I should go through with the debate. I’d been accidentally selected as the seventh person in the Presidential debate on television which started in an hour somewhere in the Empire State building. I knew I wasn’t supposed to be there, no one knew who I was, didn’t have any Secret Service folk, and was aware there was no way I could win, so just kept walking, thinking, drinking two cups of coffee. Finally decided to go through with it for the message, the chance to stand up there and tell the truth, make jokes at the politicians’ expense. Was bounding up the steps of Grand Central Station to get a third cup of coffee to get my tongue jamming when I woke at 4:08.
The night before, the metal handle of our frying pan suddenly became flexible and the eggs slid out on the floor as I picked it up.
So we went downstairs to a decrepit underground new age beat coffee shop where folk sat around on tattered couches surrounded by low light and lava lamps and read poetry from the want ads in the newspaper.
They handed me a newspaper to read from and I couldn’t get my voice or cadence right and they mocked me. Told them I could do it, but this time I couldn’t decipher half the words, unsuccessfully tried to fake the ones I couldn’t read and they told me I was worthless and dismissed me – and they were right . . . rude and crude, but right.
So not much of a dream, but it is what it is.
Friday, July 29th, 2016
A shearwater nests on the edge of a cliff
to fall in dream to flight in space
its cruciform wings skim tips of waves
and it follows the whales to feed on their wakes
Thursday, July 28th, 2016
Lady & I have uploaded 4,123 blog posts in the past 10 years on WalkingThinIce.com.
When Lady started this blog, I asked why. Now I’m hooked.
Except for our first 6 months together, the blog documents our soon-to-be 11 years together, our 31 months of living in 10 countries on 3 continents, our art, poetry, friends, family . . . probably 10-15,000 fotos posted. What a treasure trove to mine for our second memoir.
Thank you Lady.
Did a full day’s house husband work . . . one load of laundry, washed the dishes, made a batch of navy bean soup, and arranged picking up our new batch of bees this weekend. Had to sacrifice a needed nap and bath cuzza time.
I’ve always done the laundry and dishes. It’s only fair because Lady cooked; but she’s been frantically working 70 hours a week for less than $5 an hour trying to save her family’s web design business since she took over as President 8 months ago, so I’ve taken on at least half of the cooking and some of the bee business and cleaning and shopping.
I’m in a remarkably good mood considering I’m three weeks unstoned because we can’t afford to buy me grass or much of anything else – of course outside of getting stoned, I don’t have many needs.
To reduce my un-stoned stress, I’ve considerably cut down reading the news because it riles me, especially with the political charade going on, and I’ve also cut way down on coffee for the same reason.
Finally accept that my art and poetry are not going to make me money or bring me renown, even though I’ve been chasing fame and fortune for 50 years, but that’s okay cuz I do it for me – it’s the main way I’ve kept myself sane since 1964. Fuck fame, though a wee bit of help with the finances would be nice.
Been at it a long time – my 1st poem was 1964, 1st art piece 1965, 1st fotograf 1956, 1st drawing 1958, 1st blog 2006, 1st web site 2002, 1st recorded song with me singing my lyrics 2002, 1st published story 1969, 1st published newspaper article 1973, 1st published book of poetry 2008, 1st non-fiction book (my memoir co-authored with Lady) 2012.
I’m with the one I love and the one I loves wants to be with me, and we’ve a fine feline to make us three. So there you go. The poems come almost every day, and I’m working on a second art piece for Shawn Mishak’s Doubting Thomas Gallery group show next month on gentrification.
Now all I need is some grass and a huge reduction in my wife’s stress levels and life would be divine.
PS – interesting soup this time: 1 gigantic and 2 medium onions, 3 large cloves garlic chopped and sauted in 1/3 cup olive oil, add 4 large carrots, 6 celery stocks, 4 green onions, 12 sprigs parsley, 6 sprigs thyme chopped and saute some more, add 3 small cans navy beans, large can diced tomatoes, 4 chopped green onions, 2 zucchini squash chopped fine, good splash of sherry, couple pinches bonfire smoked salt, generous shakes black pepper, 2 bay leaves and slow cook for an hour; take the bay leaves out and throw them away (although I washed them off and put them in my new art piece), put about half the soup in a blender and puree, pour back in, add a package of frozen corn, simmer another 40 minutes and serve. Delicious.
Thursday, July 28th, 2016
Moment courts that I be not afraid but
trust the line I walk to time earned in
expanses of allowed whistles to a song
of self esteem, a bounce in my step, fealty
to sights noticed and ambient sounds heard
generous wallet and spontaneous talk
face slack, relaxed without frantic smile
except one come naturally like
Wednesday, July 27th, 2016
Liberty Lynne Green 5 hours old 7.26.2016
Strange interconnected stuff going on. I’m reminded we are not singularities, but rather interwoven web.
1 birth, 1 death = 2 extra sensory perceptions.
Got up yesterday morning at 4 instead of 5 because Lady was leaving for an 8 mile run. She told me Dedra and brother Jon’s baby wasn’t born yet.
Did back stretch exercise, put on my jeans and t-shirt, turned off the bedroom air conditioner, then realized I should write a poem for the coming baby, but kind of deflated because how do I of all people write a baby poem. I’m 70 years old, never had children, and had myself sterilized 40 years ago to make sure I didn’t accidentally conceive.
As I walked into the bathroom, the phrase “baby being born” flashed through my mind, and I thought it was a fine line for a poem, so sat down on the toilet lid and wrote this in a minute
Small new life creeping
into big old world
as night slips to day
Baby being born
then titled it “Liberty Green 7.26.2016” because the parents had decided the name would be Liberty if a girl and Lincoln if a boy, and for some reason I was sure she was a she. Poem was done before 4:25.
At 5:25 my ma-law called saying it was a girl. Went to hospital to see her and found she’d been born at 4:18 a.m., which is within a minute of when “baby being born” flashed through my mind.
I have no verification except telling my mother-in-law on the fone at 5:25 I’d written a poem and already titled it Liberty.
But I do have proof of a previous interaction.
In 2006, my ex-girlfriend artist/photographer Masumi Hayashi’s spirit visited me in London in my dream within minutes of her being murdered in Cleveland Ohio. The dream was so powerful I got up and blogged it. Few hours later a Cleveland poet emailed me after reading the blog and told me Masumi had been shot and killed for telling someone to turn their music down.
Masumi and I had broken up 20 years before. I never dreamed of her, never thought of her, we never spoke, yet the night she died she appeared in my dream and tried to take me away from Lady. The Pulp Sculptress of Chicago told me I had been Masumi’s strongest relationship, that she’d never gotten as close to any of her other boyfriends in the two decades since. (2006 Masumi blog below).
And my new born niece announces herself in my mind as she’s literally being born.
This is good. I’ve gotten away from seeing the magic, have become mundane, weary, cynical. This is a reminder of how all is connected even if it appears to be discrete segments, and I need to open myself to this again because I used to walk in magic but have stumbled into being ordinary – and none of us are ordinary.
The wall between magic and ordinary seems to thin in birth and death.
Here’s the Masumi Hayashi blog from ten years ago.
2006.8.18 – London, England
Had another dead dream. I woke in tears. Then the cat bit my toe.
Mother Dwarf was in the rest home – they were giving her a party because she was the only one left alive. I arrive and a young, beautiful cream-skinned lady starts dancing with me. Lots of people. Hors d’oeuvres. I say nice party. She says yes, but nobody’s here. What do you mean? She points to mom sitting behind the table – there’s no mom, just a mom-shaped hole cut in the wall. We go thru the hole, trace down events. Find the rest home had burned during the night and Mother Dwarf was dead. So brown lady and I go watch fireworks. She’s hugging and kissing me, telling me she loves me. I laugh, say this is going to sound weird, but what’s your name? She becomes sad. Says Mer. Ask her last name. She says Jam. That makes me remember – she was there 9 months ago when we 1st brought mother dwarf to the home. She loves me because I was good to mom. Everything is fine. Then we’re back at the party and unpleasant Japanese ex comes up, takes my hand. Insults Mer. Mer leaves. Tell ex that was sad, Mer seems nice. Ex sez yes, but I’m stronger. I wake up, crying. Get up to come down, to tell Kathy my dream – and step on the black cat sleeping at my feet, who screeches and bites my big toe. I call to him, apologize, get down and soothe him.
Last dead dream had holes cut in the expensive hotel floor. This has mom hole cut into wall. What am I missing here?
Today’s email from Cleveland Amy concerning my blog this morning about my dream last night in which Masumi appeared:
I don’t know if you’ve been told yet, but Masumi was killed in her apartment last night by another tenant in the building, a 19-year-old guy. The artist John Jackson was also killed–he lived in the same building. I don’t know any more information. Both Masumi and John had been complaining about the guy playing his music too loud.
I read your blog about your death dream in which your “Japanese ex” appears, and thought it was eerily appropriate.
Hello to Kathy and hope all is well on your travels.
My reply to Cleveland Amy:
Amy – I had no idea whatsoever… when I first wrote the blog this morning, I used Masumi’s actual name… then thought that would be rude, ungentlemanly – unfair to her, so I changed it to “my Japanese ex” to be polite.
This is seriously spooky. Do you know what time this happened – because my dream was between 6 and 8 this morning which would make it between 1 and 3 last night your time.
No way can this be a coincidence. . . has to prove something because I never think of Masumi unless folk ask me why I quit dating for 20 years until Kathy came along.
In the dream I thought the cream-skinned lady could be Kathy.
artist/photographer/teacher Masumi Hayashi 1981
Tuesday, July 26th, 2016
I guess Lady K is finally the aunt she so wants to be, and I an uncle. Strange.
Born to Dedra and Jon Green at 4:18 a.m., 8 pounds 0 ounces, 20.5 inches long, 14 hours labor.
Liberty Lynne Green 7.26.2016
Small new life creeping
into big old world
as night slips to day
Baby being born
Sunday, July 24th, 2016
Half a dozen nuthin’
a quarter pound of loss
a bit more downward moving
counting up the cost
eat some processed sugar
standing in the rain
swallow lies of someone
higher up the chain
fill my empty pockets
with lint and empty words
hope I don’t get locked up
or put before the sword
whistle past the graveyard
while trying to get a taste
of what the high are hording
as I tighten belt at waist
seems this trickle’s warm
and a wee bit yellow
why do the rich
have to piss on us below?
– Smith, 7.24.2016
Saturday, July 23rd, 2016
Looking for the nice in the nasty
the quiet in the chaos
the kind in the mean
Trying to miss the mud
seeking happy in midst of sad
the still in rush of stream
– Smith, 7.23.2016