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text of my 15 minute reading last week


front book display at Mac’s Backs
me left, my collage up top, and Beats the rest

Here the text of the 15 minutes I read last week at Mac’s Backs bookstore. (takes 10 minutes to read).

These poems are from “Where Never Was Already Is” on Crisis Chronicles Press, published 4.2018 – 244 poems over 54 years – 29 collages – 324 pages – 6″ x 9″ – $15: http://ccpress.blogspot.com/2018/04/098Smith.html.

You normlly have to be dead or famous to get 244 poems in one book.

~ ~

Want Ad

I like walks in the rain
I like licking pink stains
There’s good and bad things baby
Crawling through your hair
Old lumps of new grown gravy
Calling from your lair
You wanna bite me baby
I wanna bite me too
Bite me three times
You got a deal

~ ~ ~

Lineman

Hey baby, what’s your sign?
Cum here often?
Wanna see my coloring book?
I’ve got a big red crayon
Fit right between your lines

~ ~ ~

Dada Greybeard

A lady poet followed me home
And asked if I could keep her
I replied
It must be denied
For I had no room in my freezer
She engineered her stay
Of relocation with play
Charm and elocution
Praised this and that
Allowed a wee pat
Counted on evolution
I may be cheap
And easy too
But for female I’m hard-wired
And too
It’s sort of cool
This once being the one that’s desired
Though I question her taste
Her need of rat waste
A too hasty fade
Will shatter shades
I cannot replace
Best to see
What she reweaves
What treasure in her trundle
Though it fracture my plan
I am but man
And man is meant to bundle

~ ~ ~

Love Potion

In the cool of the Fall
when we first fell
she was my B-movie star stable,
scrappy girl reporter one date,
witty secretary a la lusty librarian
or pouty pal with secret crush
the next,
sometimes all in one night,
it became ritual
each time we left I’d stop
two steps below
look up
demand one kiss for passage
and gauge
what girl tonight?

One evening talking witches
as she left I found in fridge
on white plate
thick wet orangeyellow mango slices
arranged in crescent circle
with mound of red slick pomegranite seeds
glistening in their midst
like surreal sperm on fertile egg,
and flashed, aha, a love spell,
and flushed it down the toilet.
Did no good though,
we married a few months later.

~ ~ ~

Life with Wife 5

Scrub tub
add epsom salts
fill with hot water
ease in
take a toke
lay back in hot wake
to soak away ache
and phone rings
wife saying
“Can you pick me up?”
“Now?”
“My eye hurts.”

Four weeks ago
doctors took her eye part way out
sewed on 21 radioactive pellets
put eye in
locked her down three days
while radiation bombarded tumor
popped eye back out
removed pellet plaque
put eye in again
sewed inner eyelid shut
and sent her home to hard since
her eye blurry from serious salve
pupil dilated due daily drops
eyeball swollen and bruised
burning from bright
tired of trauma
she works more to see less
amid multiple pains
shooting ache stab throb
burn itch pinch
and she is
… weary

“Sure, I’ll pick you up”
because pain trumps pleasure
and love binds both

and baths can be refilled

~ ~ ~

Yen

Had I my way,
the world would be at peace and fair,
and we’d all be out on the porch sitting in the sun,
bees buzzing, breeze blowing,
slow toking, coffee sipping, writing poems,
listening to friends, family, folk
picking, playing, harmonizing,
hope and happy on horizon,
the past a purr of catnip cream.

~ ~ ~

Status Report 220

Looked out the window
looked inside my head
didn’t see nothin’
so went back to bed

~ ~ ~

Primordial Ooze

First pre-dawn sip of coffee
followed by first toke of day
and finally, faintly, from afar
I hear Doctor Frankenstein’s mad cackle:

“He’s alive. HE’S ALIVE!!!!”

~ ~ ~

Tried & Traveled

After I died
in my dead end drinking
twenty years ago
it took
three days intensive care
and six months Nyquil
to beat alcohol,
cocaine to kick Nyquil,
poverty to kill cocaine,
valium to get off grass,
and weed to beat it all.

Tried most anything to get off me.

Now it’s one cup cowboy coffee
Costa Rican strong
each morning
and hope of toke or two
to take me through the month.

But what I really want is
copper brain wire
direct to pleasure center
battery hooked
finger on button
blaze of white light.

~ ~ ~

One-More Smith

My younger brother called me One-more Smith
He said
“Every time we get ready to leave
You say
One more toke
One more line
One more glass of wine.”

Now I’m 27 years sober
And he’s 31 years dead.

~ ~ ~

My Tree Barks

My bark is worse than my bite
although once my bite was worse than my bark
back when I was but burgeoning bark on tree
but it was a dogwood tree
so I was bark bark
and became known as Bark Bark Smith
and little dogs pissed on me.

It was a good life
warm and wet
before I matured into tendril stock
which warps and weaves
in woof woof wonder
which is why
I’m now known as
Bark Bark Woof Woof Smith
the One Who Never Whimpers.

~ ~ ~

Status Report 127

Piling high the sticks and stones
mixing muck, dirt and earth
She-God cries “Up and atom, Adam,”
then nudging his ribs
steals his bone
adds mirth
and laughing up Her sleeve
creates Eve
for better and worse

~ ~ ~

Sky Cog

O Great Cog
release me from this wheel
I’m but broken bit
neither tooth nor flair
save me from this pace
before I wreck the place
for I am wrench in works
will impede the flow
jam the am
and scram Your precious plan
You should offer me some slack
put me on the beach
coated with soothing oils
a book in hand
pen and paper near
grass in pipe
strong black coffee dear
food units to imbibe
the occasional magic mushroom
to color reason
and I will season tone
while You work the other drones

~ ~ ~

Spirit Bone

There’s truth in the dark
in the hours before dawn
if I could find the inner light to see

It whispers “I’m here”
soft and seductive
just outside my human
in the hour of the wolf
when sleep won’t come
and wake ain’t here

No baby being born
no madness lurking
so I light some nag champa
and om a hum job for the soul
while making coffee for mind and flesh

The truth is there
somewhere
playing hide and seek
offering wee peaks
like an old stripper with wrinkled skin
hiding behind pastel scarves

~ ~ ~

Now Zen

It ain’t age.
It ain’t sex.
It ain’t race, religion, height,
gender, color, class or learning.

It’s path, progress and position.
The road not not taken.
Be here now.
Hear now
o eyes unseeing
o ears unearned.

We’re all perfect potential
cept maybe republicans, lawyers,
the true organized crime called police
the true whores called priests.

You can walk on water IF water wants.
Just ask.
Walk willing.
There ain’t no dark night’s ungentle light.
Ain’t nothing outside but lies.
But even lie true ain’t for you.
Walk within.
Don’t need no god.
No catholic pimp pushing blood feast.
My lie’s mine.
Walk my own walk.
Fuck the talk.

Grasshoppers gone wrong become ants.
Bad ants cry uncle, cry wolf, cry baby.
Goats goad sacrifice to sun.
Ritual requires repetition, release.
Nothing stays river’s run
but drought’s dry dirt
(and river still runs).

Rub your ears together.
Start a fire.
Flesh alarm.
Let gone go.
Lock lip.

Listen.

~ ~ ~

Confessions of a Conservative

Let others munch spare frogs legs and things
Or their mother’s tidbits so fine.

Not me.
I prefer wee bumblebee wings
With a pipe of blueberry wine.

I’ve no desire for porcupine stew
Aunts coated in chocolate yea thick
Fried crocodile
Ala flayed caribou
Or some other chef’s table trick.

A simple table whenever I dine.
Not mine all these modern cuisines.
I’m quite satisfied with blueberry wine
And old fashioned bumblebee wings.

~ ~ ~


display dowstairs at Mac’s Backs where we read…
my memoir from 2012 by Smith & Lady on left:
“Stations of the Lost & Found, a True Tale of Armed Robbery,
Stolen Cars, Outsider Art, Mutant Poetry, Underground Publishing,
Robbing the Cradle, and Leaving the Country”…
my new book middle and right


portrait of me above Mac’s Backs cash register
1991, chalk by Tim Herron, collage by me
3′ x 4′

Got this nice blurb in Cool Cleveland:

Local Poet Steven B. Smith Shares Old and New Work in New Poetry Book at Mac’s Backs

Reading went well, extremely well, sold 2 books, had a poem videoed by Cool Cleveland who say they may review the book.

Tom Mulready of Cool Clevelnd told the audience my memoir – Stations of the Lost and Found – is one of the best he’s read and should be required reading for anyone interested in the arts or the underground. Wow.

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