...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 )
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Looking out our 3rd floor window at the sycamore tree next door, its new spring leaves are exploding in wee bursts of yellowgreen, giving a whole different view and ambiance to life . . for the better.
It’s so fast. The buds break, there are wee peeping of green, than WHAM, tree’s suddenly nothing but leaves and I have to weave and bob my head to see the traffic lights through them so I can bet on the red/yellow/green.
We need to slow this down, so I offer Season Savings Time.
We’d turn spring to half speed, so the new green glow would last twice as long, day after day of slow grow green, endless flower blooms, achingly sweet soft breezes caressing Cleveland cleavage in endless just-warm-enough sun.
Then summer and fall we’d go back to normal time, and of course having to balance the equation, we’d speed winter up twice as fast and get it over with.
But now I reflect, fall is magic too, and summer here frequently brutal, so speed summer up by 25%, speed winter 75%, slow fall 50%, and we’d have it all, with even Goldilocks happy.
Especially since Winter now is basically 6 months, Spring maybe three weeks, summer endless, and fall all too short.
Speaking of timing (musical, that is)…
In C by Terry Riley, 1964, 42′ 03″
plunk plunk plunk plunk
pluck punk plunk
each step in journey a journey
each journey in journey a step
night chimes in soft sun on daylit porch
coffee dark with hot opium steam
a catching of the carousel
with a scratching of the rote
tunnel down and loop back heart
bouncing brave on rubber rung
sung in song such simple sayings
singing swaying in sun
run run run run, run run run more
till bottom drops out of floor
– Smith, 5.2.2016
Can’t remember whether I came across In C, Terry Riley’s 1964 recording, in 1968 or 71, but it’s my favorite 42 minute musical composition (performances can vary from 15 minutes to 2 hours), although actually it is one of my favorites of any length – definitely in my top ten tunes along with Yoko Ono’s Walking On Thin Ice and Leonard Cohen’s Everybody Knows.
Here’s a 10 minute taste –
“In C consists of 53 short, numbered musical phrases, lasting from half a beat to 32 beats; each phrase may be repeated an arbitrary number of times. Each musician has control over which phrase they play: players are encouraged to play the phrases starting at different times, even if they are playing the same phrase. In this way, although the melodic content of each part is predetermined, In C has elements of aleatoric music to it. The performance directions state that the musical ensemble should try to stay within two to three phrases of each other. The phrases must be played in order, although some may be skipped. As detailed in some editions of the score, it is customary for one musician (“traditionally… a beautiful girl,” Riley notes in the score) to play the note C in repeated eighth notes, typically on a piano or pitched-percussion instrument (e.g. marimba). This functions as a metronome and is referred to as “The Pulse”. Steve Reich introduced the idea of a rhythmic pulse to Riley, who accepted it, thus radically altering the original composition by Riley which had no rhythm.” —https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_C
Got called 9 tonight to read tomorrow at the Tremont Arts & Cultural Festival six blocks down the street. Said I can’t cuz I’m reading tomorrow for BeatStreet Cleveland 2015 at the Barking Spider (ain’t that a cool name for a venue?). He said when? I said 3-ish. He said this is noon and you get $25 for 25 minutes. Said I’d be there.
Never had a two-feature day before poetry-wise.
My laptop with my poetry master files is in the repair shop so have to cut and paste as I read making sure I’m family friendly.
We took the first hour of 4 and manned the SPACES Gallery poetry tent across from the West Side Market yesterday. Folk would walk up, we’d ask their name, a few questions, then write a free poem for them. We wrote 18 in an hour, so we each had 7 minutes max to question, write, fotograf, and give. Fascinating process . . . fast, fun, little time for depth, more a process of impressionistic reportage.
It was a blast, especially due to the two children who received poems — our 1st customer was Audrey, 4-yrs old, who also took our spaghetti squash I’d drawn a funny face on.
Our first 4 folk had names starting with A, as did numbers 6, 7, and 12 so the A’s, about 4% of the alphabet, took 39% of our output.
Thanks to SPACES staff Mimi Kato and Marilyn Ladd-Simmons for their prep work, hosting, direction, and encouragement. And thanks to our friend, teacher, ceramicist, and neighbor Angelica Pozo for asking Lady & I to participate in this.
Pedestrian Poetry by the People, Smith shift, 2015
SPACES Gallery hosted a bazaar tent where folk could sit, tell us their name, a bit about themselves. and we’d write a quick poem for them. Lady & I had first shift 10-11 in hot sun under blue sky in open air square across from the West Side Market. First of 18 seekers was 4 yr old Audrey who took the free spaghetti squash with a crazed face I had drawn, then asked me to write “Sally” across the front.
Audrey who loves spaghetti squash
She named her “Sally”
It’s a beautiful blue day
Just as beautiful as Audrey
Bright as month
of river running
A beautiful day
Sky-high with potential
Fresh start at the
West Side market
Weekend like going to
a restaurant & sharing
a bunch of appetizers
What more of a great
Start to September
Could one want?
Because she said
as she walked
in the sun
(she was wearing a t-shirt that said
I Said I Would So I Did)
Mitzie & Amie on a
hot as balls day
Bright blue sky
without even a trace
Hot – like summer
finally purchasing claim
on its season
Today we have not a
care in the world
Al & Amie & April
& Mitzi walking park
in sun with poem
people . . . .
may your flux be fine
While you’re in Cleveland
Catch the poetic wind by
Like spiders strapping themselves
to a string of web
& leaping – wind carrying
them to a destination
Cool little city on a hot day
Bright blue promising sky
Like a present for everyone
carries wind of promise
in lands of sun
and light rain
(he mentioned after his name has to do with the sun)
It is a day
of special names,
people flowers flowing
in market square . . .
What a treasure to meet
an adventurer – Lily from
Sky high in blue clarity
Crepes in hand, sweet-or-savory?
All I can do is draw from
my own memories of travel –
& of living in an unfamiliar
And then the pleasure of feeling
it slowly becoming my own
Blake from the up-down city of
Detroit – visiting the up=down
city of Cleveland
Both cities laden with urban
decay for urban explorers –
cities of salt, rust, and some
Promises in new construction,
kindled interest – monied interests –
we hold our own pockets open &
hope! For kinds of rain.
For family & friends
and southeast side
excursion to the Market
and gathering of clan
circling the falling
to catch up with laughter
& learning in sum
Eating bread from Market
in her stroller fair
blue eyes target
beneath golden hair
Artistic neighbors meet at
beloved community spot –
Market Square – food,
tents, people with a bit of
Megan & Aidi – sharing a
memory in the making Aidi
will remember the rest of
her life – these similar
moments – time with
Mom, the community of
Steve to Steve
from Tampa to Cleveland
may your flux flow
and feel be fine
cuz any friend of Rafeeq
is fine to find
Welcome back, welcome back to
the puppy dog people of Cleveland
salt of the earth, prone to hellos
& self-deprecating answers
How familiarity is like a warm
bath, a kind of indulgence –
& maybe you are thinking, “Oh –
I can come home again – &
this is what it’s like!”
From Toledo to the Market
with marriage down the road
Sun & sisters & folks
from art to food to friends
Familiar – from another northern
Ohio city – Toledo! So happy
to meet you, neighbors!
Like sausage gravy & biscuits –
Like where one is comfortable –
Sampling the degree of
separation from here to there –
Thinking – “We should do this
Thinking – “So many places in
Taking life like seizing the day
– Smith & Lady, 9.5.2015
us with Amie & Mitzi – foto by Mimi Kato of SPACES Gallery
After our shift, Lady asked Mimi Kato to write a haiku in Japanese for Lady’s next online issue of TheCityPoetry.com. We are going to take time to test time to see how we find out what it means down the road.
Here’s some shots of Jeffry Chiplis’ Neon Repoetry art installation at the 2nd annual Slavic Village Rooms to Let Art Installation. Also shots of the poetry reading he asked us to host, plus a fine bunch of other artists’ installations. It’s a fun viewing, both in person and online.
Rooms to Let is when Slavic Village is going to tear down a house and add the land to the land bank, but before they do they let artists come in and do pretty much anything they want. One artist even cut a hole in the roof.
These two houses were at 3810 E. 71 St, Cleveland, Ohio.
If anyone knows who the ?? artists are, let me know and I’ll update the site.
I have another 12 guest artists on AgentOfChaos.com available for viewing as well, including Mother Dwarf, Daniel Thompson, Lady K, bree, Jim Lang, Terry Provost, Russell Vidrick . . . agentofchaos.com/guestartists.php.
open poetry reading today Sunday May 17, 2015 at
the Rooms To Let two house art installation 2 pm
3810 E. 71 St., Cleveland, OHIO
hosted by Smith & Lady in the Chiplis Neon Repoetry room
front house, second floor I believe
no sign up, read if and when you feel
courtiuosly leaving room for all
bring you own chair or sit or stand
Nepalese poet Yuyu Sharma will be part of open mic
he’s returning to Nepal after the reading due to the eartrhquakes
There’s an open poetry reading tomorrow Sunday
Rooms To Let
3810 E. 71 St., Cleveland, OHIO
hosted by Smith & Lady in the Chiplis Neon Repoetry room
or elsewhere outside, depending on weather and attendance
no sign up, just read if and when you feel
bring you own chair or sit or stand
Nepalese poet Yuyu Sharma will be part of open mic Rooms to Let art installation FaceBook page
~ ~ ~
conversation with wife 13
snake fed baptists only go out with them snake-charmin’ wimmins. they don’t go out with no cathlicks. cathlicks and baptists don’t mix. least not snake fed baptists. they’re stern folk. no music, no books. no learning. jes yearning fer something under wrap. them snake-fed baptists do stuff behind yer back. sometimes dance. sometimes sing. that’s how they get through the night. them snake-fed baptists are also real skinny folk. snake don’t fill you out.
there, i said it.
– Smith & Lady, 5.16.2015
~ ~ ~
I get such pleasure from solving the JUMBLE puzzle in the morning paper because it tasks my mind and there’s a thrill when I solve it, and it makes me wonder what satisfaction cheaters like Tom Brady, Lance Armstrong, Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGuire, Jose Canseco, Andy Pettitte, Manny Ramirez, A-Rod, Roger Clemens, Jim Thome, Fox News talking heads, and most every CEO, policeman, and politician there is get from cheating . . . how can one feel accomplishment when one did not accomplish? I know cheating made them rich, but it’s tainted money. How do they sleep at night, how do they look in the mirror each morning, what satisfaction can they derive from folk looking up to their false godness? Especially odd is David Justice’s cheating, considering his last name and all, perhaps we should rename his David Injustice. Seems cheating is a prerequisite skill in sports, politics, policing, religion, and the corporate world.
News creeping seeping through my glow
telling me what I don’t want to know
but need to to . . . ?
Ugly stuff in need of antidote.
Which is wife, cat, friends, family, life.
And bird walks along Cleveland’s Erie Canal Towpath Trail.
Saw, heard, or was told
chipping sparrow, red-winged blackbird, cormorant,
mocking bird, robin, song sparrow, wood duck,
towhee, flicker, red-bellied woodpecker,
tree swallow, house sparrow,
new beaver lodge and dam flooding boardwalk,
mallard, cardinal, cowbird, starling, seven swans flying,
crow, kingfisher, rock pigeon sparrow, chickadee,
blue jay, bullfinch, geese, downy woodpecker,
and a ferret river bank running.
Away from the melee, away
from the undertow of the appalling,
the maelstrom of the loathsome,
surf the cosmic way rather
Take the bank of your life to
the here now of corporeality, an odyssey
with you and me, the hero’s journey of art,
cameras in our hands, beginners’ eyes
delighting in novelty, so many maiden voyages,
riddles like rooms of zoomorphic fish canoes
oared by crews from shadowy odeums,
neighbors and friends
The fish is not your mother
but embrace the story – maybe she is
your mother, echoes of time, tide lapping us,
sated travelers startling awake like from
the twirling skirt of our lake’s wet tongue