...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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I know that the Universe is affected pretty profoundly by what one puts out. When I do an issue of the city poetry zine, a lot of poetic energy returns to me as payment. When I spend time learning stuff for work on my own time, more paid work comes back to us as payment. When I volunteer for an activist cause, frequently the next day there will be some court ruling in favor of my perspective. This is indeed a Reality of Mind, and the microcosm of one’s local environment affects the macrocosm profoundly.
As a person concerned with the material I put out and help with for the Universe, I’ve had a bit of a time understanding how to rationalize my role as co-writer of our new book, Stations of the Lost and Found.
I pick up the book, and sirens charge down the street. The air gets excited and the birds stir. The sun goes behind a cloud. I open it and read its words of crimes past, and I make disclaimers to the Universe. I wrangle.
But intuitively, there’s this ball of volition in me, a ball of understanding, and it feels that the book is a good thing. Not that I want people to do the actions in the book, but that Smith’s life is a life I might have wanted to have lived just to have seen it.
Hard life, for sure. Taking pictures of his penis for art. Armed robbery. Shooting himself up with cocaine. Seemingly countless injuries as he tore against the very edges of the fabric of reality. Talking matter-of-factly about masturbation. Showing his wounds from women and daring to write about crying. Oozing art and poetic dividends from the scars in his skin, the falls, the hemorrhaging, the cancer.
Strangely enough, even as his wife I am sympathetic to his character in the book as he moves through his twenties trying to figure out how to find love. Strangely enough, I want the character to find true satisfaction in his relationships with either Red or Maudlin. More sympathy for Red as she was his wife.
I want him to straighten out through that ordeal. I want for him to have not put himself in jail, but I love the stories of his experiences in jail. Love his story about his fear of Ringo but I wouldn’t want anyone to experience the situation:
For the first six months I was in the tiers. A tier is seven two man cells and a shower, all enclosed in bars. Each night we were locked into our cells, and each morning let out to wander the six by fifty foot communal area. Our tier had Ringo. He was big, black, brutal, and did not like me, not because I was white, but because I wouldn’t get out of his way when he walked. And he walked all day in a continuous oval with a short detour each loop around me. He was working towards hurting me, and said so. Ringo scared the shit out of me. But I scared me more because I wouldn’t give in. When I’m that afraid, I seem to go out of my way to piss off what I’m afraid of. And what I was afraid of was bigger, stronger, faster, meaner, and an admitted fatal fighter. I felt ill.
Then the odd backhand of salvation. I had smuggled one too many letters out of prison. This letter described a psycho guard and his abuse of prisoners and their families. The warden called me to his office, showed me the illegal letter and quietly said, “Smuggling is eighteen months. I wonder if you have anything to say about your charges against the guard?”
“What I’ve written is not only true,” I said, “but I haven’t even scratched the surface of Sarge’s verbal and physical abuse of visiting wives.”
Warden told Sarge to return me to my cell, and for me to think about the eighteen months and we’d finish tomorrow.
I went to my cage and I worried. I worried about tomorrow. I worried about Sarge’s retaliation. I worried about the eighteen months. I worried about my wife who was sleeping with an excon who was not me. And I really worried about Ringo.
Next day the warden called me into his office and casually told me, “You’re moving downstairs to the dorm. I’m making you head cook.” No mention of the letter, Sarge, or the eighteen months.
One thing every prisoner wanted was a job that got you out of the cells and into the dorm with its one locked gate, radio and TV. And of all the jobs, cook was cockerel’s walk.
Switching so quickly from such certain sorrow to overwhelming wealth fucks your mind, sends too many threads simultaneously in too many different directions. Yet I instantly flashed: I’m free from Ringo.
If you’re going to be in prison, the kitchen’s the place to be. The best thing about working in the kitchen was I could eat what I wanted when I wanted. And I could wander about and find places of privacy. The menu was pretty basic because a chunk of money allotted for prison food went to the warden’s house budget instead. Even though I had never cooked anything before, I’d cook things like fifty gallons of chicken soup. Once I was awakened in the middle of the night by the highway patrol who’d brought in a deer that’d been hit by a car. I’d never done it before, but I skinned and gutted that deer; did it two more times before I left. Whenever I felt like it, I’d fry myself a venison steak. Even when I fall into shit, I find roses around me.
There might have been ten of us in the dormitory, and over a hundred fifty in the prison. To be in the prison dorm, you had to have a prison job. There were dishwashers, food servers, people who fixed things inside prison, somebody who did lawn work and outside tasks and someone else who ran errands. There was no compensation to having a prison job other than getting to live in the dorm, having a little more freedom, and being treated a whole lot nicer. The dorm had a TV and radio and books to read. I always thought it weird to see prisoners sitting around the dorm watching cop shows on TV and rooting for the cops.
After I was down in the dorm a while, one of the trustees ratted out Ringo, who in punishment was supposed to be in a locked cell in a locked tier three floors up. We were all sitting around watching TV, and in walked Ringo, taller, stronger and larger than any of us. Rat was Woody Allen’s size.
Ringo said to Rat, “You ratted me out.”
Rat said no.
Ringo repeated, “You ratted me out.”
Rat really did rat out Ringo, and we all knew it. He had also ratted my letter. Rat started denying again but Ringo hit him hard in the face, knocked him to the concrete floor, and STOMPED five times on his head with his hard work boot. With each stomp, Rat’s head banged against the concrete and bounced up to meet the down-coming boot which smacked his head even harder into the concrete as Ringo said one word per stomp: “You. . shouldn’t. . have. . done. . that.”
None of us moved or spoke, not once. Ringo turned and looked at us to see if he had a problem, decided he didn’t, and left. Rat got up, stemmed the blood, and his head swelled to twice its size.
That’s when I knew I was not the me I thought was me, but the me I needed to be. It’s not my only lesson, but it is one that worked. Had I said or done something, one of two things would have occurred. I’d be dead, or the others would have rallied and we would have stopped Ringo. But had that second happy Hollywood scene occurred, at some time, at some place, Ringo would have found me and hurt me. I know now I did the right thing for me, but it did cost me my mirror mirror on the wall who’s the hero here of all view of myself.
I think the Universe has kept Smith alive because he has written his stories down and because he has pushed the boundaries as a kind of explorer. I’m hoping the Universe agrees and finds the story thrilling and interesting, but doesn’t let it cause harm.
~ ~ ~
The memoir Stations of the Lost & Found by Smith & Lady is available for $20 at https://www.createspace.com/3903652. We’ll have 20 physical copies in soon for first come first serve.
Looking for Mr. Goodblog, I picked up my 2009 notebook, opened it to the back page, and found these unconnected meanderings. Going to use it as my blog and also claim it as a new poem since there is minor manipulation involved.
~ ~ ~.
Journal Entry, 2009
Weak whine slime
Shadows in the dark assessing chances
Weighing each remark for hidden perhapses
The blue bag of wellness
the red bag of rage
the usual business
of raping the aged
the chomp and the fear
our place on the food chain
I listen to Kitten Caboodle & her Sins of Emission
sing “Big yellow Buddha moon above”
while watching Okra
the Queen of the Talk Show Host Vegetables
come to a boil
Looking for reflection
by Would River
Weak water tea
— Smith, 9.10.2011
Wonder who and what Smith wrote that? That’s only two years ago and most of it is a mystery to me, although I do know I was in serious pain 24 / 7 back then due to degenerative hip bone grinding on damaged leg bone and that the word “pain” appeared frequently in my work. Amazing how much life has improved these past four months with my new hip.
I seem these past few days to be in some nether whorl between unknown worlds, neither of which is in focus. I think the Cleveland gray skied lack of sun is a contributing factor. Don’t know where I’m growing, but moving I am. Lady’s and my memoir of my life will be available in a couple months, and next year we’ve got our big February March art show titled Sacred Pulp – Two Dead Smiths, Two Live Smiths. After that, I think it’s time I get back to the Smokey Grey, Private Eye surreal stories, cuz Surreal is my middle name these daze when it’s not Absurd instead.
“Go thee, and suffer less” sez
The Church of Not Quite So Much Pain & Suffering
the Irreverend Smith & his beloved Lady presiding.
I am hoping that people can rebuild the infrastructure in the US to something more sustainable–not sure natural gas is the best way to go. Hoping for more electric, geothermal energy, whatever Tesla envisioned, etc. But rebuilding part of the infrastructure seems like it would be a good jobs program.
I’m hoping criminal charges are NOT filed against the man who inadvertantly started a fire in Colorado. Rather, I am hoping for an education program to be implemented, and perhaps this man can help testify part-time for the education program in compensation, although I hope they pay him for his time.
In Detroit, for example, African American elders raised in the South saw the vacant lots in our deteriorating neighborhoods not as blight but as opportunities to plant community gardens that would also give city kids a sense of the time and patience that are a normal part of country life and that human beings now need for our continuing evolution.
So much skepticism and condemnation and vitriol on commondreams. How can we ever come together if we can’t forgive each other? I believe we must forgive.
I’ve been largely ignoring the tea party as I do not want to get too emotionally involved. I am hoping that conservative movements can blend with liberal movements and find areas of common ground. I know there are areas of common ground. I am hoping for less emotional demonization from the extreme elements on the fringes of movements.
Hoping for more understanding from the right about the consequences of treating other countries as places to plunder – 1,000,000+ iraqis killed as a result of our actions. We lost, what, a couple thousand in the twin tower incident? I do not think this t-shirt was purposefully designed to cause grief.
Can’t take any more this morning. I am hoping that people can reconcile their differences. I have friends from all over the spectrum, and they all have good hearts. A better reality is possible, and is in the making, I am sure of it.
World weather report: Looks like the tropical storms are still safely out at sea. Weather.com says they are something to be concerns about, but I hope not.
Hoping the risk of fires can be reduced in the west. I think this can happen if they get a bit more precipitation.
– – –
I believe schitzophrenics and affectives and manics have antennae to Gaia and the Sun. I believe they can go crazy from not understanding the signals they are syncing into. We used to have roles for these people. We called them shamans.
Fly is buzzing around my head, trying to tell me something. Cricket’s chirping outside. Mandycat is interested in the fly.
I believe in an afterlife–probably of one’s conception, but I am not sure. I believe the signals I have received is from my conception of a possible afterlife, which is good.
Not sure I like what is happening in Sweden, because I really like their graduated penalty system for motor violations and I hope this doesn’t indicate a turn away from this civilized approach.
I can’t figure out the stock markets yet. I’m not sure everything should be as monetized as it has been. I’ll leave this up to God-concept for now to figure out. But I’m hoping that we can try to focus on real benefits for all people and real standards of living for all people rather than these exorbitant profits that rich people seem to be so good at reaping at the expense of poor people.
Hoping Obama makes good on the symbol of GuantÃ¡namo, and campaign promises & visions of hope. I’m sorry I doubted Obama, because it looks like his heart is in the right place. I am sure that if anyone can find a way through this, it’s him. I’m hoping for a second term for him.
Wishing Clinton luck on the mideast talks, although I never believe that talks are a “last chance.” Hoping the Republicans can pick up on the idea of diplomacy; I know this is possible, especially if Ahnold can run as president. There are always chances for more talks.
Weird news about cancer, and I don’t agree with its headline (The 10 Deadliest Cancers and Why There’s No Cure) I’ve read that smoking grass can help prevent and heal lung cancer, and that a raw food diet also can help turn it around. I’ve also met casualties and survivors of breast cancer, survivors of leukemia, survivors of brain cancer, survivors of cancer of the larynx.
Feeling hopeful about this environmental organization, and wishing I could do something about it, but not sure I should be so panicked. I think making as many changes as possible to one’s carbon footprint is a good idea. But also, I think it’s important to focus on the possibilities for spontaneous evolution of species. I recently read that the coral colonies are not all as susceptable to ph and warming changes as was thought. And there are some 15 new species of bees, and that they are hardier. I am hoping they are good pollinators and have tasty honey!
Ponytails were killing us. My most excellent friend & I are solving the problems of the universe. The most excellent show maybe ever–“Red Dwarf…”
On Friday, the Red Dwarf ran into the Squid of Despair, a giant squid. The cast and crew discovered that everything is a giant, mass hallucination, that we’ve all been playing parts for four years in a GIANT VIRTUAL VIDEO GAME.
SO, now they find out who they REALLY are–and THAT’s the DESPAIR–the despair was that they found out who they really were…
AND, right when they were about to KILL themselves, all cast members lined up, four in a row with one bullet–the ship’s computer finally got to a high enough FREQUENCY where they could HEAR and save them.
Friends, we suggest that we buy each other’s organically grown sustainable smoothie very expensive cakes and artisanal food, get frequent behive hairdos, sans hair dye, at the beauty salons where the hairdressers are paid magnificently and enjoy their work. Exercise classes and spas. Sustainable capitalism–it’s a plan.
I suggest free education for everyone, or paid education, whatever works. And a career of anyone’s choice. Some people have to go to school longer for their careers. Those people should be paid a wee bit more. OK, incentive. But not ridiculous incentive. I’m thinking: sliding scale speeding tickets, like the ones they have in Sweden. Getting rid of tax loopholes and offshore accounts. Staying local. Stopping all this weird international shipping except for cruise ships to one anothers continents. In the basements of the cruise ships, we could carry very expensive, fine cheese and the spices and coffee of the world. Gigantic, energy efficient cruise ships. Free energy? What was that thing Tesla was talking about? Hope it works. I would like to beam myself to the North and South pole if possible, and Japan. Coffee crops as well. I really like coffee from fair wage growers whose wages must grow more excellent.
Keeping the inheritance ‘stuff’ within reason, but making sure these rich people work doing art/music/artisanal food or whatever tickles their fancy and stimulates the economy in a sustainable way.
Primed the pump last night and bought some local, organic food. Sharpened our old knives for only $12. Hope he charges more next time. Hope the family business has more business coming in–we are an overtly ethical business. Hope our book projects take off. I know all this will happen. I just, know… it.
Original post down below. I am strongly feeling that the staples on my roof seem to think I was wrong & I tend to agree with them.
– – –
As a person with a BSEE,a background in neural nets and search engine optimization, I belive (believe) I am receiving scientific messages which could be interpreted as holy messages (for me they are one and the same.)
I am not entirely certain, but I think I heard on the radio that J (Lebron James) is Jesus. (I do believe, I think.) Hard to tell. Will try to be truthful in what I’m picking up.
Now, off to good faith work. Seems like a harsh think (thing) for a prophet, but I must do my work for my loved ones.
“Smith, You’re gonna be hit hard when you read your prison journal. It’s heartrending. Here you are in the first half of your journal – ‘I love Robin, everything is beautiful, la tee dah tee dah.’ And then WHAMMO! You’re hit with four other men. One thing I want to know: is this one passage in your notebook an affair?”
No. That woman I’m fucking in that motel is my wife. I was faithful from when we married to just before the end.
I even turned down free sex from other women when I was married. On Charles Street in Baltimore, the woman upstairs was real lonely. She came home, turned on her TV for companionship and would walk all over. She offered herself to me.
I was too scared to follow through. Bought grass from her. Couple times when she was gone, I crawled up the fire escape and got some grass anyway.
And, one of the secretaries from the ad agencies repeatedly offered sex. And I turned her down. Then I found out she was epileptic. I started fantasizing what it might be like to have sex with an epileptic.
See, wives don’t get this kind of information from husbands.
Well, normally, when a man is with a woman, it doesn’t help the situation for the man to talk about sex he’s had with other women. It tends to bring about hostile situations.
You and I do not have a normal relationship. I know way more about you than anybody else does, and you know way more about me. You can start calling me “Waymore.”
– – –
When I was still in the tiers, I was going fug bucky. I couldn’t see a clock anywhere. I didn’t know what time it was. I like to know time so I’ll know how long before we’re walked into the little tiny cells from the big cells or when we’ll eat or when my wife would be there for a visit.
I had my wife smuggle me in a wrist watch face. I can’t remember how we transferred it, because there was a screen between her and I, but I got the watch. Sarge the large sadistic guard caught me. Took me into the office. Searched me up and down and up and down. All the time, my hands are over my head so he can pat me.
Can’t find it. Finally he checks my hands, and it’s in my right palm.
“I can’t believe you had the chutzpah to try hide a watch while Sarge was searching you.”
Once again, if you give it to him right away, you’re caught. If you try to get away, maybe you’re not caught. It’s logic. *Known* bad versus *maybe* bad.
I couldn’t see Robin for four or six weeks after that and went buggy. It really isn’t much fun to be locked up; I don’t care what the movies or the books say. But I do got some stories. And I paid for them.
Were I to sum up 1968 I’d say dopeâ€¦ first turned on January 20â€¦ kicked out of Academy Feb 22â€¦ heavy dope sinceâ€¦ 24 hallucinogenic trips since May 18â€¦ have had a needle in my arm 23 times in 19 goesâ€¦ and now I’m sposed to be straight â€“ and I am in an unwilling wayâ€¦ I don’t feel like writing right now.
4 Jan 69
First smoked grass Jan 20
I tried tea, hash, glue, methedrine, amyl nitrate, LSD, heroin, Demerol, belladonna, cocaine, psylicibin, mescaline, Nembutal, THC, morphine, and innumerable amphetamine pills and sleeping pills. I became engaged â€“ it should stand out as my biggest year of change but I feel more it has been my first completely normal yearâ€¦ every previous year I have either lived at home under parental guidance or in the Navy under their authority â€“ this was the first year I’ve lived under the guidance and authority of meâ€¦ consequently my apartment is decorated my way and I’ve had freedom to try drugsâ€¦ it was a good year â€“ I’ve never gotten out of debt, but I’ve had a hell of a lot of fun. Here’s my dope list I kept in my calendar I had in the Mudge Paper office. [below]
My two best trips were the 5th and the 11thâ€¦ a blue flat and a white flatâ€¦ colors play havoc in dope: blue and white flats, orange white and purple wedges, purple ozleys, blue barrels, Acapulco Gold, Panama Red, crystal, snow â€“ etc.
I have a fear that I’m putting too much down on paperâ€¦ this would look great in a court room â€“ of course how can a court decide where reality and fun are dividedâ€¦ what about the dead body I said I kept in my apartmentâ€¦ and maybe they couldn’t use this because of the 5th amendment â€“ I just hope Robin never reads it, or if she does that she truly loves me enough to understand. I like my black wallsâ€¦ they match me so well they require nothing from meâ€¦ my whole apartment requires nothing from me because I’ve just put myself on the walls and made art things of myself and hung them from the ceilings and I can just be here and like what I see without becoming involvedâ€¦ I’m basically a cowardâ€¦ afraid of hurting peopleâ€¦ the only I managed to break off with Janice was to tell her I got engagedâ€¦ I’m useless in people relationshipsâ€¦ gonna goâ€¦ I’m leaving the radio on because it’s easier than having to choose a record for the playerâ€¦ there are two very definite parts to me â€“ one is my writing self whom I really don’t understand and the other is my timid lazy selfâ€¦ or is this true?
s.p. contâ€¦ s.h. reâ€¦ a.h. reâ€¦ sn.g.3â€¦ sn.m reâ€¦
[smoke pot continuouslyâ€¦ smoke hash repeatedlyâ€¦ ate hash repeatedlyâ€¦ snorted glue 3â€¦ snorted methydrine repeatedlyâ€¦]
ml m 7â€¦ p an 5â€¦ d a 22â€¦ ml n 4 â€¦ a p 2 â€¦
[mainlined methydrine 7â€¦ popped amyl nitrate 5â€¦ dropped acid 22â€¦ mainlined nebutal 4â€¦ ate peyote 2â€¦]
ml d 1 â€¦ ml b â€¦ ml a 2 â€¦ s h 1 â€¦ ml h 1… d ad 2 â€¦
[mainlined demerol 1â€¦ mainlined benzedrineâ€¦ mainlined acid 2â€¦ snorted heroin 1â€¦ mainlined heroin 1… dropped acidonna 2â€¦]
ml c 1 â€¦ s n c l â€¦ d psl â€¦ d mesl â€¦ m l nam 1 â€¦ m1 orb T 1 â€¦
[mainlined coke 1â€¦ snorted coke 1â€¦ dropped psylicibin â€¦ dropped mescalineâ€¦ mainlined nam (?) 1â€¦ mainlined obr t (?) 1â€¦]
d â€“ sn â€“ smo THC 1 â€¦ m1 mor â€¦ plus innumerable pep pills, sets, and sleeping pills.
[dropped snorted smoked thcâ€¦ mainlined morphineâ€¦ etc]
list of lsd trips etc:
1) Â½ blotter May 18 2) 1 blotter 29 May 3) 2 blotter 31 May 4) 1 blotter Jun 5
5) 1 Blue Flat Jun 14 6) 1 c 37 Jun 19 7) 2 w.l. (ml 1) Jun 21
8) 2 p.c. + 1 w.l. (ml & p.) Jun 25 9) 1 p.c. June 30
10 3 purp c July 12 11) 1 W.F. Aug 14 12) 1 bl. Aug 22
13) 1 bl Aug 28 14) 1 bl Aug 30 15) Â½ bl Sep 2
16) 1 bl Sep 9 17) mes oct 5 18) 1 wc Oct 26 19) 1 wc Nov 3
20) 2 tab Nov 15 21) 2 tab Nov 22 22) 1 tab Nov 28
23) 1 tab Dec 14