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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 the ‘On Writing’ Category

6-25-2016 Lady Poem

Saturday, June 25th, 2016

Learning’s germ for fertilizing
eyes and ears, a head a heart, a hand,
a pen’s milt on action’s platform,
and it goes around again

~ Lady

 

wee Audrey & Aidi and poemz aplenty

Sunday, September 6th, 2015

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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

Audrey who loves spaghetti squash
She named her “Sally”
It’s a beautiful blue day
Just as beautiful as Audrey

~

APRIL

Bright as month
of river running
sun shining
birds winging

~

ANN

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?

~

AMIE

Because she said
she would
as she walked
in the sun

we did

(she was wearing a t-shirt that said
I Said I Would So I Did)

~

MITZI

Mitzie & Amie on a
hot as balls day

Bright blue sky
without even a trace
of contrail

Hot – like summer
finally purchasing claim
on its season

Today we have not a
care in the world

~

AL

Al & Amie & April
& Mitzi walking park
in sun with poem
people . . . .
may your flux be fine

~

ANGELA

While you’re in Cleveland
Catch the poetic wind by
chance
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
– travel

~

TIPAKORN

Gorgeous name
carries wind of promise
adventure pure
in lands of sun
and shine
and light rain

(he mentioned after his name has to do with the sun)

~

BENJAPORN

It is a day
of special names,
beautiful names,
people flowers flowing
in market square . . .

sun rising

~
LILY

What a treasure to meet
an adventurer – Lily from
Thailand
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
place
And then the pleasure of feeling
it slowly becoming my own

~

BLAKE

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
unmown grass

Promises in new construction,
kindled interest – monied interests –
we hold our own pockets open &
hope! For kinds of rain.

~

LYNN

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

~

AIDI

Eating bread from Market
in her stroller fair
blue eyes target
beneath golden hair

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MEGAN

Artistic neighbors meet at
beloved community spot –
Market Square – food,
tents, people with a bit of
spare time

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
female friends

~

STEVE

Steve to Steve
from Tampa to Cleveland
Welcome
may your flux flow
and feel be fine
cuz any friend of Rafeeq
is fine to find

~

JENNIFER

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!”
Cleveland-to-Tampa-to-Cleveland
again couple

~

LORETTA

From Toledo to the Market
with marriage down the road

Sun & sisters & folks
& friends
from art to food to friends
Welcome
to Cleveland

~

ELLIOTT

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
more again!”
Thinking – “So many places in
Ohio”
Taking life like seizing the day

– Smith & Lady, 9.5.2015

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us with Amie & Mitzi – foto by Mimi Kato of SPACES Gallery

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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.

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Mimi Kato

 

Black History Month Poems – #28

Saturday, February 28th, 2015

 

I wanted to write a poem a day during Black History month because I was initially thinking of my lack of poetic response to the sad incident of Tamir Rice’s death. I decided to address the tragedy in some of the poems and to make the bulk of rest of the poems about respecting diversity and the global community. This ended up being a fun project.

Here’s my poem for today, and then the entire set of poems…

Feb. 28, 2015

Not just scattered pick-up sticks
rather chromosomes zipping themselves
into groovy patterns of repeating meaning
in the juice, heartbeat historicity
talking in the tabor drums
cheerful piping lungs of birds
making balcony seat comments
on the now of national geographic herds
where zebras race in stripes, dash into dots
of flamenco dancing swirls, the ecstasy
of sommeliers digesting traditions of the
indigenous saying ole to raise the blood
of mariposas genuflecting
to bulls

~ Lady

 

1

February’s starting
like a washrag
wracked
with grief

Call the sacristan,
dainty it, give it
sacred
regard

Cloud from salt,
prepare a minister
for vestments

2

Tamir dropped
like a rag doll
in two seconds

Video with no sound

The camera, horrified,
had to watch this movie
and it did so, dutifully
doling out chunks
a faithful guardian

Lungs knocked out throat
silent pungent scream wheezing
burning sympathy goads many
to do something

Please come all
to gentle tableland
of understanding

3

During training
did he feel protocol
for ninnies, standing petulant
arms crossed massaging ulna,
civilized learning unable
to penetrate
the thick mantle
of the heavy dream
in which he swam?

He came down
hot in the cruiser
like a deft metal shark
he thought

Hero being launched
quick clinical bravado
tight rubber band of
“pragmatic” action
he thought

He took Tamir “out”
with a shot, more heat
hot breath, stance dancing
’round car
pulse panic

Him and his shoulder
unthinking, unthinking
CHILD BLEEDING
blood death
flailing such
sad
sequence

~ Lady

4

The Valenciennes lace on grandmother’s coffee table was a
meditation mat to rest my eyes on as I listened to her

home spun
stories–that both related–because she was my grandma–

and didn’t
relate–because it was hard to imagine her a neotonous

young girl.
Her narrative’s cadence a candle of beautiful hands

guiding me back
in time, bobbined memories of our ancestors’ escapes,

exodus
spooling out the underground railroad. I remember her

folding the
lace, a whole drawer of it in the credenza. Here, feel.

They appear
delicate, but they’re sturdy.

5

Wagoner focuses his attention,
steering clay where it wants
to go

Wagoner wheels there irrespective
of Samsara, of forced casting

Rolling into specificity

Going somewhere’s
what wheels do

6

Like merchants muttered 10 xu = 1 hao, 10 hao =
1 dong, Thich Nhat Hanh walks a mile in his own shoes
counting breaths and steps, always arriving
appreciating attainment

The Big Dream, great glob, what-is-ness,
moderated suffering like a dash of spice for
happiness, good recipes for que sera,
gathas for que esta

Being with his steps, his constant reunions,
praying for everyone to have breath,
to have that arriving breath,
to have the human right
of happiness

7

Yardman works in the starlight
twinkling thoughts like wives’ eyes
switch on lines in rhythm with his heart
signaling dawn, “lo-ove, lo-ove,” loaded
like a train faintly blows

http://www.rrmuseumpa.org/about/rrpeopleandsociety/africa

namericans.shtml

8

Cupid flies on a zephyr
from Lagos, ruby lips homing in
to set things better

Collective psyche poses
modern dancer static fingers
splayed in stance, tender by the
velour waiting for the shape
of change, Leda and
her heat to shine

9

Shaman thinks with his needle
draws a topographical map
over his sailor’s skin

Conjuring land,
water feeling land,
wind sending emissaries
of birds

A reader of swell over fetch,
the whips of birds’ returns,
the eyes of stars

Waka long
and home strong fast
wind abeam wood
and cloth

Who did this?
We and what’s wrought
on the pondering cords of the sewn
of our sought found by water
watched by winds
and the stars

10

I want life a musical
dance party family gatherings and
circles of hugs, Hava Nagila and ethnic fusion
dashing dervishes backspinning breakdancers
twelve day Christmases jugglers throwing torches
advent box calendars and harlequins
in repose

11

King hailed angels
of the moral order
amaranthine beatitude
to our ears

Our keys
are launched by dream
like cacheted letters
carried on the stately talons
of a giant eagle
casting wings

A promise
of our conscience
has come due

12

Indigenous Americans
are the stateliest people
my eyes romance
in the photos

Chief Thunder Hawk
sits in sepia-solemn 19th century
business clothes or indigenous
cummerbund, two feathers
stick up
like a peace sign

His fingerprints
saved Father DeSmet
hands in it friend Sitting Bull
Treaty of Fort Laramie
violated by the U.S.
violated
in favor of
Black Hills
prospectors

Please:
respect for dignity
of the indigenous
in the liquid reality of money
the anchored reality of land
and the spiritual reality
of human rights

A glacial wait, the court award
a hundred years’
interest

The Lakota shuffle consensus
to pan out amongst themselves
and the legal process
to spill a billion and
sacred hills
into their palms
and under their feet
somehow secured

13

The Morrocan men I met
had some echt fatherliness, the
responsible gentleness of which conjured
femininity to my European-American
lens

Homegrown walks
through the neighborhood, children
dancing like dolphins alongside, tell me
a story, give me an apple, sing me
a song

Musicians in galibiyas played
a music box of sound on walks back from
parties, their late night returns adjoining
the sacred hour of early morning spiritual
commuters pattering like the shine of
ecclesiastical chandeliers

At the mosque the soaring moan
curtain of woon–call to God, call to Allah–
meet us like the slow and peaceful glide
of the crane to his nest in
the minaret

14

Hard to say the when and where of
such and such’s from, could’ve been carried
from Mesopotamia to North Africa
or vice versa

Manufacturing’s a melange,
numerous raw attributions dug out of the dirt
by happenstance or planning, gleaned
or traded learning

To know the when and where of it’s
like ascribing butterflies to words fused into
interstitial glass and ground in the crucible or
baked to efflorescent faience

The sum greater-than-its-parts
like the sun shining through a stained glass
mosaic, oculi omnium panoptic glaze melded
to transcendence of the curio that is loved
and examined

15

In the picture
an African-American in gaiters drives
an Indian motorcycle with a Winter-Weise
platform sidecar carrying a gigantic Macon
Pure Milk Company bottle, the legend
of the motorcycle as hailed as the
chrome of a Coca Cola label
packed in spangled spurs

Critical musings like Leonce Gaiter’s
spill my stomach and heart like airless
horror, my testimony of which’s like
showing off having touched a sore,
see if it still hurts

Privilege leaps around my mind
caffeinated dolphins bobbing and
wading through a swirl of rose petals,
not knowing how to be both totally correct
and compassionate at the same time,
a whimsying finger dallying over
a plate of appetizers
the candy of
gigantic mashup

I wonder–do Native Americans
identify as “Indians,” and if one must
deliberate and be educated, where does
that leave the ignorant and those mired
in the labyrinth of the narrative, those
who haven’t yet pulled up
their boots

And why use “white trash”
and “hillbillies” yet deride Indians
for castes

16

Ease my rust to work
like habitues of a roost solace
long drawn cello of a tree
round its ring of winter
season

Bustling passerines
grip and ease the branching itch,
massaging strong dry taloned
toes

Things I want to right in me,
tapping natural activity, kindling
with the green release of
sparkling spring

17

Ichthyology studies stars like a mystic
traces the embossing of runes, icthys,
quintessence caught, slow bubbles
in the magnum mysterium

Water is the right of fish,
our living ancestors,
wet starshine

Ganga spreads her arms,
munificence exploding
into coruscations
of life

We’re not separate from our
Great Lakes, big heart of this continent
pumping arteries of our neighborhoods,
and the neighborhoods that are solely
the fishes’ and other, drier
wild things’

18

A coriaceous book spine narrative
given jacktars, romance of masculine flounce,
marking skin with punishment proud tattoo
on roses of muscles, scrimshaw feast
for eyes

Drinking, flogging, religion and rocking courtship
of creaking boards and shifting stances, wind whipped
sunburned toughs blooming sails, tugging feel
on rope

In actuality
there was the ladening of burden
dispensed unequally on the cast of fraternity,
the clenched taking of it, muscle taxed,
mind gritted, hollowed out until what’s left
either’s hulked husk or honed bone
body polished to an ivory knife
pushing abacus’s possibility
of mutiny

19

Marcus Aurelius
sacrifices white animals
at the citadel to Jupiter,
grandeur of cloth-draped
witnesses described in
stone tableau

A shepherd rests,
anonymous thinker
at the temple on the hill
upon a kaolin plate
watermarked
Kao-ling

Columns
carved from bones
and clay
dug from marrow
of the big raw
outdoors

It’s a common denominator,
manufacturing leveraged on
material extracted from
Mother Earth’s back,
her teeth ground to dust
for our lithopaned
plates

20

Man rests in door
at a church in
Lalibela

Solar profile
of his Adam’s apple,
generative lips, jangle
of hand, veins dangling

Dust dances lit gold,
describing three dimensions
man, thought and living rock

Woman pumps water into her jug
sloshes wet the walk back home
coffee grounds of soil, labium
that yields us, air’s pant
made thirsty
with the trickling
offering

. . .

21

Our own hand rumbling o’er own hand
for rededication of the temple, living for the love light
candle by candle like the Maccabees but and also
slo mo ballet toeing tiger dragon aerial
dancing the guaguanco chicken squawking chimango
caracara mambo Mulatu Astatke rumba
community carnival conscientious of all
like the girl scout law

. . .

22

Quetzalcoatl intercedes
from Earth to Venus, halmark of Nahua
rainy season, mandala of his dress
wrapping subject into
environment

Snake and
most precious green bird shake
wind jewels of rain, lightning breaks
sky in two, loving the alien
under pyramids of sun
and moon

. . .

23

A koto chord splays
like a kiri wood door opening
the resonant center
of the universe

A woman bends in her obi
over a just so stand of flowers
petal rich colors against the shoji
very domo very

. . .

24

Rufus Buck gang,
African American, Native teens
machine packsaddled horses, clomp
bouncing shadows under hat in stark
relief like introspective phases of moon
running free as the authority of
sparrows’ ink to take back
this occupied land

. . .

25

Black history in Cleveland
my association of Black with civic
life, adulthood, urbanity–

The mental landing pad of
Public Square, stony-faced quadripartite sphinx,
history in concrete or ticker tape glyphs
from 19th century newspapers

Feeling it out
in the snow of words, some sense of
being in it, the staking claim in work and mire,
pencil and paper, trading figures
and invention

1809
George and Hanna Peake
first African American settlers
arrive with half bushel of sepia silver
like a pail of liquidity, invent
hand mill for grinding corn
ready to exact hi-fidelity
from swamp

Settlers arriving
into almost naked cosmos with
long chains of teaching, clothing
minds and hands, relationships
with native people
of the land

. . .

26

Raconteurs relate trickster
beings empowering themselves with cunning
escapes, Brer Rabbit, African American fables,
rabbit escaping chain, rabbit escaping Yama,
rabbits springing from hand like ripe water
releasing jewelweed

Alex Haley lays down roots healing
robberies of the unwillingly transplanted–
griot helping ancestors rest–ash and shadow
decanted into sweet cleansing waters of an
oasis’s arms raising baby to celestial bodies
and the crescent moon

. . .

27

Walking’s borne on the
sacroiliac joint between flank and sacred
like a fugue in constant conversation with its
ups and downs of cadence on the steady wings of
an angel bearing weight of the refugee,
soul sitting at seat of the spine
both making its way and at
home

. . .

28

Not just scattered pick-up sticks
rather chromosomes zipping themselves
into groovy patterns of repeating meaning
in the juice, heartbeat historicity
talking in the tabor drums
cheerful piping lungs of birds
making balcony seat comments
on the now of national geographic herds
where zebras race in stripes, dash into dots
of flamenco dancing swirls, the ecstasy
of sommeliers digesting traditions of the
indigenous saying ole to raise the blood
of mariposas genuflecting
to bulls

 

 

Black History Month Poems #18

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

 

A coriaceous book spine narrative
given jacktars, romance of masculine flounce,
marking skin with punishment proud tattoo
on roses of muscles, scrimshaw feast
for eyes

Drinking, flogging, religion and rocking courtship
of creaking boards and shifting stances, wind whipped
sunburned toughs blooming sails, tugging feel
on rope

In actuality
there was the ladening of burden
dispensed unequally on the cast of fraternity,
the clenched taking of it, muscle taxed,
mind gritted, hollowed out until what’s left
either’s hulked husk or honed bone
body polished to an ivory knife
pushing abacus’s possibility
of mutiny

~ Lady

 

 

SOMETIMES IT IS OBVIOUS

Friday, June 13th, 2014

SOMETIMES IT IS OBVIOUS

Sometimes it is obvious
what stimuli react to,
comment on

Other times,
less obvious

Asking
is satisfying at times

Clarification
can be had–

Pause, and feel

Sounds
have elements of taste
we can feel in our mouths

Much
wants to be listened to
and felt

Typing is satisfying

Typing
a tunnel
into understanding

~ Lady

 

HANDFULNESS

Saturday, November 2nd, 2013

HANDFULNESS

Hands pushing through,
hands typing, hands as adept agents
of the worker, the be-er, the doer.

How much of the brain is devoted
to processing signalling for the hands?
A handsome amount, I’m sure.

Can the hands send signals
back to the brain to tell it what to do, too?

Can the brain be hands searching
& working like the interplay of
interdependent co-arising?

What if hands are
butterflies that ameliorate
the hurricanes of thought
blasting
our mindscape?

Such that the weather
of what we endure is made
gentler by the process of the
hands, mindful hands

Such that when
fierce wind would whirl
without engagement
but only destruction,
the tip and tangent of this wildness
would be felt by hands,
felt and recognized
and turned just so

Such that the
turning just so
tickles the fierceness
tugs the rein of
this animal,
employs it,
transforms it

A conductor
signalling an
orchestra

A potter
making a pot

Transformation
is the key meme

Transformation
into utility

~ Lady

 

TO BE TRUE HUMAN

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

TO BE TRUE HUMAN

I will prophecize
and I encourage you to do so, too
but wait… before you do it

Let’s think about what we want to see
& let’s prophecize that…

I prophecize
blooms
flowers springing open
gentle velvet unfolding
sproinging normal seasons
budding ad infinitum
until the sun’s old age
consumes
this planet

I prophecize the return
of robust populations of bees
tending zest
from pistol to stamen
love nuggets
pollen accreting on
hairy working legs

I prophecize
restoration of habitat, species–
curating every grain and drop
via mind, lab, hand, even nanobot
connecting communities of roaming
fish, fowl, ruminant corridors ensured
wide open plains, too
deserts turned to prairie
fertilized to forest footfall
wolves making more tall growing
trimming just enough deer

I prophecize awareness
educated holds
securing true truth
the aggregate eye unblinding
empire will have to get dressed
saying will have to say what it
purports to be and be that–
the competition of the ego,
the striving to be seen best
transforming baser nature
to cooperation
relief, rest, all of us
heaved atop the true top:
the infinite plateau
for the most successful,
which is, innately,
the gentlest

~ Lady

 

LEARNING TO SWIM

Thursday, October 24th, 2013

LEARNING TO SWIM

All the important stuff that happened–
your birth in a toilet bowl as Reality said,
“Get to business, Thurm, swim!”

The seriousness
of losing your mom
who you couldn’t remember,
of not being cared for by your dad
and stepmom, the loving arm relief
you found in grandparents

How you did your jobs as a teen

You drove Grandma in a coal truck
to the prom, attracted her by
decorating your Model A
with polka dots

Billowing signposts that
should be marked by heralds
birds holding words on
floating ribbons unfurling
into filigree wallpaper scene

You and Grandma atop an elopement cake
the amazingness that you had children–
were you amazed? And then all the
policies you adeptly enacted for them,
the children, the adopted children
and the cousins taken in–
folding napkins for this one
putting silverware in order for another
the steamy comforting clatter from
warm yellow lit kitchen crescendo-ing
cymbals pacing domestic scene

Not enough room for all the family?
You built your own house, and
added on additions

Ideas that came via some kind of
hard work and grace to help your hep
with coworkers, bosses, underlings–
“How to Use Humor to Help the Team”

Learn lesson, apply knowledge
when necessary

Daily reports to bosses on a typewriter
written with amusement, the intelligence
of the clatter and splash of type…

You dropped out of high school
and got your education via the font of
civilization–the Cleveland Plain Dealer–
and experience

Cognitive therapy for family members
via example of your memoir–
typesetting the nuts and bolts of it

You wrote about your mistakes
(few though they were)
that would make you
smoke a cigarette in shame–
but this was good, Grandpa
and I left the burrs in,
the things we wouldn’t say now
because Mind has progressed
in some ways

I want people to know
have them see the light through thicket
know the good though the rough

The polishing of your promise
the possibilities for anyone
everyone and all

~ Lady

 

CHOOSING TRACKS

Sunday, October 20th, 2013

CHOOSING TRACKS

I’m doing a mix tape for you

I’m making a mix tape
that never gets boring
tap tap taps you into
calmness, then bliss
sans titillation

Maybe an ecstatic state
without the frenzy, with only
a taste of the memory of angst
for comparison

But not
the actual experience
of angst

Where lust is
transformed into zest
such that every taste
tongue, touch, sound
is gently enough

That the passage
through days is gently
wonderfully enough
chock with gusto
and painless poignancy

You’ll know for sure
you’re cool like Blondie
hot like Bowie
as loosely flowing
yet contained
as Kate Bush

You’ll know you’re forgiven
if that’s what it takes
redeemed into goodness
if redemption necessary

You’ll be as smiley
as the Dalai Lama
as wise as
Thich Nhat Hanh

We’ll all know it
but that won’t matter

This is how I’ll
trick out the tape
and it won’t be a trick

It’s a prescription
for your wellbeing

And when you
can’t listen
it’ll have saturated
you
anyways

~ Lady

 

what would Jack do?

Monday, August 5th, 2013

detail Smith sculpture – foto Smith

What would Jack do?

Reading Jack Keroauc’s truth-disguised-as-fiction “Tristessa” (1960) which I hadn’t known about until I bought it used from Guide to Kulchur for $5.

Kerouac was my main driver of yearning for adventure and travel ever since my 17 yr-old self read “On the Road” in 1963 and it inspired a fire to go to Mexico and smoke dope.

Took me four years to find marijuana, two more months to put a needle in my arm, 44 years to hit Marrakech and six months more for Mexico.

Now I read his adventures and think, hmmm, getting drunk, done that . . . smoking grass, yup . . . joy riding, yes . . . mainlining, been there . . . smoking opium, of course . . . hash in Morocco mushrooms in Mexico, uh huh . . . walking Zen trail, still dabble.

But the one thing I did poor Jack didn’t was pass through the maelstrom of alcohol and needles and snorting and sniffing and popping.

I ended up drinking myself to death 22 years ago and haven’t imbibed since, stopped needles 14 years ago, quit cocaine three years later, and discovered a couple years ago during my hip replacement I no longer enjoy pills.

So I’m down to 2 cups strong coffee daily and grass anytime I have the chance. Last did LSD in 1985 and magic mushrooms down in Mexico 5 years ago, though I’ll do both again in ten years or so.

Find that Jack’s words which excited my 17 yr self now seem tame, shallow, but still the initial thrill that primed my adventure pump by showing there was more out there than suits, suburbs, TV.

What he did and wrote was important because he did it first and he did it well. He hopped the Beat train before it left the station, before it even had a destination. Unfortunately he drunkenly stumbled off part way thru the journey to go home, live with mom, drink himself to death, losing his mad holy light while railing at those still riding, especially the (to him) free loading hippies who hadn’t earned a ticket.

That’s the second thing I did Jack didn’t – I stayed on the train. There’s a third string we have in common . . . we both drank ourselves to a bleeding throat ulcer which killed us, except I rose the third day and walked home sober.

What he did isn’t lessened by later because we’re all weak and constantly stray quit fail walk away, so thanks Jack for the journey. You are my original light, and I cherish your burnt-out bulb. You turned America to the possibility of leaving the sheep pen and having exotic adventures. You also showed us failure.

Both are lessons to use.


2 from Guide to Kulchur – foto Smith

London, 2006 – foto Smith

 

 
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