...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 ‘Smith biography’ Category
Sunday, March 29th, 2015
I have my keep… there’s something about a goddess guarding a man that happens in this reality, your goddess wrangling snakes of dualism, emotions zapped to me like lightning I stand under moon and stars and cloud and big star and clouds again and whatnot, I demand banging fists against golden cliffs, I call hot dragon breath and float on mists, I make new myths and tell stories to entertain The Big Listener, yield dividends like taking my earring fishhook pull up islands for our house on rock, yes part of me I’m a lizard wahine with angry red eyes or a totem, a panther, a leaping leopard with curling thirsty tongue, and part of me I gave to you a year subtracted from my own and past lives for many more to yours–one of many barters of my myness for the world–here’s a cast for a greater span for the wise man with kindly growling voice, I do I do, like a huge hug of hand I hold and forage and push I do, I have my keep
Monday, March 16th, 2015
Laying flowers side by side on the table
to array the palette of a bouquet, my jackleg fingers
in this matter remembering the words of
Thich Nhat Hanh, “leave space in
Looking towards learning skillful compositions,
juxtapositions of color and shape and mood, so many
ways to make and discover frontiers
Which reminds me of you–how you
would have every day novel, a zany birthday party
on a dance floor platform for whirling happiness, your
camera curiosity seeking out photos like the world
is full of easter eggs, and it is
Yet sometimes the spicy lightning
of your attention’s like you’re zapping barbed xrays
of unjust situations with moralizing words–promising
them their comeuppance
Condemnation of entire domains
heuristically earned yet with wild daisies of grace
sprouting exceptions to the rules and you smile with
surprise like the cheer of holding my hand and running
through a sprinkler
I’m growing a whole bunch of exceptions for you,
a lawn, a street, a town, a county, a country, the world–
I’m gathering them and the other flowers
for the fiesta of our lives
Thursday, March 12th, 2015
Where did we come from? The page’s gutter
for an aesthetic, faille’s golden joinery,
moulden moiré, a book opening softly with
beginner’s mind ribbing interior corduroy,
congruous fingerprints, event set atop
event in wefts of text, vibrating atoms,
topographical map swimmingly coupled
and walking from the dividend,
this singing bowl
Monday, March 9th, 2015
Happy Birthday Mister Sisyphus
working genius nacre spurts–art poem or song,
chasing glitter’s wet iridescence, sieving fingers through
cadenzas again and again, grooming grains of cogitation,
rocking chair oyster seeding its wag, puffing spumas
of lamb, the sommelier of burgeoning pearl
the assessment of yearly loads
Venus aloft on muscle’s green water
you’re upright again
Wednesday, January 14th, 2015
My hand in yours
Whatever’s in me secured
Knowing you tangible
Gyrus-like fingers express
The will of our hearts’ fists
Saturday, October 5th, 2013
Where are you on your computer besides under it,
my husband points his finger at me, asks.
Where are you in your head besides in your head?
Are you on your feet? Does your head rest on your
neck, is your neck comfortable (I hope so)?
Does your back feel good? Is the lumbar region
It feels so good to breathe, yes?
It feels so good.
Are you taking care of yourself? Are you choosing
to hone your tone with honey crisp apples?
The clatter of domesticity in the kitchen
is so nice, yeah? And then subsequent footsteps
with platter of food, industriousness
sinking into the lazyboy,
Monday, February 11th, 2013
Smith is getting his eight remaining upper teeth pulled Wednesday, the day before Valentine’s Day. I’m glad that he’s getting this done because it’s been so hard for him to chew properly. When he gets used to the dentures, this will be easier.
I asked how it is he got such tooth problems:
“Number one,” he said, “I have small teeth. Number two, we were poor. Couldn’t afford much dental work unless we had to. Number three, from ’53 to ’60, I was raised on a farm with well water. So I didn’t get the benefit of the fluoride the government started putting in the water ’bout then. Number four, when I went into the Navy, they pulled some bad teeth and said they’d replace them. They lied. Number five: when I finally had some money and started going to dentists, I got stuck with some really bad ones. One dentist even took my straight bottom teeth and made them crooked with a retainer. Number six: since I was a contractor, there were times when I didn’t have any work, yet I had to get teeth fixed. So instead of getting crowns I couldn’t afford, teeth were pulled that shouldn’t have been. Finally, I just had bad luck with teeth. My karma; seems to be.”
“How do you feel about Wednesday?”
“Oh, I think getting false upper teeth is a setback to me. It’s a line I didn’t want to cross. But I’m not worried about it. They’ll pull them, they’ll give me pain pills. The only thing I’m worried about is the temporary upper denture that won’t fit well, won’t feel good, and I have a very high gag reflex. So… it’s not going to be fun.”
I’d not really given much thought to dentures prior to hooking up with Smith. My first memory of them was Grandpa Ireland popping the teeth out at us to freak us out. Grandpa ate anything. He ate salad, he could tear at steak, he could eat corn-on-the-cob. He had dentures most of his life due to having had some kind of illness in his teens.
“I’m not worried about eating,” Smith said. “It’s just a line I didn’t want to cross, losing my teeth.”
As a forty-year-old, witnessing Smith’s tooth problems helps keep me in line brushing my teeth and seeing the dentist regularly for cleanings. Being so much younger than my partner has had some costs but has also helped me to prepare better for the future. I’m starting an IRA, I’m taking care of my teeth, I’m really working on my diet and exercise with my comfort in the long term future in mind.
The downside of being with someone who is so much older is that there is a lot of worry over my partner’s health and sadness over the thought of losing him before I die. And the mysticism of older people is pretty much gone… my parents don’t seem much like parents to me anymore in terms of authority–now they are more like peers.
Wednesday, August 8th, 2012
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.
Wednesday, September 8th, 2010
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.
Saturday, September 4th, 2010
Precedent kathy’s economic stimulus package – a prescription for today & possibly the future (albeit with tweaking and optimization):
1. If you happen to be near a flower shop, I hear the bees are expecting food next year and so buy a flower, think of a bee, and if you are wealthy, buy flowers for your entire house. I hear they are going to flower forever and ever.
2. I hear the bees have been heard of as ‘unhealthy’ in an outdated narrative, but I’ve recently heard an update on this information: there are some 15 or so new species of bees. I hope they are very good, sturdy, happy little pollinators and that they somehow magically know how to find their ways back to the hives. I anticipate that we shall eat fruit, good fruit, from now until the foreseeable future. I COMMAND IT SO. And the fruit will be wildly and widely available for maws of mass consumption, and will be very healthy and beneficial for the maws of mass consumption.
So, I command you to start eating 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day (if you have the money for it and if it is available in your region. I hear most regions do have enough food. I would like to assume so. If not, I COMMAND IT SO.)
Of the grocery stores, et cetera: I really don’t understand how a couple of red peppers can really equal the life of a chicken. How can this situation be changed so that healthy food is subsidized? GOVERNMENT: I COMMAND YOU TO START SUBSIDIZING HEALTHY FOOD FOR PEOPLE.
3. Cellphones used to have a ‘bad’ reputation. I hear that they are now in collaboration with our needs, and nature’s needs. Thank you, cellphones! We love you!
4. I hear more and more Republicans are finding that they really were right, after all, that they are decent human beings who put their mouths where their money is in terms of helping the poor with churches, in stimulating the economy ethically so that people can buy more locally-made, hand-made goods – this is my vision for the near future. This is my economic stimulus plan.
5. The rich people will dine on the most succulent, juicy, well-marbled grass-fed beef, served to them by wonderfully paid and happy craftspeople who work with food.
6. McDonald’s and its ilk will start serving healthy, inexpensive, wonderfully-tasting food, and will pay its workers very well, a living wage that will meet and exceed its collaborators expectations, 32 hours per week with full benefits and pension plans in reparation for the history of the business’s exploitation of its workers and environment. In turn, the workers will become very faithful advocates of McDonald’s (and its ilk). And their high wages and high health will help stimulate the local economies.
So, on some days, a person of moderate wealth might find that he/she would like to eat at McDonald’s or its ilk, and other days, at an expensive smoothie bar or expensive restaurant or vegetarian restaurant (I hear they are becoming quite popular.)
7. Artists: Did you know that anyone can become an artist? Sure, some of us are misunderstood, but–get this–in a civilized society with lots of cash flow, the rich people buy lots of art. They buy personalized items for lots of money, and so do we. We are rich people! Did you know that? All of us are rich.
We might not have the actual cash money in our bank accounts right this second–but I hear it’s coming! Has to do with that hand-crafted, ethically-produced stimulation thing. Yowzers.
8. Poets: Why are you giving away God’s words for free? You are so good. Buy each others books. I command thee. I command more people to start appreciating poetry–people who might not necessarily write poetry, but suddenly find that, wow, what a goldmine of nuance and love and reverence for life there is in those darned poets! BORDERS BOOK STORE: I command you to buy books from local poets in consultation with the people who know best–like Suzanne from Macs.
INDEPENDENT BOOK STORES: You are lovers of hand-crafted zines, recycled and reowned books, fine coffee environments, tee, pastries, plants, atmosphere, music, fine wine, et cetera. IN MY ECONOMIC STIMULUS PLAN FOR YOU, YOU WILL NOT HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT LOSING BUSINESS, ONLY GAINING IT!
9. Back to the bees. I hear monoculture crops weren’t such a good idea. I’m glad they’re realizing now that they need to employ beekeepers for the local areas, and that most of the year (maybe?) the bees need to eat organic, varied, wonderful, varieties of food. Perhaps a patch of this food with a local beekeeper could be employed in every area that needs one? And that the use of pesticides is suddenly found to not be necessary, or that somehow, it is in coordination with the health needs of pollinating insects? Seems like local beekeepers would be a good jobs program to me.
– – –
I imagine that this plan will require some tweaking, but it sounds like a good start and good vision to me. What do you all think?