...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 memoir’ Category
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
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,
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.
Thursday, June 7th, 2012
Walking on Thin Ice is not about the world losing polar ice caps. We’re going to stop that. We’re going to thicken those ice caps right back up. We’re going to populate the glaciers again. We’re going to make sure there’s an adequate head of snow on the Himalayas and everywhere else that its needed. Cool breezes bleeded.
This blog is named after the Yoko Ono and John Lennon song. It’s the first song by Yoko Ono I ever heard, and smith introduced me to it. In my opinion, it is one of the most far out yearning and tragic songs ever made. They were finishing up the song the day Lennon died. I only learned a long time after naming the blog that such sadness had happened around the generation of the song.
When I listen to it, it brings back the giddy creativity, the yearning sated, the ecstatic discovery I experienced when I hooked up with smith. I listened to it on “The Best of Yoko Ono” album over and over, spooling my Miata around, lost and found. It was novel, yet old. Like smith.
In the months after we hooked up, I’d collapse on his rocking chair sofa and poof into smoke. He told me the rest of his stories for his memoir. I tore down his cancer. I spackled the walls. I barfed as he was irradiated. We made art. Night time was Ono and Meat Beat Manifesto. Morning was Mingus, breakfast and golden sun.
Walking on Thin Ice, in the song, is about daring do on the edge.
Walking on Thin Ice is about adventure.
Walking on Thin Ice, in smith & lady’s lives, is about walking on water.
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?
Sunday, August 29th, 2010
Worked on my projections yesterday to try and untangle some psychological knots. Very good to project what it is that I want for everyone, which is for me to not critique them or myself, but to know their underlying goodness. The most interesting part was working with the new house for my parents, which I am visualizing as a kind of Heaven on Earth for them (with my understanding that I should wish well for everyone, and not wish well for my parents at the expense of others, but to let this be up to the God concept of underlying equality and goodness between all “beings.”)
So yesterday I saw a ballet of grace played out depending on what my expectations and fears and hopes were.
It became a bit overwhelming, so I tried to give it up to my God concept and follow what I thought was the right thing to do, which was to not judge, and to just ask for the good and what I perceive to be as good.
At one point I took grandma to explore my parents’ barn and this like, little cottage on the property. I was worrying that by holding her hand, worrying about her tripping, I was projecting my psychic need for her to be old, or some such thing. But I realized that she is old, at least according to my perception, and that I could hope for her to not trip, but the responsible thing to do according to the history of the ‘illusion’ as I know it is to hold her hand, because I love her very much and if indeed she were to trip, I would like to prevent it. And I love the feeling of her hand in mine.
It’s been a constant battle of my ultimate will for a better me, a better universe, a better way to see, and at times it becomes frightening, because I worry about unseen ramifications of my good intent.
Visualization of important symbolism seems to be important, and exploring the weird wonderful possibilities that could be, such as talking candidly without fear about fear, such as taking that extra step to explore an area one would really like to explore… and to try to have faith that one’s good intent for oneself and everyone else is taken care of, but to also perform actions real and symbolic to carry the load one feels is appropriate at the moment.
The barn has stairs up to a loft type thing. I found some gold leaves. I took two of them, one for me, and one for Grandma. Grandma is someone I see as having a special tie to me. I have thought that we have a psychic connection, and this is what I project on to her and myself. I have been tied up in the Christ symbology/mythology, but I have tried to be ethical about my ego and to not seed this unless it needs to be seeded. (I believe we are all manifestations of Christ/Buddha/God/each other etc.)
Anyways, where I am going with this is that Grandma seemed to be constantly alluding to my Christ visualization of myself, which I tried not to encourage with words but I’m sure I projected that image onto everyone yesterday. When I gave her the gold leaf, she said it was like Christmas. I can’t quite remember the other allusions she made to me yesterday, but they were Christ allusions.
In the cottage, we found a big carpet, which was dirty. Grandma was talking about taking the carpet and putting it under the dining room table. On the carpet, we saw a weird thing that looked like a giant kitchen implement–I don’t know the name of the implement–I think it is used to thrash eggs or some such thing. Grandma said it is used to thrash carpets, to beat dust out of them. So I started teasing the carpet, hitting it with the thrasher. I said we could hang the carpet from the barn and clean it. But that seemed like a lot of work to me, so I revised my thought to something more logical, which was that Mom and Dad could possibly think about renting a machine to clean the carpet and bring it into the house, under the dining room table.
On the carpet, we also found two rolled up smaller carpets. (Carpet symbolism is important to me as I have asked for magic carpet rides.) I thought, “is it appropriate for me to ask my parents about putting these carpets in their new home?” But then I thought, well, it would be very nice for them, as were I them, I would like the carpets. So I gave the smaller carpet for my grandma to carry, and I gave the larger carpet to myself to carry, and I tried to not worry about her falling, as she is often taking loads upon herself and most likely she would not fall.
Other very interesting things happened in the cottage, but I don’t feel like going into them now.
Into the cottage walked my husband and the family friend. Grandma and I mosied around for a while, and I was fearful about my husband feeling a bit neglected by me at the expense of my concern for grandma. But I am trying to not project the feeling of neglection upon my husband, just trying to do the things I should do to respect him as my husband concept, as I love him very much and have met in him God (concept) for the first time and like, the ultimate Friend/Companion/Mentor who I’ve always wished for.
Grandma and I were carrying these small carpets. Up came this new ponytail dude and his gentle wife, my parents’ friends who I first met yesterday. The ponytail dude was very nice and seemed to want to take care of my grandma. So I let him, seeing him as an extension of myself who would do logical things to help my grandma along so that she wouldn’t fall, etc. (I worry but am trying to not project need onto others, although I think it is responsible to do what one can do to help the seemingly needy.)
The ponytail dude was eating an apple–said there was an apple and peach tree behind the cottage. I thought about bringing my grandma through the lawn to the trees as I want her to be able to experience as much nature as possible, but she was already making her way down the path back to the house, carpet in arms, with the ponytail dude. Steve, however, was right there, and it seemed appropriate for us to go look at the trees. I wanted to try an apple or a peach.
As I am experiencing the Christ/Eve ‘complex’ (I was born on Christmas Eve and have always recognized a Christ ‘complex’ within myself)–I was worried about the ‘Eve’ part of this, but a large part of my philosophy as of late is to shift my perspective to try to expect good things within reason, and to not fear, and to ask my God concept what the right thing to do is.
The peach tree was not suitable. The peaches were not yet ripe, and Steve said they have ‘blight.’
The apples, on the other hand, looked very good. Well, a lot of them had insect holes/mars/etc., but they seemed good to me. Yet I was worried about the underlying implications of eating an apple in this ‘state’ which I understand as a spiritual journey/contact with the divine. “I” let everything be up to “Steve” – ironically I also see Steve as a male version of Eve. He is a man with a highly ‘feminine’ mindset.
Unfortunately for my fear at that time, I also see Steve as a snake symbol, which I can go into at another time.
I was worried that my eating the apple would unleash bad consequences for the world, and that Steve was the snake.
If Steve was the Eve concept, perhaps that would unleash bad consequences for the world.
If I was the Eve concept, perhaps I would be unleashing bad consequences for the world by messing with the apple and speculating about its divine nature.
I decided that I could see the apple as a kind of reverse apple–an apple that would reduce fear of about the nature of knowledge of good and evil, although I do not think it is responsible to abandon the concept of addressing the ‘bad’–more on this later.
Yet I felt that I needed to eat this reverse apple to help take away my judgement and rectify the myth of the apple/tree/knowledge/good-evil paradigm.
I think that yesterday was about fear, and about reducing fear, and reconciliation, and reason and faith.
Steve found a good apple for me. “Be careful,” he said. “It’s got a hole here and here, and pointed to two small indentations on either end of the good part of the flesh where one might bite down.”
I took a bite and recognized that it was a good apple, and quite tasty, maybe a Gala?
“Take a bite for me so I don’t have to bite down into the apple,” Steve said.
So I did, and got a nice bite and took it out of my mouth and gave it to him.
We walked back to the house and I ate the rest of the apple, but I wasn’t really hungry, so I didn’t eat down to the quick of the core.
I buried the apple in a geranium pot in front of my parents’ porch, and Steve and I sat on the porch for a while, and I realized that I was feeling much relief. The constant stream of data/worry seemed to be lifted, although if I ‘squinted’ my ears and thought deeply about it, I could still hear/see/feel my God concept.
Yet my worry about lack of connection seemed to be lifted, and like, this load that I’d been carrying about worrying about Grandma and Steve seemed to be lifted, and some of the constant stream of God-data seemed to be lifted. The God-data can be pretty relentless, but I think it is for the best sometimes, that it is trying to tell me there are issues that need to be resolved. Mostly the issue is about my fear and projection of fear upon reality, yet it is also about faith and balancing one’s responsibility toward the planet and toward the ‘individuals’ one loves and the rest of the perceiving entities of the universe. It’s about wishing well for everyone and doing what one could (can) within reason, dream and faith.
P.S. Earlier yesterday, I went running and asked a question of my God concept, who was throwing a constant stream of data at me, a stream beyond a reasonable doubt. I am ever skeptical of the ego/Christ complex ‘thing,’ but I said, “OK, God, how would I recognize that if ‘I’ am Christ? What would it take?” And immediately after asking that I looked into a store window and saw three Barbie dolls. The packages were a Holiday/Christmas theme. In the first package, I saw a beautiful Barbie doll dressed up in a Santa outfit. The other package had two dolls, who I didn’t stare at very long (I am every discounting the special when it regards myself)–but these dolls were also in Holiday theme. I was born on Christmas eve.
Thursday, August 26th, 2010