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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 )

latest ingredients

June 24th, 2022

latest ingredients

294 – You Got To Walk That Lonesome Valley – Mississippi John Hurt
295 – Atomized – Andrew Bird
296 – Register Of Free Negroes – Fantastic Negrito
297 – Golden Brown – The Stranglers
298 – Nan Fon Bwa – Leyla McCalla
299 – Kill My Baby Tonight – L.A. Witch
300 – Tom’s Diner – Suzanne Vega
301 – Tony Speaks! – Dry Cleaning
302 – Find My Way – Paul McCartney & Beck
303 – We’re Not Happy (Till You’re Not Happy) – Willie Nelson
304 – Rich White Honky Blues – Hank Williams, Jr.
305 – Re-Make/Re-Model – Roxy Music
306 – Waitin’ For You To Blow – Bonnie Raitt
307 – Tales From The Trash Stratum – Oneohtrix Point Never & Elizabeth Fraser
308 – He She – Oneohtrix Point Never
309 – Hashish Poem – Bill Laswell
310 – Hackensack (Take 1) – Thelonious Monk


One Sparkplug Short

June 17th, 2022

*Good morning, Cleveland and the Smith clan — Smith (Steven B. Smith), Lady, dog and cat. And mighty thanks for Steven’s sharp shards of poetry and visuals: “Parts of truth tell more of truth…”* sez Kathy Kieth editor/publisher Medusa’s Kitchen

One Sparkplug Short – 9 poems, 10 fotos


May 2022 poemestry

June 1st, 2022

slim poetry pickins last month

2022.5.1 – Unknown water
2022.5.13 – Deer silent
2022.5.14 – Kin of my yeast
2022.5.14 – Help us Mr Burroughs
2022.2.17 – My Morning Dental Cleaning
2022.5.28 – The lie of night
2022.5.29 – O to be dog

~ ~ ~

Unknown water
dripping off known roof
tapping at sill

What does it want?

~ ~ ~

Deer silent
bound away

Where does sound go
when it goes away?
does the forest fall?

I watch the worm
I watch the deer
I watch the year

~ ~ ~

Kin of my yeast
crawled from the sea
made back with two beasts

Roaring pedal to the metal
rushing cross the bridge
o for more petal mental

~ ~ ~

Help us Mr Burroughs
the MAGAts are on the move
in naked launch

~ ~ ~

My Morning Dental Cleaning

“You have to fill out this information.”
I already filled it out last year.
“You have to do it every year, for the insurance people.”
I don’t have insurance.
“You have to fill it out anyway.”
No I don’t, I replied as I left.

~ ~ ~

The lie of night
lays with lie of day
begats tomorrow

In sitting sun
toking under dogwood tree
counting my nail holes

~ ~ ~

O to be dog
head out car window
fur face full sun

I’m a sparkplug short
on a cold damp day

~ ~ ~


new Lady poem this morning

May 30th, 2022

(new Lady poem this morning)

Memorial Day

We were recovering, too weak
to mow the lawn, and it rained
and it sunned, and half the lawn
was grass, and half the lawn was
clover. I trampled a path through
the clover to plant the sunflower
rootings that came in the mail,
the lavender before it was
too late, holding my tummy tuck
lest I bust my stitches

I found a garter snake
under the decaying fall leaves.
It moved like water to the
faucet coming from our
foundation stones and
slipped into a gap

Snakes do not have hands
but we do – here is the church
here is the steeple, here’s some cave
carved from an ancient river,
hand prints paint souls
like leaves on trees. Lay back
and watch the innate kindling
of the TV in the mind
passenger’s trip

We hold hands on the holiday,
the morning walk

Our dog stops at the telephone
pole at the end of the street,
looking for sweet new blades
of spring green grass

A neighborhood dog barks.
Somewhere out there
there’s agreement

On Audible we learned
birds recognize each others’ calls.
The robin hears the sparrow
the jay mimics the crow

They feel like we feel
It’s going to be OK
The mirror in the garden
says namaste

Memorial Day –
the Grand River –
sedimentary layers
clay limestone shale
dog shit on the bank

It’s fecund
it smells like rusted blood
it smells like coffee

We’ve canoed the river and
on its banks I’ve picked up rocks
to find salamanders

I carry the memory of days there
like a lotus of a transcendental sobriety

I found a morel
in our yard by the compost gate.
It came up ready, nary any pull
ripping noiselessly from the ground

It wilted as I carried it
I brought it just to show it
I turned around to put it back
I could not find out where it
came from

What can I say
but clay tests the hand
and it makes a pot

Last year I found one too,
a morel, and I expect next one
next year

This year’s bees are cleaning
out last year’s hive beyond
the grand pine you can see from
the bridge on Pearl

The tree’s how we know
where our house is. Smith wants
to paint the other side of the
picket fence white so we can see
it from Pearl

In July as you step off the deck
you can smell honey from the oven
of the hive’s hot hatchery.
They beat their wings,
keep it just right

The bees give warning bops
but rarely sting. We are in
the flight path to the field
they dance and waggle about

Last year they went up and up into
the trees, half the hive, I watched
them, a dark cloud up and over the
pine until they looked like
gnats in the robin’s egg sky

I watched until the view

This year
regardless of their tolerance
we will check every frame
until we get to the bottom of it
and wipe out the extra queen cups

We keep them –
we are keeping them regardless
of their consensus

Golden and angry
they’ll stay in their nest
and in the winter you can put your ear
to the hive, hear the beating
whir of the lion’s heart, an engine
powered by honey

You know, birds’ eyes have four cones
where we have three. They can see
kingdoms in an ultraviolet canopy

Thoughts are in the trees –
living books, and mycorrhizal fungi
tap out signals from their feet

Every day I thank the Lord
the shape that’s buoyed me
in its volume of ancient
recorded oxygen

Pick up a leaf with the labyrinth
of your fingerprints –
it drains into a palimpsest
the map on your palm,
the rivers on the leaf

~ Lady


recent shuffle pool additions

May 30th, 2022

281 – Tear You Apart – She Wants Revenge
282 – Cows – The Suburbs
283 – St. Louis Blues – Aki Takase & Fred Frith
284 – Yellow Dog Blues – Aki Takase & Fred Frith
285 – Whirrrr (Live) – Jimmy Giuffre, Paul Bley, Steve Swallow
286 – Shelly Manne – Charlie Watts & Jim Keltner
287 – Art Blakey – Charlie Watts & Jim Keltner
288 – Packing Up Getting Ready To Go – Taj Mahal & Ry Cooder
289 – Last Of The Hobo Kings – Mary Gauthier
290 – Empty Bed Blues – Judy Henske
291 – TV Baby – Magazine
292 – Artificial Life – Ultrvox
293 – Radiator 110 – Boz Scaggs
294 – Cadillac Walk – Boz Scaggs
295 – Move Along Train – Mavis Staples & Levon Helm
296 – 5-4=Unity – Pavement


Cleveland Gray, 2011, 4:34

May 24th, 2022
a Ball/Smith experiment from 2011, 4:34, Peter Ball music & recording, me words and voices
“Mutant Smith material is quite the churning of the underbelly!– highlights to me so far being High Wind Weather, Onward Ho, S.O.P. and damn, the Cleveland Gray is like a throat walking inside out through an invocation to Howlin Wolf.” — Ben Gulyas


latest Lady

May 21st, 2022

Lady’s latest poem

Visceral as a fresh caught cut perch
yearning as the dog looking hours out the window for the car’s return
I love you, I would say to my family
the gulp in my heart tendered between mortar and pestle
like the unexpected swipe of a burnt cigarette on the arm

With some,
we spend more time together in dream
than real life
expansive surprises of rooms
come out of a flap of shuffling cards
like a rabbit out of a hat
We make a cardboard castle
We sit on the patio and watch the backyard pond
the trees as sweet to sight as
fresh washed salad

I know
the knowledge of what the Cuyahoga
has done to its banks over centuries

The accordion wheeze
the new born spring swallowtail
taking its first steps on my patio
we only know where it folds up its
wings to rest because we see
where it’s been

where we are now, where we
have been
Let’s hold it, let’s keep it here

– Lady


The Bad Narrative Covid Blues

May 20th, 2022

The Bad Narrative Covid Blues

“You tellin’ yerself lies, boy, got the story all wrong,” laughs the now voice in my head over my miserable misanalysis of then.

10 days ago I took an open pack of hotdogs out of the fridge and microwaved two. Read the back during heating and found sell-by-date 3 weeks past. Sniffed them, seemed fine, so scarfed them.

Was fine till 3 a.m. when I woke in brutal pain . . . knew from experience it had to be food poisoning, which I’d had in Marrakech, and Baltimore, and Cleveland. Don’t know how, but when the body ingests poisons, it tries to flush it any way it can, so I’m in the bathroom, stomach water gushing from mouth, rude water rushing below, mass of pain up and down in and out.

Eventually one runs out of stomach content, but the body keeps on, so you try to bring up stomach lining.

O what a retch am I.

Round 8 a.m. Lady askes how I’m doing. “I think I’d rather die.”

9 a.m. finally get some Tylenol to stay down.

10-noon sleep in LazyBoy, wake with hope.

By 2 p.m. my chilled, shivering body is sitting on the deck in the sun, sucking in heat, toking to control nausea and pain.

At 3 p.m. my 3 a.m. body has regained some of its sense of humor, and I drink coffee, eat well, enjoy the remaining day, and at 3 a.m. wake with bowel water rapids again, but no vomiting. Food poisoning doesn’t work that way, I say. Lady theorizes my over indulgence irritated my irritated innerds.

Went to ExpressCare.

They take blood, give me intestine coating medicine that blocks my bowels, send me home, and call me later saying my blood’s looking bad, my kidneys may fail. Tell me to drink lots of water and come back in 3 days for blood test.

Go back 4 days later, get more blood drawn, then go get my second Covid-19 booster.

Day later (yesterday) Lady gets cold sniffles, then slight fever, then dry cough, thinks it may be Covid. Today we get her tested at the pharmacy. She has Covid. I take a home test. I have Covid.

Lady being logical calls the hospital, they say they’ll send her some medicine tomorrow to help. She has me call too. They look at my bloodwork and tell me my food poisoning wasn’t food poisoning, was Covid instead, and that I’m pretty much over it, my blood and kidneys are fine.

We notify anyone we’ve seen past 10 days, and now wait to see how bad Lady’s bout is going to be, me sitting here knowing I gave the love of my life the disease of our life, and there’s little I can do to ease her burden.

The good news (???) — she’s 27 years younger so has more to fight with, and says she’s glad it’s respiratory rather than far flung bodily fluids . . . though misery is misery, so who knows what that means.

Right now she sleeps, tossing, moaning, groaning, 101°, waiting for some better somewhere down the line.

– Smith 5.19.2022


2 little Covid-19s here

May 19th, 2022

Lady tested positive for Covid-19 in a Walgreen’s drive-thru, so I tried a home test and find I have it as well. She has a sore throat, not sick, and I’m basically fine. See what happens.

Fone nurse said where we are now is as bad as it should get, and this isn’t even vaguely bad, so I’m glad we finally got it. The waiting was worse.

update — fone doctor said my 3 day bout of food poisoning last week when I gushed liquids from both ends wasn’t food poisoning but was actually Covid-19, and that now I’m okay.

Who knew.


my May 2022 Medusa’s Kitchen feature

May 19th, 2022
short and mostly unsweet
9 poems, 10 fotos
“Smith is visiting us today with his usual music and color, and we thank him for his many postings across the years, even as “dark things/grow/fester”. We do indeed need to lift our eyes up from the ground once in a while. And be careful what you don’t say . . .” – Kathy Kieth, editor/publisher Medusa’s Kitchen


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