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tell me a story

some folk wonder why kathy’s reading my stories at readings. others assume they’re hers. they’re ours. full blown kathy ireland smith steven b smith collaborations.

kathy says “tell me a story” and we’re off. i talk. she selects, writes, arranges, adds, questions, directs, deletes, spaces, rearranges, inserts, inspires, titles and edits. i wouldn’t talk this way or tell these stories to anyone else. her recording the words frees me – were i writing, i’d be rearranging the words, rewriting, losing my thread. i told her my 3 night san francisco story. when i was done, she said “now tell me about your homosexual experience.” not words one expects to hear from one’s wife. so i did. she turned my 3 rock n rollers story into seven. she’s insists i tell stories i think dull and gets them to zing. she combines disparate fragments into dramatic flows. some short shots she captures word for word what would be wordless without her. she eggs me on. takes part but not all. inserts her own thoughts and phrases. harvests things we’ve said and collages them into a poem. it’s a rich productive interweaving.

kathy’s got her poems, her talent, her back story – i mine. and together, we have these new true narrative surreal poem stories which feed off now, then, will be. they’re not hers, they’re not mine . . . they’re ours.

a slew of kathy/steve collabs can be read in reading rooms 26 & 27 in the poetry section of www.agentofchaos.com.

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