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...and they lived happily ever after. Smith & Lady: poets, artists, photographers & adventurers.
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Archive for November, 2006

buddha wow holy zap seek & say

Friday, November 17th, 2006

foto by smith

serendipity doo dah, serendipity day, my oh my what a synchronous day, plenty of sunshine coming my way, zip-a-dee doo dah, zip-a-dee ay….

yesterday walking to next village to rent bicycles, 2 dogs decided to shepherd us, causing so much trouble in the outskirts we turned back bicycle-less.  today, walking up hill, melina called us over, showed us two bicycles they had to loan us… so the dogs stopped us cuz we didn’t need to rent bicycles cuz we already had bicycles – just didn’t know it yet.  (Note by Kathy: Russ Vidrick once said in a Wendy Shaffer poem, I’ve seen the dog’s faces, and they’re smarter than people.)

kathy bought a 2-for-1 book in london, picked jack kerouac’s on the road for free.  it was my first life changing book (not counting the bible, which i never finished) – 43 years ago it made me spend the next 4 years searching for marijuana.  just finished rereading it.  on the road is all movement with no place to go.  its zen mad hero (dean moriarity / neal cassady) comes across more as a combo conman rat.  what struck me as full cool at 17, i see as sad empty at 60… once you’ve participated in all that madness yourself and can see the drugs from the inside, you hear the hollow in their buddha wow holy zap seek & speak.  that’s not to put down the journey – the journey is always worth taking, needs taking… but the particular path is between each of us and the price we must pay.  we all need a ticket to ride.  the book that filled me with gladness in 1964 leaves sadness in 2006.  still worth reading tho, if nothing else just to see you’re not always missing what you think you’re missing.  the book is somewhat redeemed by part 3 where cracks appear in the false foundation, and totally redeemed by dean’s rat attack in the back in part 4, and the brief final sadness of the final part 5.

i was melancholy for two days cuz i started thinking how amorphous our future is, and because i didn’t want to start the work of digging into myself to make myself productive.  how foolish – the future takes care of us if we’re well intentioned… and the digging down is just something that must be done – so i started with an hour of croatian study.  as i said decades ago – just put one foot in foot of the other, the other in front of the one. tomorrow, i start typing and blowing blues harp.

foto by smith

rip-off alert – tried installing ten thumbs typing tutor course – it’s a blank disk.  got ripped off twice for same product – paid 10 pounds on-line for the ten thumbs typing tutor course in poland, and they never sent us the unlocking code to use the program.  then in london we bought a cd version from a computer shop… it’s blank – the box has a fake ten thumbs typing tutor cover wrapped around a eurotalk box advert.  rip-off = ten thumbs typing course = rip-off … 30 pounds equals 60 dollars.  only other time we’ve been ripped off was using craig’s list to rent a place with a jacuzzi in amsterdam…. craig’s listing was for a j tetero… there was a juan tetero in the apartment building but he refused to answer his door, even tho he buzzed us into the lobby.  danger, danger will robbingson.

but, to balance all this out, we’ve been so very lucky with the rest of the journey – if you don’t count our 1 nite in the sheep feces field freezing to death because the european rainbow gathering folk didn’t bring the tent and sleeping bags they promised us.  so, 4 rip-offs in 3 different arenas over 3.5 months. hmmmm. but the 3 weeks house sitting in london and the 3 months here in croatia more than make up for that.  lotta threes involved here – (the other, the fun, and the rolling joke).

the dogs came back today to play.  we call the big black male thumper, the small brown female bambi.  they play with us, they play with each other.  throw a stick, and as thumper brings it back, bambi keeps jumping up to bite his ear to get her share of it.

here in pula in the vegetable section of the stores they have a number associated with each fruit & vegetable – you bag your produce, put it on the scale, press the appropriate number, and it prints a barcode label with the total price.  in america, folk would cheat. here, they don’t.  cabbage and cauliflower cemetery ceremonies.

notebook notes: i surf time and tide – for the sea takes its color from the sky, the sky its water from the sea.  i look out over the pula skyline from the roman fort high on the hill and see hundreds of little round satellite dishes.  tell kathy they’re pod transmitters.  she says they’re receivers cuz pods don’t transmit, only receive.  store radio’s playing pap pop doo wop shoo wah shoo wah shit… do the pula hula, it only cost a kuna. (takes about 6 croatian kuna to make 1 dollar… if it’s not imported, it’s usually very inexpensive.)

past few nites,  kathy’s asked me about various portions of my perilous past, and she types my answers into her computer.  got some good stuff.  her 3 files so far, she’s titled ‘killing,’ ‘shoplifting,’ and ‘tv.’  i’m thinking we should do a book and title it interview with an ampere – lies by smith as told to mrs smith.  she just left for a walk with melina so melina can practice her english while kathy practices croatian.  as i watched her walk away, i thot how much i love her – not a bad feeling for 14 months together, 8 months married – the past 11.5 months 24/7.  except for our first 2 weeks when i kept trying to talk her out of a relationship due to our age difference and my anti-social hermit ways, i’ve never regretted us, nor desired someone else, nor desired being alone.  i chased all these women in my life – and the only one that worked is the one i tried to avoid. hmmmm. (Note from Kathy: Ah yes, really he tried to avoid me by buying us a new waterbed after the first weekend and giving me keys within two weeks.)

of course, kathy’s the one gonna pay the price, when i get even older and more broken down than i already am and start drooling on the floor.  27 years is a big age difference… when she’s my current age (60), i’ll be 87.  wow!  i sure can’t see me going with some 87 year old chick – unless she were really really rich and dying and i was in her will.   but i believe what we have together is so unusually special it’s worth the pain she’ll pay later. my payment will be trying to remember who the old dude in the mirror is, who’s the young chick on his arm.

foto by smith

i ain’t rich in money, but i do have special magic to offer her.  who else after a 3 minute whim of a conversation 5 weeks into the relationship would agree to sell everything and travel around the world for inspiration and adventure until the money ran out?  she’s the first woman i’ve met as crazy as i am, the first worthy of my heart and mind.  she’s also the first person i’ve met as talented across the board as i am – in words, art, photography, website – a talent that’s not genre driven, but plays with whatever’s before it.  she’s not as wild or weird as i am, but who is.  my inheritance to her is my body of work (poems which will live, museum worthy art), my unbelievably interesting past, my potential cult-hood after i die, and the out-of-box present i present her.  i figure she can feed from my body when i move on to the fun on the other side. (to mis-quote mac davis, it’s hard to be humble when you’re imperfect in every way.)

as i said, the path is between each of us and the price we must pay.  we all need a ticket to ride.  the price depends on the journey.  i’m a wee bit expensive and way too odd for most folk’s budget – kathy’s weird enuf flux to see the bargain and pay the price.

new day, new price… bicycle sore thighs and buttocks.  rode to the top of the village hill.  italian named claudio invited us in, gave us mandarins and oranges from his trees, gave kathy a glass of schnaps made from his own fig tree, fixed us some excellent strong coffee.  three of us conversed in smattering of english, croatian and german while his dogs cavorted about and cats tried to sneak in his open door.  surprises me how much german i remember from highschool back in the early 60s. she drank my glass of fig schnaps as well.  this is a hard place for a non-drinker not to drink. too much hi-powered homemade brandy offered at every stop. after coffee, mandarins and schnaps, we bicycled down to the beach and the rocks beyond.  beauty everywhere. even found purple red sea penis heads clinging to the rocks.

…there’s a blue bird on my shoulder… it’s the truth… it’s actual… everything is satisfactual – (lyrics from walt disney’s racist movie song of the south).

foto by smith


Lady’s Fotoblog

Wednesday, November 15th, 2006


Latest finished piece by Lady

Grafitti near some war tunnels underneath tall dugout rock

Reflection in window at bus stop

Church in Liznjan and reflection of X on blue window matching the sky’s blue

Steve at Pula beach overlooking feral cats

Young feral cat pair. As one would leave, the other would meow and they strung each other along the beach in this manner.



bad day at bus stop

Wednesday, November 15th, 2006

foto by smithj

13.11.2006 – we walked an hour across pula to a finger into the sea.  (see foto above).  sat on a rock beach in the sun.  then took the bus back… and back… and beyond back.  it didn’t go where the map showed it did.  at end of line on opposite side of pula they made us get off.  got on the next bus after showing the driver where we wanted to go on the map.  he said yes.  and we started the same wrong route all over again going back back and beyond.  got off halfway thru and walked where we wanted.

this morning going TO the city we consulted the schedule FROM the city – so got to the bus stop at 9 a.m. for 9:40 bus.

today i timed the bus from my yesterday goof where we got off a village early…. bus took 5 minutes for what took us 40 minutes to walk – bus travels 8 times faster than feet.  while we were walking it, kathy brushed my crotch with her hand, so i grabbed hers from behind – not knowing there was a young man and woman behind us on silent bicycles.  the guy kept peering back as they went ahead. 

in a sedate, quiet, upscale pula bookstore, someone was playing aggressive angry rap, with every other word being mother-f~cker.  i look at the middle class middle-aged lady behind the counter and realize she doesn’t understand english, has no idea what the words say. i’m not against rap – have some decent public enemy, among others. but it’s like accordion music – 1% fantastic, 99% crap.  think it was neil young who said rap was short for crap.  of course, most rock and pop and movies and books are crap too.  basically 1% of all creative output each year is genius, the other 99% excremental filler.  this has been true since before shakespeare.  it’s misleading, cuz each year we add the great 1% to the accumulated previous years 1%, and we have quite a stash that makes us think there’s a lot of good stuff being done.

foto by lady k

today’s walk was aborted by dogs – friendly dogs.  wee bit down the lane, 2 dogs started barking.  small brown one darted out from under the fence.  large black one jumped on top of the fence, barked, jumped down at us.  thought oh-oh – but it was all wagging tails and leg rubbing.  they decided to walk with us.  once in the next village, dogs behind fences barked angrily, and a third one joined us.  we were on a small highway and it was getting to be too much worrying about causing someone else’s dogs to get hit, so we turned back.  lured them back into their place, and walked on.  they reappeared. so we waited until they passed our place, i opened our fence gate just enough for us, dashed thru, closed it, and we ran and hid behind the house so they couldn’t see us. told kathy this proves we’re smarter than dogs. soon as i said that, they rejoined us.

sitting on a terrace in the village looking down to the adriatic sea, or sitting on the beach watching the waves roll in, or looking over the meditterranean houses climbing the pula hills in their soft shades of green, blue, orange, yellow, lavender, cream, i think how lucky i am to see and experience these things.  my life is richer for them, my mind fuller, my creative pools deeper.  but, as lucifer said, where ever you go, there you are. actually he said (in milton’s paradise lost) that ‘myself am hell’ because even heaven was hell for him since he wasn’t #1 – god was – he’d rather be #1 in hell than #2 in heaven.  who wants to be #2?  it brings to mind visions of toilet paper.  my problem is i’m lazy.  once the creative juice kicks in, i can go forever.  but studying or learning or just working or starting something new… that’s a chore.  i’ve been using music and movies and books and grass to fill in the spaces between inspiration, and i don’t have those here.  if i’m not creating or walking or talking with kathy, i just have me in my head looking at me in my head.  i get tired of me. trouble is, no one else i want to be, or can be. drives me buggy, sometimes.

foto by smith


Lady’s Fotoblog

Monday, November 13th, 2006








cyber spyder

Monday, November 13th, 2006

foto by smith

9.11.2006 – can’t update my website until i find wireless access in pula, croatia, so here’s traffic stats for october 2006. just so i don’t upset j.b. (my cyber stalker), i admit i have no idea how many real people or even different people these numbers represent and how many are cyber spyders searching site for indexed truths.

last month, 871 sessions per day viewed 3,559 pages each day for a total of 27,016 sessions and 110,344 pages.  that brings the total sessions since september 2002 to 720,901 and the total pages viewed now equals 2,568,489.  i haven’t added a lot to AoC since we left the states august 1, 2006, but with more than 2,635 pages and 4,512 images on the site, i figure i have enough to keep folks busy.  there’s a good chance it’s the largest art/poetry site in the world.  it’s definitely the edgiest.  it’s mostly my art and poetry from the past 40 years, with a good dollop of wife kathy’s poetry and art added these past 14 months – plus an additional 13 guest artists, with a few ArtCrimes poets thrown in for flavoring.  check it out at  i’m proud of the site and amazed at its traffic.

10.11.2006 – finished my 3rd smokey grey short story… or should i say non-story since nothing actually happens yet in any of them.  one of these days i’m going to have an actual plot in one.  maybe.  not much plot in daily life, so why should there be in stories.  that’s what i like about this blog – kathy and i write it in real-time installments as our life and journey happen – so there’s no fore-shadowing or plot tie-ins or story board arcs or cleaning it all up for flow or fit… be interesting to come back here a few years from now and read how we got there from here and here from cleveland.  right now i’m exhausted – we walked 2 hours the long way to the sea, stayed an hour collecting found objects for assemblage collage among the ruins and bluffs, and another hour and a half back.  my feet hate me, but my soul’s serene.

no new smokey grey #3 online cuz we’re wirelessless, so here it is in the just blog below.  if you like it, the first 2 smokey grey stories and the poem that started it all can be found at  … there’ll be more smokey stories down the line – anyone have a case for him, let me know.  gotta keep him busy cuz he’s trying to steal my woman – tho he’s too honorable to actually do that.  this was an odd one to write since both smokey and radish are me, and kathy’s lady k.  i started calling her kafka’s lady when we first met because she was mysterious and entangled in truly dark kafkaesque events (such as her psycho stalker)… that metamorphosed into lady kafka, and that into lady k as she became less tragic, more happy.

foto of kathy by smith

kathy gets a lot of credit for smokey grey too.  we came up with him in our bed talk december 2005, and she turned that into a collaborative poem.  she’s the one i bounce off.  “dead steel city” and “same brain planners’ daytime TV” are her lines… having an alien friend is her idea… she insisted i put our food unit conversation from yesterday into this story.  and some of the events, like the vagina juice on my glasses and me saying marijuana 3 to manifest it, happened.  her taking me to the chopin concert in krakow provided the end to the 1st story.  the metamorph breath trick and the expanding accordion head are from flights of fancy i babble to her when stoned.  the 4-herb salad (the missing 5th herb is marijuana) is one of the dinners she served me from herbs growing in pots on our krakow window sill.  ‘neotonous’ is one of her words from an early conversation.  and of course global warming is her major concern.  so it’s all entwined.  as are we.  oui.

11.11.2006 – had a saturday lunch of bread, cheese, olives, serious coffee, homemade cookies with our hosts up the hill – melina and branku.  kathy had some village homemade red wine and some local brandy as well.  at times i wish i weren’t not drinking, but i’ve got 15 years sober and can’t see stopping now.  but if i did, this would be worth stopping for.  when we got there, they gave us 2 pomegranates from the trees in their yard – and as we left, they gave us some walnuts and grape clusters also growing in their yard. generous people, kind – and knowledgeable about their ancestral and geographical history, even knowing the years when important events occurred – like this area was wiped out during the black plague, so the administrating city of venice gave folk 20 years of free rent to repopulate istria. europeans say americans don’t know history or geography – i have to agree.  america is young, big, bold, arrogant – and uncouth.  there’s a bit of charm, style, grace about these parts.  hope some of this weave rubs off on me.

12.11.2005 – bussed to town to blog today, but internet cafes are closed sundays.  went to supermarket, filled both our backpacks with heavy cans, bottles of stuff, bussed almost  back – i saw a church steeple and assumed it was our village, got off.  wrong village.  walked 40 minutes to right village with heavy heavy backpacks. outside of promising me a spanking, kathy took it well.  long time to walk when you don’t know how far you’re walking – even longer when overloaded with purchases.  all because i wasn’t paying attention to where we weren’t and based my split decision on a church steeple.  i think god’s getting back at me for all the times i’ve mocked him.  at least he has a sense of humor… not bad for a god who hasn’t been laid since the big bang.

foto by smith


Okey Dokey Smokey Grey

Monday, November 13th, 2006

foto of lady k by smith

Since working with Pod Central, Smokey had a pack of bad pod puns playing about his brain – such as… do pod people listen to Peter, Pod & Mary? … did pod pervert pound peter pod over pod porno?  … could a pod piper placate a pickled pepper’s pink peccadillo?

He watched folk a lot closer now, trying to see if they were pods, or people.  Some seemed both.  And so far he thought he’d placed three separate pod phylum: Plant People Pods, Pod People Pods, and People People Pods.

There were also the strange defective ones, the none of the aboves. Smokey called them the pod won’t-a-bees.  They chaffed at hive behavior.  Knocked the mass ought they were taught.  Could mask their must.  And musk.  Unlike the pod wannabees  – the People People Pods – humans who wanted to be pods… and wanting was generally enough.

He learned Pod Central was run by plants – who were good – while Pod Centrum was run by pods – who were way bad.  Pod Centrum also controlled TV.  Most humans knew of neither, but did watch TV, so were part of the poop.

Pod Centrum also hunted down and destroyed pod defectives, lest they infect the pod sheep. And Smokey thought he had met one of their weapons – a Judas Goat – a failed pod they let run free to trap others.

His name was Radish.  Smokey knew him because Radish attracted good smoke. They’d met in Amsterdam, talked while sharing some White Widow weed laced with black gungy hash.  Radish was the first person he’d met who smoked as much grass as he did.

Smokey had been researching a case for the Demoplants – they’d hired him to trace President-Pretend Bushshit and Vice Torturer Cheney’s roots.  Turned out Dick Cheney started life as a plant controlled pod for Pod Central, but then went bad, voluntarily defected to Pod Centrum to become a Pod Pod… bad plant pods were the most evil of all pods once they went to the dark side, became tubers.  George W. Bushshit was less focused, just a plant pod that couldn’t grow right in sunlight – his brain cells didn’t glow, and so was extra susceptible to the dark tuber tumor Cheney. 

The over/under side of all this was Smokey discovered the good pods of Pod Central used birds as information collectors and message reflectors, while the bad pods of  Pod Centrum commingled with the rats of Rodentia, for the same reasons. 

It was while following a blue bird following a black rat following Radish that Smokey first saw Lady K in sektor 7.She lifted in unknown ways his weighted heart, so he kept following them.

One night Smokey overheard him joking with Lady K about being a Judas Goat for the Pods – Radish told her he was a defective pod, but they let him run free because other defective pods were attracted to him, so they watched to see who responded. They weeded out the non-programmables that way.  She replied she wasn’t defective, just efficient. He said she certainly had efficiently escaped her pod sektor. She asked if he were going to turn her in. He said no – her efficiency interested them, they were letting her run free with he to see if her defectivity had any potential military applications. She asked how they knew she wasn’t a viable pod.  He replied she’d never worked pod right – ever, even as a child. She’d always been rogue: she’d lost her assigned weight, assigned husband, assigned profession, assigned possessions, assigned prejudices of pro-familiness, pro-parentness, pro-grandparentness, pro-apparent apparentness. And now she was unpredictable. Couldn’t be run for guilt nor money.  Had even stopped watching the same brain planners’ daytime TV, which was the final tip-off straw that broke the camel’s needle dick back in the haystack.

Not watching TV was a crime.  Always proof of defective pod.

She was first attracted to Radish when he claimed Republicans tasted just like chicken, that the voters were going to rise up in November and eat the Republicans because Radish had promised them one in every pot. Radish was good with pot. Had pot luck. But he was a pod – or rather wasn’t a pod, because he’d escaped Podville where everyone watched pod TV and talked about it the next TV pod day at TV pod work over their TV pod walls in TV pod buildings with TV pod parking and hot TV pod dogs patrolling the TV pod premises.

Smith and Lady K’s joking brought to mind Freud’s premise there are no jokes.  So Smokey checked around. Radish indeed appeared to be a free range roaming pod wont-be-never-ever-will-be.  Pod Centrum should have sent him to the Brain Camps years ago, chopped his roots, replanted him.  Definitely Judas Goat material.

Normally Smokey didn’t care, wouldn’t interfere – but there was something naive, innocent, charming about Lady K.  He thought of her as the Woman from the Elf Woods.  Wanted to save her.  Perhaps save himself in the process. Maybe even get laid.  But more than that, he wanted to help her.  For free, no string theories attached. Smokey felt he should at least tell her what he knew, but didn’t know how to go about it.  He was fairly shy and socially inept for an old dude.  So he kept following them, discreetly.

Sitting in yet another coffee shop – Radish seemed as enamored of coffee as he was of weed -  Smokey watched as Lady K got up and came over to his table, sat down, said “That’s your third cookie this morning.  You have quite the sweet tooth.  Why do you eat so many sweets?”

“They’re ready made food units.  I don’t have to prepare them, they’re there when I need them.”

“Then why not eat carrots, apples, toast, bananas?”

“Toast is good, but it has to be prepared – needs cooking, buttering, leaves crumbs.  I like bananas – they come with built in wrappers to keep your fingers clean.  Carrots and apples aren’t really food, don’t satisfy, and apples are slimy as well, juice the fingers.”

“So what do you eat?”

“Coffee, cookies, ice cream, candy, pizza.”

“But that’s so bad for you.”

“No, that’s misconception.  We’re all the same thing – protons, electrons, quark by-products.  All this difference is illusion.  Doesn’t make any difference what I eat except convenience.”

“Then you could eat rocks.”

“Yes, if I could get my mind in the right place.  Rocks are made of the same stuff we are, they just move slower.  Actually I need to get to the place I can absorb what I need from the air.  Solve my problems.”

She searched his face awhile, then said “You’ve been following us for a week now, and I need to know why.”  

So much for discreet.  He sipped his coffee, watched her.  She was even more charming up close.  Didn’t appear angry.  She watched him back, polite, waiting.

“Mostly you,” he replied.  She sat there, silent.  “You tug at me and I don’t know why, or what to do about it. But if that were all, I’d not follow you like this.  I’ve stumbled across stuff you should maybe know.”

“Such as?”

“Radish.  This is awkward.  He has a checkered past.”

“I know, he’s told me… says not only does he have a checkered past, he has a checkered present as well.  He’s told me about stealing cars, his two armed robberies, his year in jail, his drug use… he says he’s the danger side of possible, and I believe him.”

“What about the Judas Goat for the Pods?”

“Told me that too.  Not sure I believe it.”

“You okay with this?”

“You need to understand – Radish honors me, treats me with respect, tells me the truth, is interested in what I do, listens to what I say.  Makes me laugh.  Really loves me.  Plus I never know what crazy thing he’ll do or say next.  You must know how unusual that is with men, being one yourself.”

“Yes.  I don’t respect many men.  Or women.  Do like plants and animals though, and children – as long as they’re some one else’s and go away after awhile.  Okay.  I’ll stop following, leave you two alone.”

“What’s your name?”

“Smokey Grey.”

“Don’t you think I’m a wee bit young for you?”

“Way too young.  Can’t help that.  But I can still help.  If you need me, call.”

She looked at him, watched his face awhile, silent.   Smiled.  “Okey dokey, Smokey Grey.”  And walked away.

Smokey watched her disappear.  Looked down, saw a cookie crumb.  Ate it.  Looked around.  Saw the black rat watching him.  Looked about for the blue bird.

foto of lady k by smith

Steven B. Smith – 11.11.2006


The beach teems with life

Thursday, November 9th, 2006


The beach teems with life.

I’m losing the names of the days. Losing the sense of time passing.

So the other day I filled my pocket full of shells, and they all came alive, every one. It looks as though the shells are discarded by their lifeforms, washed up and beached. But each shell has a hidden little inhabitant, a chitinous lobster person.

This afternoon at the beach: all the rich in-between shades of sepia, the occasional green bloom of a type of algae or mineral in a rock, or the lavender or purple-tipped anemone. Maybe coral and orange. Mottled and many-layered and refracted, cast up and clarified by the water, harsh under hardy sky.


First I notice the shells on the beach, which are all inhabited. The beach is some type of coral rock, maybe, and lots of plastic trash. Usually the plastic is any color of bottle cap. My mind, trying to make order, recognizes little anguished faces in the clusters of rock holes. Every group of three is ordered into a face by my mind. The dark holes are primitive and innocent, like pictures I’ve seen of the dark eyes of fluffy baby seals.

I find a flip-flop piece, hardened by salt and weather and wet. And other trash which is now weathered to the extent that it seems naturalized – made part of nature again.

On the zone of beach by the water algae grows on the rock surface, making it unexpectedly slippery. Far away and up close it looks like red brown mud. On far ends of the algae rock, seagulls mount on pedestal legs and peer into the water’s edge or sleep. They seem knowing, territorial and authoritative citizens. (I intuit an authority to nature or what I perceive to be nature.)

Docks of rock, barrel, wood protrude over the sky-colored sepia-stippled water. I relax on a dock, adjust my slippery glasses, and look straight down into the sepia sea scene below.


Upon first look under the water I see more rock and hermit crab shells and algae. Then I notice the anemones. They blend into the sepia surroundings at their base and end in purple tipped fingers flagging in water flutter. Then a big fish – evidenced by movement – arrow quick. As though water is something thinner than air through which organisms can more quickly propel themselves. Or maybe the water offers something to push against. Maybe were the fluid of air more substantial, I could propel myself through it more quickly, cut through.

And then after a few moments of watching the sepia sea, my eye focusses into the upper stratosphere of water – a magic-eye picture.  A pane of water exists in this focussed perception through which juvenile fish minnow. They pulse in vectors which start, hover, change direction, and start again. And another pane down in the lower shallows are other juvenile fish. And through it all translucent mud-colored shrimps weave their little fan tails.

Grasses lie further out beyond the water past the dock. The tape of their leaves is also synchronous with the current, like the anemone tentacles. My vision of life by the sea grasses is obscured by the thickening skin of light, the opaque reflection of blue sky. The under water fades into surface, bluer as I move my sight skyward.


And back on the beach I tender along with my magic-eye perception. Little crabs peer out of life-laden recesses under piles of rocks. When I walk up to get a closer look, my shadow covers the hole and the crab notices the change in light or perhaps feels the impact of my weight griding rock into chalk and he moves sideways behind a rock, bashful or shrewd.

And my serious man with the salt-and-pepper beard and proletariet hat, my love, waits on a bench in the grass for me with my bag. He’s exhausted and resigned. He has a present for me, I’m sure of it. And when I sit down beside him, my love says, Here, I have something for you. And holds a hollow crab claw in between his thumb and ruddy index finger.


Lady K


The cost of the Bush Billionaire Bonanza to You: 10,000.

Thursday, November 9th, 2006

10,000 equals 3 trillion divided by 300 million U.S. citizens. 3 trillion is the amount added to the debt by the Bush regime. Our debt now approaches 10 trillion dollars, or a small mortgage for each citizen.

Oh, and the Iraq war. Remember when they said the cost would be about 90 billion? It’s now above 300 billion. And this doesn’t even consider that we have to borrow to pay for this fiasco. When the estimated cost was only 90 billion, the estimate for the financing cost was 300 billion. So what does it cost now to finance this war? Probably over a trillion dollars.

If the Dems do take the Senate, I hope they exercise their fullest ability to correct this situation, starting with impeaching the murderer and his minion. (Which is which, I wonder?)

Here’s my short list of things to be fixed. I don’t know to what extent they can be fixed with the current structure. Probably we need revolution to correct the course of this country and the future of the world. But this is my wish list:

– Nationalize healthcare and revise the healthcare system. Doctors do not need to make so much money. Let them set up their own state-of-the-art practices outside of the public healthcare system, but do have a nationalized public healthcare system and stop letting people who get sick resort to personal bankruptcy. (Ironically, market forces may soon correct this. People now fly to India to undergo expensive operations less expensively.)

– Repair the damage to the constitution – restore the right of habeus corpus from which all other rights gain their power.

– Set up national standards for the voting process and monitoring by independent citizens. Actually, having our votes count is more important than anything. Without this, we do not have even a hope of democracy.

– Set up national districting standards to stop gerrymandering.

– Kill the electoral college. It nullifies democracy. Every vote should have equal weight in every state.

– As a matter of fact, re-think the concept of states’ rights. Currently our cities experience a race to the bottom to give corporations various tax breaks. It’s lose-lose for the taxpayers. Only national regulation can stop this erosion.

– Exercise some manipulative power – get Bush to stop nullifying legislation with his signing statements. Heck, use the threat of impeachment.

– Campaign finance reform. Make everything transparent.

– Stop the prosecution of liberal churches by the IRS.

– Regulate the media, break up the monopolies of large media.

– Locally, let the Conyers commission subpeona Ken Blackwell – make him answer to the fraud and incompetence in Ohio in the 2004 “elections.”

– Repair some of the redistribution of wealth that’s been going on in the past generation to benefit the working class instead. Do this by having sane tax policy and a more equitable minimum wage. Automatic audits of every billionaire?

– Stop financing illegal wars and occupations and military bases. Do not allow “emergency” spending authorization for illegal wars.

– Allow government to stimulate the economy not with military spending, but with investment in education and environmental technologies. We need to have massive structural change if we are to turn back global warming.

– Introduce protectionist legislation so that we can re-develop industries in this country. We need local industry, local products, local markets. Globalization is not good for the environment. It’s a global race to the bottom for the environment and for the working people of the world.

– Create a working national public transportation system so that people can train from city to city rather than plane. Create tax incentives for people to move back into cities – we need to abandon our energy consuming commuting lifestyle.

– Make it possible for every high school graduate to borrow money to go to college at a livable interest rate.

– More strongly regulate credit cards and other preditory lenders such as paycheck loan vendors. Stop allowing them to prey on the materialistic compulsions of young people.

– Restore the power of the EPA.

– Introduce legislation that makes the U.S. comply with the Kyoto treaty.

– Introduce legislation that protects government whistleblowers.

– Stop allowing legislation to be written by corporate interests.

Lady K


eat your homework

Thursday, November 9th, 2006

foto by smith 

i was flunking 2nd grade late 1953 before we moved from spokane washington to a 40 acre farm 20 miles east in an area called paradise prairie.  mother dwarf said i hated my teacher – ms stall – so much that each night i’d do my homework, take it to school, wait for ms stall to come down the row to collect it, and then eat it in front of her.  each morning she’d walk towards me, knowing what i was going to do… each morning i’d stare her in the eye, put my homework in my mouth, chew it up, and swallow it.  ms stall came to hate me as much as i hated her. this is odd because ever since, i’ve been the teacher’s pet. mom could never understand why i did my homework in the first place if i knew i was going to destroy it, but it’s obvious – it’s not a valid protest if the homework isn’t real… you have to do the work before you can destroy it. even 8 years old i knew that. once we moved to the country, i immediately began getting good grades, and 3 years later skipped the 6th grade.  it was a white wooden 2-room country school house with grades 1 thru 4 in one room, grades 5 thru 8 in the other, so i’d listen to my 5th grade lessons, then the 6th, 7th, 8th. 1956-57 was a good year for learning. of course the 7th thru 12th grades were hell for me because i was the tallest but youngest kid in each class from then on.  i got my drivers license later than everyone else, my car later, laid later – i was 17 when i lost my virginity.

as a 14 yr old sophomore, my english teacher became worried how seriously i was taking ayn rand and informed me i could no longer write my paper on “atlas shrugged” – said i’d get an f if i did. ayn rand is all about principle – so i had no choice but to write my paper on her.  i did.  got an f for the quarter… all the rest of my grades were a‘s, so it really didn’t matter.  looked rather cool actually.

just so you don’t think good of me, the first thing i did when we moved back to spokane from the country in the summer of 1960 was fall in with an older bad boy who taught me how to steal from the glove box of unlocked cars (out west we called it the jockey box)… within weeks of stealing from cars, 14 year old me taught him how to steal the entire car – stole 12 more before we got caught.  i was getting straight a‘s, was loved by and loved my parents, so the judge decided it was my partner’s fault, gave me probation, and made him join the army.

and to continue my confessions of evil, 9 yr old me let my 5 yr old sister take the rap for my crime.  mom baked cookies for a picnic and i stole a couple. mom stood us before the fridge n demanded to know which one of us it was, said we weren’t going on the picnic until the guilty one confessed.  i kept silent, stone-faced feigned innocence – knowing she couldn’t prove nuthin’ – while my sister fidgeted in actual innocence.  mom took her fidgeting for guilt, told me to go, and browbeat sis until she confessed.  makes one wonder how i dare make moral judgments now.  i always wanted to be good.  always felt bad about not being good.  always tried hard to get good.  still trying – tho now i feel no guilt because i know my only crime is being imperfect human – and now i no longer lie, cheat, steal, and always give more than i get.

sculpture & foto by smith

i think all this arises from kathy’s philosophy lesson this morning on schopenhauer… he says we’re all endless bundles of need, never ending desire.  we always want… want more… need more – and if we ever actually satisfy a need want desire and become temporarily sated, we get bored.  dark vision – but there’s solid truth there.  my wants are basic, simple… i want not to hurt others, i want to make kathy happy and be worthy of her, i want to spread light and not darkness, i want inner peace.  the first three i have an actual chance of doing.  the inner peace is impossible while i live.  i do have other desires, like wishing people would be fair with one another and treat each other with honor, but those lie outside my control, what i myself can do, so ain’t my responsibility.

i do have less rage and more peace within than ever before.  this is thanks to my stopping drinking 15 years ago, going to europe for the first time 14 years ago, having my creative words and images recognized and lauded by friends press fellow poets artists, taking care of my mother for 16 years and standing by her thru her 9 month hell of dying, and having kathy come into my life.  as much as i scare folk now, i’m mister serene compared to the rage i was.

i do have one more desire – for george w(arcrimes) bush to get his ass kicked in today’s midterm elections, but since we’re 6 hours earlier here, i’ll have to wait until tomorrow to see what the american voters and diebold electronic voting machines have left under my tree.

8.11.2006 – appears most the u.s. voting went my way. the republican g.(overnment) o.(ver) p.(eople) lost the house and looks like the senate as well, which makes bush a dead duck president.  and hallelujah – ohio’s ken blackwell lost… perhaps now the democrats are in power, they’ll subpoena blackwell to testify about his 2004 election crimes.  my favorite moment was blackwell – who is black, at least on the outside – campaigning with a white power racist. how sweet their lust for power is for we watchers who still cherish irony.

weirdly unpleasant to watch tv – most cnn female talking heads look like they’ve had cheek bone augmentation… they all resemble chipmunks with nut cheeks.  their male opposites look fairly well plasticized as well.  how can they expect me to take seriously what they say when their own face is a lie?  what a weird twirled world tv be.

croatian law is to register with the police within 24 hours of arrival.  we tried once at 34 hours, again at 82 hours, finally succeeded today at 106 hours.  even when i try to obey the law i’m outlaw.  natalija and sabina’s mom took us down today and vouched for us, then she and sabina took us for a walk around the most gorgeous harbor i’ve seen.  we picked small strange spiked berry-fruits from trees and ate them, and let a preying mantis crawl over our hands.  i called a cat from under a bush and it actually came, let me pet it… strange cats never come when called. all this in a t-shirt in the november mediterranean sun. after we came home, kathy and i walked down to the sea and watched crabs scuttle about tide pools filled with moving snails and writhing plants – and then harvested assorted found objects for assemblage. this is a good strange exotic film we live -each tomorrow newly unscripted.

9.11.2006 – off to town to blog today the norms the forms the cunning of reason the rant the roll so over the will and thru the woulds to cyber’s house we go.  o my grand maw what a big weak you have. being free doesn’t solve anything – just makes all your problems your own, makes you set your own schedule, makes you set your own scope outside others needs. as charles bukowski said in a 1990 letter to ben gulyas which we published in both artcrimes #15 and #21 – “being a writer gets you large spaces of time and if you don’t know how to handle large spaces of time you are in trouble. i can handle it. what i can’t handle is other people trying to handle my time. and mostly what i can’t handle is other people even if they are not trying to handle my time. handle, handle, handle. the fire is missing from the pot. laughter has wooden teeth.”

so now our task really begins.  we’re thru the kindergarten of leaving home and wandering open mouthed thru the new sights of the new sites.  wonderment has settled in.  time to produce, to learn, to write, to create, to learn the blues harp, to learn the tin penny whistle, to learn touch typing, to learn a healthier exercized body, to wander where the hills meet the sea and see what we may be. harder to do and be when do and be be due you. it helps that we must bus 30 minutes to the city for internet, it helps that the tv here is in german and croatian except for the single cnn news channel which is impossible to watch for long, it helps that we have no movies to watch, it helps that we have limited music to play, it helps that i know no one here, it helps that i do not know the language… so now we’re settled in and on our own – it’s time to see what i’m made of on my own. ooooooo, scary movie.

foto by smith


Lady fotoblog & poem

Monday, November 6th, 2006

Concrete shacks
shuttered against November
stagger at the foot of the coast
Bright washed wood doors,
a motorcycle


The rust splashed road
turns up crenelated hillside
to more expensive
villas, coral apartment reefs

The coastal lowland is turnip field,
bluegreen leaves bright standing
against the rich red mud hoed fields

Birds float in twos,
black against the shallows
where sweet water mixes
from the land to the harbor


Boats lie in brown muck
along with their spent anchorholds
no water to grab

My fingers curl
into my palms
chilly in fingerless
black gloves

I’m tender footed on
the sharp beach,
stooping over
to examine, sort shells
from plastic trash in tidal pools


Clumpets of anemones (!)
wave mute graygreen arms
in one pool

The creatures in my pocket
which I’d thought dead
stir in my pocket,
twitter insect chitin limbs

I reexamine each shell–
they’re all inhabited–
and I throw them one
by one into a tidal pool
speckled with briny colors,
clumps of seaweed,
a pale dead crab

The variegation of the universe
on the beach, the ordered universe
of leaves in fields, fruit trees in yards,
briny concrete


There is detail
here. Blood air impacts
everything it touches

The sky is what is left over,
thin and clear


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