Liznjan scenes & revised pome


near our house


bus stop


behind church


Shadows nose the driveway
in our friend’s headlights.
Thumper and Bambi,
big and small.

Blown in with the bora,
they traveled by starlight
over bone blue road,
free and startling.

He jumped the stone wall, pausing
atop to burst his black fringe mane.
Bambi made do, scuttled under the iron gate.

She’s a little beige clown.
She nuzzles her mouth into my hand fold.
The stains around her eyes are a black hole.
White light jiggles in her irises.
Hope burns in holy hollow lungs.
Heart patters companion.

They wag past the straddle of
grape vine work lines,
the last pomegranates of November.
They’re dark darts on cobbled town floor,
Istria whole province dominion
to panting friends of man.

My imagination’s kite flies with them,
Over the red earth, a minnowing shadow
large and far or small and close
under king constellation, canine nebula
hung in historical stars for the free friends
of humans.

– Kathy Ireland Smith


was is

 foto by smith

i entered navy boot camp in 1963 a 6 foot 3 inch 165 pound 17 year old kid… left 3 months later weighing 185.  by 1991 i was drinking 5 gallons of cheap white wine a week, and had ballooned to 260 pounds.  i looked like a greedy chipmunk who carried all his acorns in his cheeks, my eyes hidden in fat folds of facial flesh. i stopped drinking april 21 1991, and dropped back down to 185 over the next few years.  when kathy moved in and started feeding me actual food in 2005, i went down to 170 – which is a wee bit light.  once we left the states and i started serious candy and cookies, i went to 190.  today i’m 185 – back where i was 44 years ago. of course my 1963 flesh was much more attractively dispersed.  next few months of healthy eating should see me at 175.  dark clouds carry light linings.  it’s all how you look at things. i’m grateful because this gives me a chance to live up to my better self, and i still get two cups of coffee a day.  plus i found out spain’s new marijuana laws are as liberal as holland’s, so there’s hope for life after life after all.

foto by smith

my weight loss is nothing compared to my mother’s – or kathy’s.  mother dwarf went from 320 to 210 in two years of dieting, then dropped to 165 in 9 months of hell bouncing between emergency rooms and rehabilitation homes before she died. kathy cut her weight in half from sheer will, running, and dieting. i’m in awe of both of them. kathy’s writing a book about her weight loss – working title is Fat Girl.

we’re headed to a french village not far from beziers.  got this note from cleveland poet dan smith: “hi – i looked up Beziers & find that you will be watched by the river Orb & it is in Languedoc which i believe was home to the Black Madonna & the Knights Templar & things along the lines of the Da Vinci Code. it was home to the Cathars who were virtually exterminated along with many true Catholics.  ” kill them all , let God sort them out .”  also known for great wine since Roman times.  best regards, dan smith”

   The Tesseract

   Larger within than without
   We test our act
   As tesseracts
   Tightrope walk
   The lesser tracks
   And pressure facts
   Lick our lies
   As preachers shout
   And panthers stalk
   The lesser that
   In sum of arts
   Explode in parts
   Much greater than the count

a tesseract is a vessel larger on the inside than it is on the outside, so that makes us all tesseracts.

now something much smaller within than without – folk keep trying to tell me how great paul mccartney is.  gag me with a spittoon.  the two most obnoxious soporific elevator muzak songs ever written are mccartney’s “yesterday” and “michelle.” i like what john lennon said to mccartney on lennon’s first solo album (lyrics appear to be in shakespearian iambic pentameter – who’da thunk it?):

Those freaks was right when they said you was dead, the one mistake you made was in your head… You live with straights who tell you you was king, jump when your momma tell you anything… A pretty face may last a year or two but pretty soon they’ll see what you can do… The sound you make is muzak to my ears… How do you sleep? How do you sleep at night?” – excerpted lyrics by john lennon

for mind and talent, the 3 singer/songwriters i admire most are bob dylan, john lennon, leonard cohen. for pure singing talent alone, elvis presley. for jazz genius, miles davis and charles mingus. country music would be willie nelson and hank williams. the two bands i enjoy most are the rolling stones and meat beat manifesto. if this were one of those phony games where i could name one name only, it’d be bob dylan. my favorite person and woman is my wife kathy. and for best combination of artist / poet / writer / publisher / life, i pick me.

foto by smith

ate a can of sardines this morning  – forgot about the salt in the brine and got the metallic taste in my mouth with the high blood pressure singing in my head.  had our hosts over for lunch today.  ate forbidden foods with a third cup of coffee and some of the excellent chocolates they brought – and again the metallic tongue taste and high blood pressure head song.  guess this straight and narrow path i’m to walk really means straight and narrow.  i’ve never been straight, or narrow. i am my own lab rat. oog goog a choob.

got so hungry for red meat i bought some girl scout cookies – but there was no girl scout meat in any of them.  it’s a scam – girl scout cookies are not made from girl scouts. what a rotten, lying world this is.

and speaking of rotten lying:
The Senate’s foreign relations committee politely rebuked Bush’s plans to send more troops to Iraq. A similar non-binding resolution from the full Democratic-controlled Congress is expected next week. But real power behind Bush, Vice-President Dick Cheney, immediately sneered back, “it won’t stop us.” His contemptuous retort illustrates the neo-totalitarian impulses that continue to grip the Republican party’s far right. Cheney and a cabal of pro-war neoconservatives are the prime exponents of imperial presidency. They dismiss Congress and the courts as “little jabber houses.” – January 28, 2007 by the Toronto Sun

 cnn foto manipulated by smith

cnn foto manipulated by smith

cnn foto manipulated by smith

cnn foto manipulated by smith

collag / foto by smith

stat man

 collage/foto by smith

in 2006, my art & poetry website had 345,360 sessions looking at 1,275,509 pages. 

2006 represents 45% of all traffic since the site was created 51 months ago, and translates into 946 sessions looking at 3495 pages every single day of the year.

total traffic since september of 2002 is 783,231 sessions viewing 2,782,306 pages.

2006 december – 106,950 pages … 31,899 visitors
2005 december -   62,788 pages … 23,084 visitors
2004 december -   60,246 pages … 16,139 visitors
2003 december -   23,658 pages …   6,007 visitors
2002 december -    6,023 pages  …   1,432 visitors

collage/foto by smith has 2,635 pages and 4,512 images of art, poetry, reviews.  Most of the art and poetry are mine, but there’s also a good chunk of my wife Kathy’s poetry and art – as well as a selection of the 517 people I’ve published over 20 years in my 21 issues of ArtCrimes, and an extra helping of 13 guest artists.

i won’t know what this year’s traffic will be because i had to disable the stats – used my web space to store my stats, and in just a few months ate up 60 megabytes of my site.  they’ve been promising for 51 months to allow users to clean out old stats, but never seem to get around to it.

collage/foto by smith

After spending 3 months in Croatia, we’re heading to the village of Albeilhan in Southern France for two months.  We’ll have internet access there, so I’ll be adding some new pages to the site.

collage/foto by smith

some other opinions of the site and its offerings include

Smith has consistently refused to be conditioned by the public, and it’s a good thing; we love his contagion of undiluted underground art / lit / philosophy / abuse. — Tisha Nemeth –, September 10, 2003

Let’s face it Smith, if the song “My Way” were written about your life, it would be lyrics by William S. Burroughs & music by Laurie Anderson, as performed by The Velvet Underground. The 45-RPM vinyl would have been a blue corrosion color rather than black, with Voodoo Lounge as the cover and “Voodoo Child” as side B. And THAT my friend would be one highly collectable single. – Steve Reynolds, June 2004

The blog is fascinating and more real than anything you’re gonna watch on TV tonight. –, August 22, 2006

ArtCrimes is the most significant publication of the Cleveland underground art scene in recent history. – Douglas Max Utter, Cleveland Free Times, August 9, 2006

Over the years, ArtCrimes became an underground Cleveland institution, turning Smith into the ultimate insider of outsider art. In a long line of local troubadours that stretches from d.a. levy in the 1960s through the late Daniel Thompson, Smith is a freestyling, freewheeling word- and image-smith. – Milenko Budimir, Northern Ohio Live, June 2006

In Smith’s protean art, his collages and assemblages reconfigure the mind, beachcombing daily realities. Language is scavenged, just as much as tree lawns, and sometimes Smith’s punning titles are the best part. -  Douglas Max Utter, Cleveland Free Times, March 15, 2006

Smith’s raw and often unwieldy work belies a formal sense of composition, of balance and symmetry. Even the asymmetrical pieces have a gesture, or a piece of material that acts as a balancing agent. – Amy Bracken Sparks, Angle, a Journal of Arts + Culture, June 2003

these reviews are among the 38 articles to be found on

collage/foto by smith




Faith by failure,
knowledge by time,
love by grace.

The door is the quotation marks
etched between my starry eyes.

A brick broke my alarm clock.

Lady K

life in the food chain

 foto by smith

everything i like to eat just went out the door.  my lab results came back. doctor says my cholesterol is high.  my basic snack has been white bread toast covered in butter smothered in peanut butter drenched in honey.  turns out 4 of the foods i should not be eating are white bread, peanuts, butter, honey.

when my heart went south and decided to skip every 6th beat, my basic diet was coffee, cookies, coffee, candy, coffee, salted peanuts, coffee.  of those 4, i’m allowed 2 cups of coffee a day.

my food in krakow poland was street french fries and mushroom pizza.  gone.  ice cream – gone.  eggs – gone.  red meat – gone. ketchup, mayonnaise, salt, sugar – gone.  pastries – gone.  hot chocolate – gone.  bananas – gone gone gone.

kathy translated the croatian pamphlet from the doctor:
no input of cupboard solids
no meat of gentle rabbits
no offal (brain, liver, suet)
no pig fat

i can eat undefiled apples, blue sea fish, albino chicken, water. 

where does one get undefiled apples these days, outside the garden of eden?  and if a fish were blue, wouldn’t my eating him make him even sadder?

looks like i’ll be losing those 10 pounds i wanted.  thank godz for the 5 day delay in picking up my lab results – gave me 5 more days of guilt-free goodies.  the two visits to the doctor totalled $13 u.s.

reality’s forcing me to become the best me i can be.  kinda cool, actually.  i always wondered what a 100% smith would be like.  i operated around 33% in the old days, 77% lately.  ever up to higher ground.

hunger comes not always from the stomach or blood need.  there is psychological hunger as well. i always eat more when winter comes on, so i can add weight in preparation for the sun’s hibernation.  i eat more when my future seems uncertain job-wise or money-wise or direction-wise, in an effort to store flesh calories now for a coming future lean in food for the flesh.  i eat when i’m bored.  i eat when i’m dissatisfied with myself. and now i’m hungry not only for those reasons, but because i cannot eat what i want when i want, what’s convenient to consume now this minute when my mind sends false signals to my body.  i am hungry on multiple levels.  i must wean my mind, my soul, my spirit, my flesh from need.  the road from here to there is long and rocky and not easily mapped.

foto by smith

courage is not the absence of fear, but the ability to carry on with dignity in spite of it” – Scott Turrow, The Burden of Proof

cut my thumb last night washing the fish knife.  tonight i was extra careful, but it bit my third finger anyway … two bleedings in two nights.  told kathy it wasn’t fair because i was not a fish.  “you are a pisces,” she pointed out.  the fish knife was only doing its job.

dark side seepage … george w bush in his 2007 state of the union lies said “one question has surely been settled — that to win the war on terror we must take the fight to the enemy.”  george w. bush IS the enemy – of the world, of americans, of the constitution, of peace, of honor, of morality, of life – so let’s follow his advice and take the fight to him.  he and cheney are the world’s greatest terrorists.  they’ve done more bombing, killed more people, destroyed more earth, reduced more property to rubble than all the rest of the world’s terrorists combined.  bush says terrorists “preach with threats … instruct with bullets and bombs” – sounds like a fairly accurate description of the cheney bush corporate american foreign policy.  cheney / bush – the axis of evil.  bush / cheney – no lie too small to tell, no oil too far to steal.

foto by smith


Spent some time last night writing about our recent visit to Italy: 

We explored some of Venice’s labyrinth, walking into smaller and smaller fractions of roads and paths, some terminating at canals into which we had no access. We found doors and windows and bricks, weather worn, transformed into appealing aged patina. Then a two-hour boat ride around the whole mess of islands, where we finally comprehended the grand scale of Venice’s structure on water. Purpose and majesty.

We took the bus from Venice into Mira for our B&B, worrying because we couldn’t see anything through the dirty bus windows. Italians looked at us as we voiced strategies in English to each other. I asserted myself, said “scusi” through the crowd to the front of the bus to gain purchase on vision. I was just in time to see our stop at the side of the canal in Mira.

Mira is on a portion of canal from Padova to Venice. The previous night we watched the sun set over the canal into distant haze, melt fast into a cold gold wink, then evaporate into nothing.

We found our bikes in their racks by the canal. The B&B provided this point-to-point convenience. We’re accustomed to just the use of our legs. How amazing to travel by train, by bus, by plane, by bike, by leg, by language. A wonder, a miracle we get to the many midway points in another country, another language, relying on the infrastructure of civilization and benefiting from friendly hosts.

It was early dark and chill, January. I didn’t feel the cold because I was warm from biking. Tired but extremely happy, I peddled into the fog on a road which wound through the country.

The trees squatted, thick short trunks on either side of the road. They were trimmed. The branches abruptly diverged from the stumpy trunks right at my height, reminiscent of arms or tentacles. The fog came right up to the tree beings, then stopped. It obscured the fields, a curtain roiling within itself. An occasional ascertation of a fence or a looming roof melted down into slate dark.

We didn’t bother figuring out how our bike lights worked, so we were at the mercy of drivers’ caution. As a car approached, wet stones in the tarmac briefly sparkled from the headlights. One driver put on his brights, passed, and I was temporarily blinded by the contrast. Kept pedaling, kept faith in my recollection of the layout of the road.

Behind me I kept an ear aware of Steve, listened for the machinations of his efforts versus the pedals, the wheels’ groans versus the road.

I smelled the dark earth smell of cow dung. I felt my lungs working, the pack on my back, my strong legs, my heart pumping progress down the road to our bed.

Here we were, two former uncertain Americans. All our important things on our persons. Our persons balanced on bikes, through unfamiliar terrain in the dark, in our second night in a new country. We were capable, we felt secure, and we were happy.

double crossing

 foto by smith

why did the chicken cross the road?  to get revenge for the road crossing him.

wonder how many chicken crossing road jokes there are?  well, there’s mine.  how many can claim their own original chicken/road joke?  how many would want to?

went to the doctor today to see if i’m dead or not – to no avail. seems we have to go back to the hospital, pick up our lab results ourselves and carry them back to the doctor.  they assumed we knew to do that.  the doctor and nurse who speak a bit of english did not mention it… and at the lab, no one spoke english.  this being the stranger in another’s land has its price – but also its perks.  o well, learn and live.  maybe find out thursday if i’m alive.  if i’m not, and this is the afterlife, i have a few complaints to file.  my favorite after-life movie scene is the dead waiting room scene in beetlejuice with michael keaton.  fine film.

joan of art image - foto by joan deveney

states of the union – kathy and my union is pretty gosh darn good… however, the united states’ union keeps saying things like “Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business.” – Michael Ledeen, one of george w bush’s people (or is the bush leaguer one of his?)

According to Pew’s most recent “Global Opinion” survey, “anti-Americanism is deeper and broader now than at any time in modern history.”  – Bernard Chazelle

The U.S press is rated 53rd freest press in the world, tied with Botswana – Bernard Chazelle

back to chicken crossing road joke -  chicken hawk george w bush is double-crossing the road of ethics, the road of morality… he’s walking down the murder road double-crossing the road of world respect.  bush committed verifiable treason when he went absent without leave from the texas national guard in the 1970s during the vietnam war – he could be tried and legally shot since that’s the punishment for treason during war time.  and cheney’s just plain chicken for getting 5 deferments to the vietnam war because in his own words he “had better things to do.”  both having run away from serving their country during war time, what gives these cowards the right to send 3,333 americans to their war deaths. cheney and bush are traitors to this country, to the constitution.  they are right now betraying, imprisoning, murdering, spying on and stealing from americans.  they have murdered more than 650,000 iraqi civilians.  they have to be tried and imprisoned for their crimes against humanity, their betrayal of america, their bankrupting of america both morally and financially.  i do not advocate the death penalty for anybody, especially these two  – i think their being locked up for life would be a far more fitting judgment.  it would also be cool to tar and feather them in their own ill-gotten oil.  and subject them both to a couple water boarding sessions.  what they do to others should be done unto them, amen.

foto by smith

brain camps

foto by smith

There’s been a lot of confusion about the brain camps.  A lot of people seem to confuse brain camps with the brain cramps and the brain farms – not to mention the mythical brain camps of lore with the mind camps of today.

Before government, back when Republicans were still slithering through swamps, the earth was void of mind. Brains give off emanations. Sort of like plasmid x-rays. These emanations disturb the air wherever brain-forms exist, rather like the light bulb appearing over peoples’ heads in cartoons.

So in prehistoric times, Earth’s mindlessness was a vacation site for aliens. Being brainless, Earth air was unroiled. After a while, of course, fish and dinosaurs came along, but their brains were so small, their thoughts so minute, the air was still pretty smooth. One alien at a time would pay huge sums of exotic substances to come to Earth to rest its brain in our brainless air. Sort of like pre-zen Zen.

Some scholars believe this is how consciousness arose, because residual brain/air roiling lingered after each alien left. Like all races, regardless of planet of origin, the travel vacation agencies got greedy and sold an Earth/Brain Camp vacation to the next Brain before the last Brain’s waves had time to dissipate. Bit by bit, wave after wave of residual alien brain wave garbage built up, and settled in the fish.  This caused the fish to become restless.  They walked on the land.  And the land became nervous.

But all that’s supposition. Many think the current brain camps are government concentration camps for thought criminals, put there by the Thought Police. And there is truth in this. But most of the brain camps are Corporate.

Brain camps are a way for the Corporations to mold minds, weaken will, and stifle independent thought.  These camps have multiple arms – such as advertising agencies, TV programs, colleges and universities. But their single largest segment is the brain-dead religious wrong, known as the Flat Earthers – a group spread pretty evenly among the world’s 5 largest religions: Christians, Jews, Muslims, New Agers, and Capitalists. Corporations are the ones who had the education laws passed requiring thirteen years of schooling, from kindergarten through twelfth grade, in order to control the minds of the young. Although those were the old days, because now with pre-school schools and children TV shows and brain dead parents, there are actually eighteen years of brain camp in the first eighteen years of life. In fact, the basic brain camp term of service formula as explained by Albert Einstein is bt = aod / 1. Which in layman’s terms, is “Brain Camp equals Age of Death divided by 1” for each individual.

The Japanese are the most highly sophisticated with their Corporate in-house brain camps, getting their workers to worship the Corporate Ladder and actually shed their blood and families for their Jobs.

For a while, the Corporations and the Government (essentially the same thing, known in legal terms as ‘The Great Pirates’) experimented with sending their best brains to mandatory higher education. Unfortunately, this resulted in independent thought, free love, and questioning of authority, a disease that became known as the Hippies.

So they created actual concentration brain camps.  They’re called concentration camps because they concretize and deepen the subject’s concentration on serving their Corporate Masters while at the same time de-concentrating the subject’s capacity to concentrate on either their own needs or the truth. At night, while the youngsters slept, Corporate Agents would sneak into their rooms, whisk them off to the concentration cramp, wash their minds, then return them in the morning. They suppressed our knowledge of these actions with thought-naught drugs. Some seepage of remembrance remained, but this leakage was explained away by the Government controlled tabloid trash newspapers by the ‘Alien Abduction Conspiracy.’  By nightly wiping the youngsters’ minds in outside camps, they defeated the Hippie disease, and again could afford to send their brightest semi-minds on to college.

For a while there, they experimented with actually transplanting brains, but chimp brains in human subjects proved too facile for easy control, so they turned to inserting synthetic brains created from organic grown giant green pickled tomatoes instead. This was a great success, and resulted in the neo-conservative branch of the Republican Party.

Some of the brains weren’t as easily directed, even though they were still essentially controlled. But in comparison to the brain camp honor students, these semi-controlled brains appeared independent and became known as Democrats. But as Einstein pointed out, it’s all relative. Control is still control. The degree of variation is statistically and morally insignificant.

These synthetic green tomato pickle brains are grown on vast suburban brain farms. They’re kept in the dark, covered with shit. Most of these brains become politicians, police chiefs and a few priests. Unfortunately there’re no ethical pathways in these synthetic brains, which is fine for police chiefs and politicians, but the priests end up molesting young boys.

Every now and then there’s a brain they just don’t get to. Or if they do, their programming doesn’t work. The brain camps call these brains Brain Cramps because they cramp the camp’s style, and are frequently cramped out by the authorities. JFK, Robert F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King were three of these – plus a lot of people in the insane asylums. When you actually think for yourself about what goes on in this world of the pre-programmed, it’s insane. And of course if you keep pointing out that everybody’s insane, they’re going to lock you up, because the immoral majority rules.

The trouble with the Brain Camp programming is the brain keeps growing new cells, new pathways. They can’t afford to nightly readjust everybody. They don’t have the facilities. This is where their most important tool comes in: TV. TV kills independent thought. TV kills new brain cells. TV stunts healthy pathways. TV makes you want what everybody else wants.

Plus, these brain camps are also extremely expensive. In order to pay for all this, they make shiny, useless trinkets in sweatshops all over the world. Then with their deadly, insidious TV commercials, they make you want these trinkets. So every day you have to get up and go out to work, serve the Master in the big White House while you slave in his fields so he will give you a few baubles which you can then trade for his trinkets.

For a while there, the brain camp / brain cramp / brain farm terminology started appearing in the offshore Independent Press. But the Brain Nazis knew that weak brains could not handle more than three terms at any one time – so on television, they created Quiz Shows featuring Brain Champs. And the Brain Champ / Brain Camp / Brain Cramp / Brain Farm trick worked like a charm. Verily, the Earth was confused.

For the few Brains who could not be programmed, there was an underground escape program known as the Brain Lamp.  Seemingly programmed people banded together and smuggled unprogrammed minds out to the mythical Land of the Independent Press. They also developed a breeding program where they would take the minds most difficult to program, mate them, and then smuggle their babies out through the Brain Ramp program. They’d replace these babies with large rutabagas in stylish underwear. This is where the Land of the Independent Press got its name, because by mating semi-dependents, they pressed for independence.

This brings us to The Number of the Least. The Government Corporative Enterprise must be able to identify and quantify its brain campers. So everyone was provided with an Identification Number – known as the Brain Stamp – through a Social Security Credit Card. This Brain Stamp stamps brain camps, brain cramps, brain lamps, brain ramps, identifies brain champs, and even amps lame game chance chants – all in the name of ants. 

And the Earth cried Uncle.

– Kathy Ireland Smith & Steven B. Smith, January 21, 2007

foto by smith

hell bound train

 foto by smith

in 17 days we’re heading for the trip from hell.  33 hours of travel – with no time off for good behavior. get up 4:30 the morning of the 9th.  30 minute bus to Pula, Croatia.  3 hour bus to Trieste, Italy.  2 hour train ride to Venice, Italy.  overnight train across Italy to Dijon Ville, France.  short train hop to Lyon, France.  longer train ride across most of lower France to Beziers. last short hop to Magalas, the closest train port to the village of Abeilhan, our home for february and march.  leave 5:55 morning one day, arrive at the last train depot around 3 afternoon next day, and we’ll still be 5 kilometers from our Albeilhan home.  my bones, my brain, my body are all going to complain to my mind.  but what do i care – it’s an adventure, and i’m a survivor – if it were easy, everyone would be doing it.

foto by smith

speaking of surviving, i’ve never seen Survivor or American Idol or Fear Factor.  saw a wee bit of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire and The Weakest Link because mom watched them before she broke and died.  saw my first and last 10 minutes of Big Brother in england last august – a sad unpleasant experience.  i’ve read about them tho.  their unifying basic essence coalesced in my mind this week as i walked in the sunshine with my love down a 3,000 city street:  they’re all about watching people being humiliated as they chase after money and fame. folks with no lives or dreams of their own sit home in the dark staring at the tv watching folk abuse themselves for money and glory – then go to work the next day and talk to each other about what the tv people did the night before.  how utterly sad.  what little lives.  forgive them father for they know not what to do.  where’s darwin’s survival of the fittest when we need it?

speaking of survivors, in 1900 the human population was 1.6 billion. today it is 6.5 billion – a 406% increase.  “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed.” – General and President Dwight Eisenhower.

once more into this survival fray.  my heart works for days with only minor missing beats, then beats go seriously missing.  went for blood work – which ain’t easy when you don’t speak the language and can’t read the signs.  paid $64, was given 2 pieces of paper and pointed towards a door to give blood.  a guy also waiting to be deblooded took pity on my look of confusion and tried to explain the second piece of paper – finally took my arm, led me into the water closet, put an empty cup in my hand, pointed to my groin, pointed to the window with a dozen cups of urine all placed on their numbered papers.  thank goodness – i rely on the kindness of others.  sometimes i think they’re wandering angels vacationing down here to taste our misery.

$64 for lab work which would be at least $500 in the u.s. – something’s wrong in america.  go back to the doc tomorrow and see what we see.  blood pressure and blood sugar have already passed the test.  but i think we’ve found the culprit – salt.  ate a large packet of salty peanuts couple weeks ago and my heart dropped down to the scary 5 beats skip 1 range.  stopped salt and went back to nearly normal – or as nearly normal as this smith can be.  last night we ate out – salty steak and fries, and today i’m skipping again.

foto by smith


 foto by smith

Gandhi was once asked what he thought about western civilization. His response was: “I think it would be a good idea.”

It has long been said (ostensibly by Benjamin Franklin, but we can’t be sure) that “democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for dinner. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.” – Bill Moyers, 1.17.2007

Koyaanisqatsi – “life out of balance” (Hopi Indian term).

Among the fastest growing businesses for three decades in America are theme parks, gambling casinos and prisons. – Ralph Nader.

Oil global demand jumped from 15 to 82 million barrels per day between 1955 and 2005, an increase of 450%. – Michael T. Klare

In 2006, insurance premiums for an employer-sponsored health plan for a family of four averaged $11,500. Americans pay over $2 trillion per year–four times the federal defense budget–on a healthcare system that sucks. And the cost keeps going up, two to three times faster than inflation. – Ted Rall

the land of the spree, the home of the grave.

foto by smith