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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 )

clouds, reeds, stones

in courtyard looking east – foto by smith

have a blank 18 inch by 24 inch canvas hanging on the wall, a rectangle of white floating on a key lime pie green wall. lady has an even larger canvas on the bedroom floor.

i did two small assemblages in croatia, a 3rd in france, so this will be my first larger piece in 3 years. lady’s done lots of art in london, krakow, liznan, abeilhan, marrakech, essaouira, cleveland. if we’re staying here, i’ll make art here. maybe we’ll have some shows, then sneak back into the states as foreign artists – add that foreign dash of élan.

mixtec stone built on top of zapotec – foto by smith

today was humphrey bogart country. we cabbed east through the sierra madre mountains, dropped a thousand feet to the temple ruins at Mitla, Place of the Dead. the area’s been occupied 10,000 years. zapotec history starts 500 BC. around 200 AD, the zapotec built temples which were later re-built around 700 to 1,000 AD by the mixtecs, who lost out to the aztecs in 1494, who lost out to the spanish in 1520. spain built a church on top of one of the 5 mixtec sites which had been built on top of the zapotecian ones. cannibalization anyone? amazing how religions eat themselves, both in legend and location.

the mixtecs came from “the Place of the Reeds,” were known as “the People of the Stone,” while their name derives from “the Place of the Cloud People.” i love the poetry of the past.

“The Aztec empire was a multiethnic and multilingual political organization. Near the end of the empire, religious and military activity may have resulted in the astounding figure of 20,000 human sacrifices per year.” (sounds like where vice dick cheney and george warcrimes bush got the inspiration for their iraq policy – except they’re sacrificing over a quarter million civilians a year instead of 20,000.)

hall of columns – foto by smith

the temple is unusual for its intricate friezes. each frieze consists of up to 100,000 separate pieces of cut stone, polished and set without mortar.

friezes inside temple – foto by smith

after the temple, lady and maxman sat and drank 3 different kinds of homemade mezcal in the courtyard of one of maxman’s zapotec friends while i smoked. as they drank, i played eye ballet with their children. got them to laugh and play, so i felt redeemed.

have to go back to see the caves and the tombs higher up in the mountains. but first must visit the larger older Monte Alban temple complex to the west.

driving back in a collective cab, the sun settled, slanted great golden gleams of light across the never ending mountain faces full of textured magic of crag, tree and rock. range after range of mountains, each one more distant a lighter hazier shade of purple. these are the mountains john huston hustled humphrey bogart and walter huston through in The Treasure Of The Sierra Madre (1948) – a great gem of a movie on greed. “Badges, we don’t need no stinking badges.”

i ain’t no humphrey bogart, but i certainly got my lauren bacall in lady k.

steps from temple to courtyard – foto by smith

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