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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 )

Archive for August, 2008

thee of heart

Tuesday, August 26th, 2008

lovers in the Zocalo – foto by smith

Thee of Heart

One too many elses
Tenders morning’s lady

Maybe love not lost
But lust’s hiatus
Leaves us lean in longing
Unsure of mourning’s sun

collage by smith, book by cook – foto by smith



Tuesday, August 26th, 2008


“You look tired. You got lines on your faces.”


“Yeah, you got about fifty faces.”

“Fifty faces to leave your lover.”

“That sounds like a song.”

“It is, Paul Simon. Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover. Same album that has One Man’s Ceiling is Another Man’s Floor, which is good advice.”

“Wow. What a compound collusion of coincidence. Are you upset because I’m not spending enough time with you?”

“No. No problem.”

“I’m on fire. I can get really crazy when I write poetry. I haven’t even bathed or dressed yet.”

“I just need a couple nights’ good sleep.”

“I love you.”

Smith & Lady
Meanwhile the telephone rings like it’s asking a question…


“Who’s there?”

“It’s me.”

“Who you?”

“Private Detective Smokey Grey. We noticed footprints on your ceiling. Telepsychopathic cockroaches with Rorschach thumbnails. We found a dead moth near the door and a ceiling on the floor and the eternal blast of hourglass sand.”

“Oh, hello.”

“I’m not well thought out now, just plucking serendipitous candy from heaven–heck, a fellow could be covered in false dichotomy–they say the poetry thieves of Barcelona* spray white poo from the metro overpass—they come down to you and try to help you clean it off. Meanwhile they pick your pockets for your notebook. Shit. I’m afraid if I tell you too much I’ll jerk yr tears until I’m desensitized, like kissing the rubbery mouth of a sister.”

“Yeah, I remember you. Yr a readymade, Smokey, and you don’t even know it. You’re like Bukowski’s crapper. & you know my name is Polly Pureheart, so cheer up. How bout you walk with me onto this new dance floor of applied metaphor? They say you can make babies and they turn into books. But the cockroaches are everywhere & everyone has a Bugs Bunny complex. He’s a Napoleon for our common cultural context. Here, have a cigar.”


So here I was thinkin, Smokey – all these casualties, and they all appear to be women. This gave me gumption like an agent with a missive. Who coulda known the fallout in the crossfire… who coulda known… I wasn’t even interested, Smokey – but the tides were pulling and the moon, even the moon was in collusion and it wanted me to write about it. So I had to think hard, real hard.

I thought hard. I said, “Sweetie, please don’t erase yrself.”

She put the gun to her head and I said, “No, Sweetie, please don’t erase yrself – we liked you naked!”

“Oh no! Was I naked?” she said. “YES! And it was MARVELOUS!”

I don’t think she realized what I did for her. Of course, I couldn’t tell her when I did it because that would be like begging the question. But I’ll tell you, my private confidant. I strapped one on!

“You mean, Shady is a woman?”

Yes, ho hum. This is academic, Smokey, & I say ‘academic’ with a pointed connotation.

“Watch out…”

Eh, so what.

“What else happened at the office? I hear all the girls are in drag.”

O, we’re all playing with our batteries. There are cushioned rooms in chintz lined institutions where we put on boas & tickle & giggle each other in delight. Everyone’s privy. And I told this woman, “I was just cross dressing to make you feel comfortable, baby – I figured the slick talk and a hot gun would worry your precious little buttons. I wanted to dust you with hot powder. I wanted to get in character, cut out the small talk. Who gives a rat’s ass about obsequious tit for tat tag? I LOVE you darling.” I was a real Peppy le peu.

“So, what’s really buggin yr lil button nugget, Polly?”

You’ve been asking me that for days. I’m Shady. I killed Polly. Anyways, it’s the dame. I really like her. I figured I could use some batteries and get hooked up with shared sisterhood. But she don’t trust me no more, Smokey.

“What’d she say?”

“Why, you lousy mink rat! You killed the rabbit! You killed Bugs Bunny!”

“I thought I was Bugs Bunny.”

No, you’re Smokey Grey. & Bugs Bunny ain’t owned by no poet – he’s an archetype for all of us. There was a bunny though. He just ignored me when I asked for a slice of pizza. And he had some nerve, cutting me off in traffic, not even waiting to see if there’s a pay day. He’s rabbit road kill now. Yeah, I’d got the calculus on his jive, unspun considerations, unfolding concentric ripples butterflying into countless body bags. I tell ya, it was like shining a flashlight after hours in the basement, pickin at chitlins in the back lit brain pan. It was like polyps and tumors behind eyeballs. You couldn’t have contemplated all the corpses, Smokey, there was potential for a real blood bath.

“But is it poetry?”

Who CARES what it is. Yr reading it, aren’t ya? Next thing you’ll be asking me about rules on what to call haiku. I draw the line, Baby, I draw the line.

“Who exactly did all these bodies, Shady?”

Well, oh, those men? I had a penchant for protection. It was all for you. Here’s the scoop. They wanted to keep their muses on ice–personal freezers, private collections. They were like cannibals. They wanted to make necklaces and shoelaces outta us, Honey.

“What are these splatter patterns on the wall? I see a burned out shadow of a ladder that looks like Hiroshima happened right here in our backyard. And riddle me THIS: who did the women, Polly? I see you’re carrying a machine gun, aren’t ya, Polly.”

I’ll letcha call me Polly outta consideration for old habits. I tried a trippy pole vault trick with a machine gun, and I got a little excited. I guess I’m an equal opportunity offender. It’s like I used pretty indiscriminate weapons, bunker busting nukes, depleted uranium. My rough hands fumbled for stone age tools good for whacking nails & puppy dog tails, but there are a lot of things available on the black market. Make rock go boom, fly thru air. No one told me it was a nuke. Smith tells me when he makes collages he grabs whatever’s within reach. Seems a practical philosophy, as tho by extension we could send a bucket to the moon.

“That sounds like buckets of shady gravy to me, Baby.”

O, or mounds out of mons-hills. Or a crock of flaming poo shit trick. & I tell you, I ain’t your Baby, I ain’t Lady (we got her in hiding.) I ain’t even Polly. I’m Shady. I’m in character. I got a master plan for fertilization and I’m the one gonna be spreading jism. Seems better that way. Good for the muses. Safe for the flock. I ain’t writing no flirtations. Cuz you gotta act with HEART. You don’t act with heart, you’re the biggest disbeliever & everyone can see it. Now, see this bullet?”

“Ah, yep.”

I bit this bullet for you, my love. & that’s the final punctuation on this chapter.



“He’s in bed.”

The voices?

“O, those, in my head. The characters just waiting for a story.”

Whatcha got there?

“A half eaten peach looks like a worm used to inhabit. I threw it in the trashcan where it turned into vinegar.”

I don’t think you should be going out all drunk like this, Smokey.

“Shut up and go back to bed. I hear there’s good fishing out there, mysteries, casts & characters.”

It’s a wile world out there, Smokey. Words are like boomerangs. You never know when one might come back to getcha.

“I have a pretty good idea, woman.”

Shhhh! I’m Shady. I’m a woman pretending to be a man pretending to be a woman. I’m a regular ole Victor, Victoria! Here, at least wear a helmet & a condom before you go out there.

“I look retarded in helmets.”

You’re not supposed to use that word – that’s not politically correct.

“What word?”


“I’m sorry, I didn’t know.”

That’s OK, Smokey. That’s why we got the two-step tango. We can play both sides. You’re like a bona fide toilet seat, and you don’t even know it. Heck. You didn’t even know Asian from Oriental til I tole ya. We can have our cake & eat it too. But I got the inside track Smokey, & that’s why you work with me.

“Thanks, Polly. Yes, you help me with punctuation. I’m packin lines, you got the bandages.”

OK, go get online, kiddo, you got a four hours until the author has to go do a volunteer job.

“OK. Give me a kiss, woman. You got wise crackin lips, yr my forties movie star. Goodbye.”

Go see what you can make of it. Good bye, and good luck. Now, go log in.


smokey grey

Monday, August 25th, 2008

Dudley Moore in defective copy of The Bed Sitting Room – foto by smith


i come to sip yer honey, honey,
my sticky bee–
internal hive memory

nothing personal, just duty.
howdy duty. by jingo. by golly.
by jolly we’ll be an external


of an inner


we spark the waters
hold ’em up
do the dirty bop

i need some heart gravy.
give me some heart gravy baby–
lounge lizard rhythm in
polyester time

Lady K & Smith

Lady K, upper right, 20 years ago – foto by smith



Monday, August 25th, 2008


Every truth has its truth superior &
if you see yourself in this, I’m sorry
for the double blind banality.

Walk in to world like a virgin w pure
heart & don’t be frightened to knock
Thumper on the dissection table. It’s
a world o wonder to tread sans

In timid temples priests lose penis,
oversteer for divergent take. Blue is
blue on account of wavelength & in
the chapel of emasculation’s scalpel
delineations lie between achy grapes
& cloistered manifestations

In one story a truth, seeking missile,
was inert at initial condition when
they egged it to engage*

There’s damnation in understanding–
deflation in infiltration but yr not
outta luck cuz salvation’s in the next
thin of onion skin rationalization

Me, I better in getting a grip on
placing my pluck in the next rung or
zip up my bat fucked bootstraps,
dust off & fly by the seat of my pants

(Or a kick in the ass)

Good night & good luck

* this is a variant on a manifestation

knife tested heat from
marrow sparing nothing
played for curious
faith serious
fought through naught
of drive-by night

tumbled piano keys screamed
streams of consciousness
spiraling dominoes
ending in death*
*Note: Tho I shouldn’t have to explain myself, I can let you know that I am the puddle and there is no single particular shooter. Lest I come off as scary this last stanza was inspired by a man who died in the 90s and my horror at the general gestalt of the terrifying swiftness of globalization & a thousand points of light & there are other mulch piles too but no malevolent intent




Sunday, August 24th, 2008

the currency of information
begs tympanic resonation
mouth telephones an ear
to collude in violation




Sunday, August 24th, 2008


Traveling for the tattle,
substance sans sincerity
like a pyramid scam for impregnating books

It leaves one to wonder
ain’t there another way
to game the system?

Toxic tight puritan polly
poxes the frolicking antics of
funky skunk stunts

Comfort slid fit into a loose noose
they say sometimes it takes several
hangings to get the job done




Sunday, August 24th, 2008

cup of hot chocolate at a cafe – foto by smith

mommy, why is daddy so tough?
shut up and keep chewing.

there, i wrote a cannibal joke to go with my chicken, grape, cop, knock knock, and zen jokes. david letterman here i come.

3 esoteric food poems . . .

~ ~ ~

Harpo Chord

Vocal cow chords unallowed to meat
Is why hamburgers Kant talk

Re Marx Smith

~ ~ ~

Nulvoid 1

You can eat your cake and have it too
You just got to save your shit

~ ~ ~

Oedipus Rx

They got
But never
for sale

mutant banana – foto by smith



Sunday, August 24th, 2008


o the delay of karmic time
is softened by the imperfect execution of evil
thank goodness
we get to play in the gap
between now and de facto judgment
of comeuppance
however it manifests




Saturday, August 23rd, 2008

in yr pipe dream fantasies, remember
machine gun guards
post the rate of exchange at the bank
to ape an asking
mines the mime
to take a pass
on chancing
plays for fall
after all–
they say–
you are the mask
you maul
& other universal sass


the great smith suess debate

Saturday, August 23rd, 2008

being there – foto by smith

jesus crisis is putting up an online library of living poets. he mentioned he wanted to add some of my poems, and a person who has trouble with my existence commented she’d rather have him add dr seuss instead cuz she liked him more than steven b. smith.

lady took offense and left this comment on the critic’s comment.

Dr. Seuss sent me to school,
Steven B. Smith picked me up after class
where we smoked some grass
and did some low class
down town get down

the critic came back saying i was an old coot whose poetry made no sense at all unless one were on massive amounts of drugs.

this is my first time getting called an old coot. seems i should get a certificate or something.

lady came back with:

This is all very interesting to me. I prefer to not say bad things about people (except the government) because I don’t see any use in it. I’ll offer my opinion on things, but I don’t have the intent of hurting or dividing. So I probably come off as obsequious for this reason. Why would I bother to comment or read this if I didn’t like it? I’m all for freedom of expression but I recommend a good dose of common sense.

However I will and I do “get back” at digs. & I love digging into open cans of worms.

Smith is the best poet I’ve come across, and he dares to be aware in a stiflingly square world. He is his own boss. That’s why I hunted him down and married him. He is a lightning rod for controversy yet he refuses to explain himself, maintaining a gated dignity of sorts. But taste is highly subjective, so to each her own. Ironic that you would use Seuss as a kind of counter example, because I admire both – perhaps I like Seuss as much as Smith – I think Smith is more of an “after school special.”

“I actually do think about what people say,” Smith tells me, “but you know, Lady, you can never convert people.”

~ ~ ~

this whole diatribe and discussion can be seen at

i suspect i’ve had unpleasantness with this person before. i was attacked and vilified by someone with the same name and writing style for something i had nothing to do with. but i’ll leave the story of that nastiness for another time.

fallen flowers – foto by smith


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