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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 November, 2008

fire & ice

Thursday, November 20th, 2008

November nights – foto by smith

Crawl from covers. Cold.
Don two sweaters and a hat.
I await coffee.

The temperature is supposed to be 52 degrees Fahrenheit this month – this morning it is 43, which is bloody cold when you’re used to the upper 70s in the afternoon. When the sun hits you, it is wonderful, but when you’re in the shade, you need a sweater or a warm woman. Heat dissipates quickly when you live in the mountains a mile above the sea.

The houses here have no heat – they’ve never needed it. Now it’s getting colder than it ever has before, and it’s raining more and longer than ever before, and folk around here are beginning to wonder if maybe global warming is real after all. (There hasn’t been any herb come down from the mountains for 4 months due to too much rain – I’ve had to scramble among strangers for my daily kindness.)

I have one of those crummy Dell laptops in which the batteries overheat so badly they burn your lap. Normally I have a plastic dish drainer between the laptop and my lap to protect me, but this morning I’m so chilled I have the hot battery directly on my legs trying to keep warm. That plus my hot cup of coffee, a hat, a neck scarf, and a heavy sweater are almost enough. Lady’s huddling beneath the bed blankets. Welcome to warm southern Mexico.

In 4 hours, the temperature will have risen 33 degrees and I’ll go up on the roof and sit in the sun next to our lime tree and feel golden.

I feel like the Prodigal Plant, cold and alone away Father Sun.

Of course where we lived 3 years ago – Cleveland Ohio – today’s low is 26 and its high is to be 36, so my low is 7 degrees higher than their high. Perhaps I should be grateful. And I am. We still have flowering trees, daily butterflies, afternoon tee-shirts, and evening herb.

Cleveland, Ohio, December 2007 – foto by smith


head loads

Wednesday, November 19th, 2008

man walking with head basket – foto by smith

Sitting in an ancient stone church courtyard park on a bench in the dusk, an old indigenous woman in a white shawl walks slowly by, bent over. Silence. A leaf falls. Silence. A second leaf falls. I feel good.

Walking back I pick up a small brown & cream comic book lying in the street – The Book Sentimental Presents: RAIN OF BENIDICTION. It’s 87 pages of a spiritually oriented family story about prayers and miracles, followed by 4 pages of recipes, 4 pages of lonely heart personal ads, a 1 page ad for romance novels, and a full-color back cover ad of loose ladies to call who must be in a very warm place because they’re not wearing very much. Family to God to recipes to personal relationship ads to bodice ripper novels to phone sex – interesting progression.

I’m trying to find amusing or uplifting vignettes because as writers, it is Lady’s & my job to come up with clever ruses to give folk hope because without hope, bleak is bleaker. With hope, people are happier, thinking is happier, and maybe happier happen. Maybe mass-mind-creates-reality, so we need to get more people visualizing a better world. The whole power of positive thinking thing. And it does work. If you look at things with a happier eye, you’re going to find more good and fun in life than if you look at everything with a bleak eye.

It works also because we’ve moved from the Einsteiniam Epoch to Heisenbergian Reality. In Heisenberg’s Quantum Universe, everything is true at the same time – all states exist until you ask reality to collapse into just one state to answer your question. You see what you expect, you get what you ask for – so if you expect unhappy you get unhappy, while if you expect good and fair and hopeful, that’s what you experience. It’s up to you. It’s up to all of us. This is our world, we created it. And we all need to do a better job of making it better.

local Oaxacan graffiti art – foto by smith


meta flower

Tuesday, November 18th, 2008

our roof rose – foto by smith

One Rose Rising

It’s time
for winter to break
through fall’s motley wake.
The grass withdraws
to let winter pass.
The earth holds its breath
awaits spring’s rebirth.
Nonetheless there’s one
yet strives to leave winter undone.
One rose alone in brave brittle pose
it tries to heed not the hostile skies
or why it can only die
and waits
fighting both fates
and clime.

As shall I.

Cleveland, Ohio December 2007 – foto by smith


half-baked banana

Monday, November 17th, 2008

art paper exhibition – foto by smith

Lady’s laying half-eye asleep on the bed as I rub her back. The baked-banana cart in the street below blows its mournful plaintive endless steam whistle wail. “I love that sound” she sighs. I explain it’s the mating call of the giant sea penis looking for its hole mate. She asks what it looks like. I explain it’s a 10 to 14 foot eel-like mobile hot doggish creature with two balls beneath its lower backside which it rolls around on. She slowly sleepily whispers I’m a funny honey, so I quickly chant “Funny Bunny was a one-y, but a two-sy he would be when he met this doozy floozy he bent his heart in two to see.” She says “Is that real?” I love it when I can make nonsense sound believable, the absurd potentially real.

bird boots walking – foto by smith


just some of november’s skulls

Sunday, November 16th, 2008

poster ad skull – foto by smith

high tension skull – foto by smith

Monte Alban Zapotec, Mixtec or Aztec skull – foto by smith

skulls of children, Monte Alban – foto by smith

Mixtec Day of the Dead altar skull – foto by smith

massive Day of the Dead sand painting – foto by smith

Day of the Dead sand painting – foto by smith

Monte Alban museum skull – foto by smith

Smith skull, still covered – foto by smith



Sunday, November 16th, 2008


I can’t believe the world’s in
as good a shape as it is
or works as well as it does

I can’t believe planes fly,
considering the imperfect hungover humans
who put ’em together
I can’t believe toilets flush
I can’t believe fucking
comes through the wires

When things break too bad
and people CAN’T flush their toilets
and dispose of their garbage
and bury their dead
and clean their fingernails
is going to spread

It’ll be just like the Middle Ages

Instead of the Black Death,
we’ll have the Dirt Death

I’m going to live and enjoy NOW
I’m going to assume there IS a future
but I’m not going to COUNT on the future
What I’m NOT going to do is to muck up TODAY
for tomorrow

Besides, you know what COULD happen
you give up NOW,
you DON’T do that project
you DON’T write that book
what happens is the fucker goes on
for another forty years

– smith & lady


double feature horror

Saturday, November 15th, 2008

from us to us – collage & foto by smith

Back in the early days of movie houses, they had a cartoon, news reel, episode of a serial, a B-movie, and an A-film. Best I can do today is this two-for-one double horror bill.

Recent news announced the Bush/Cheney run White House has doubled the national debt to $9 trillion dollars. However . . .

“The official U.S. debt ceiling was recently raised to $11.3 trillion. In addition, Medicare is facing a shortfall of $30 trillion that the usual Washington budgets fail to recognize. This, plus other entitlement program shortfalls, means that our true fiscal gap is $53 trillion. And that is a “present value” number, meaning that we need $53 trillion today earning interest so that we can have even more money for the benefits that have been promised.

The Bush Administration does not want you to know that it borrowed more money in the last eight years than all U.S. Presidents combined had borrowed in the previous 219 years. It also borrowed more money from foreigners that all previous Presidents combined.

Audit the Books
by Rep. Jim Cooper (Democrat, Tennessee)

Congressman Cooper says the debt share for each of us–man, woman, child, baby–in the United States of America is $175,000. Man, I must be rich to owe that much.

National Debt

Huddled beneath behind
Green metal stalls
The tile encrusted
Yellow, he sews an
Empty money bag
To his crotch, watches
His reflection mirrored
In regimented urinals
   five six seven
Decaying down the wall
Cradling his existence
Fraying five to seven
In staid erotic fear
Small spider woven
Through uninforming ears
Tired of heaven he sews
His money to his crotch
He huddles

– Steven B. Smith, 1973

And our second horror feature is called BSP or Bisphenol A or (CH3)2CO + 2 C6H5OH > (CH3)2C(C6H4OH)2 + H2O:

“Suspected of being hazardous to humans since the 1930s, concerns about the use of bisphenol A in consumer products grabbed headlines in 2008 when several governments issued reports questioning its safety, and some retailers pulled products made from it off their shelves.

“It is used to make a variety of common products including baby and water bottles, sports equipment, medical and dental devices, dental composite (white) fillings and sealants, lenses, and household electronics.[5] Polycarbonate is used in the manufacture of all CDs and DVDs. Epoxy resins are used as coatings on the inside of almost all food and beverage cans.[6] It is also a precursor to the flame retardant, tetrabromobisphenol A, and was formerly used as a fungicide.[7]” – data from Wikipedia

Doses of bisphenol A, in the range currently being consumed by people, can alter the adult reproductive system in mice. Low doses of BPA cause structural changes in the brain that trigger learning deficits and hyperactivity. Exposure to BPA has been blamed for cancer, diabetes, obesity and attention deficit disorder. Bisphenol A shrinks seminal vesicles, enlarges preputial glands (which produce sex pheromones), and reduces sperm efficiency as well as causing heart disease and diabetes. – data from several online sites.

Our Earth is breaking down due to humans, our economic system is breaking down due to greed, our inner physical bodies are being poisoned by man-made toxins – our food chain earth chain life chain mind chain is naught but one weakened link after another.

Welcome to the Chinese curse of living in interesting times.

dead fun – foto by smith


I can knot reveal my sources

Friday, November 14th, 2008

Talking head – foto by smith

Some folks wonder where I get my data. Being our own boss 24/7/365, we have a lot of time to read and research online. Here are some of my online sources – most daily, couple weekly, some monthly:

The Guardian –
The Huffington Post –
Salon –
Alternet –
Slate Magazine –
PR Watch –
The Narco News Bulletin –
Common Dreams –
The Progressive –
The Atlantic –
The Nation –
The New York Review of Books –
The New Yorker –
Democracy Now –
Project Censored –

For art news of the avant-garde
Ubu Web –

Film data
The Internet Movie Data Base –

To prove/disprove/research urban legends, rumor, internet fact
Snopes –

If I’m feeling down, I go to Fox News because they always make me laugh.

the future – foto by smith


the lady or the tiger?

Thursday, November 13th, 2008

Lady – foto by smith

The Lady or the Tiger?

Door 1?
big bats flying, black scorpion crawling.

Door 2?
blood pollen on the silent keys.

Door 3?
candy worship in the Temple of the Prom Queen.

The price of right. . .
is One the end of Zero?

Tiger – foto by smith


butterflies, obama, & tumbler

Wednesday, November 12th, 2008

Abastos Market rain roof segment sunshine & shadow – foto by smith

I see a butterfly flying every day of the year down here, usually dozens. It’s tradition to make a wish on the first star we see at night, so I’m going to start wishing on the first butterfly I see each day. Create more magic. Do you believe in magic? – Obama and the Lovin’ Spoonful do.

~ ~ ~

Lady cut up a honeydew melon to snack. After I ate a piece, I gave her a melon juice kiss, looked into her eyes and said, “If you were a collie dog, and I kissed you with my wet melon lips, it would be a melon-collie kiss.” “Ha . . . ha . . . ha . . .” she said softly, slowly, drolly, dryly. She’s a tough audience.

~ ~ ~

The Secret Service has released their code-names for the Obama family: Barack is “Renegade,” Michelle “Renaissance,” Malia “Radiance,” and Sasha “Rosebud.” What delightfully positive poetic metaphors after 8 years of Bushshit.

Here’s Presidential code-names going back to 1950:

# Dwight D. Eisenhower – Scorecard
# John F. Kennedy – Lancer
# Lyndon B. Johnson – Volunteer
# Richard M. Nixon – Searchlight
# Gerald R. Ford, Jr. – Pass Key
# Jimmy E. Carter, Jr. – Lock Master
# Ronald W. Reagan – Rawhide
# George H. W. Bush – Timberwolf
# Bill J. Clinton – Eagle
# George W. Bush – Tumbler

Wonder if “Tumbler” refers to Bush’s drinking problem, or what he’s done to the country?

Eisenhower earned “Scorecard” because he certainly tried to tell us the score when he laid the Military-Industrial Complex on us.

Lancer” is a great metaphor for JFK because he poked every female he could inside the White House and out. Plus he was going to lance the boil that became the Vietnam War, but they shot him instead, so the Lancer was lanced.

Probably called Nixon “Searchlight” because a powerful one was needed whenever searching for any truth in the man.

Reagan was but a faux cowboy and didn’t deserve “Rawhide” – I think “Braindead” the more fitting sobriquet. I’d pick “Weasel” for Clinton and “Thief” and “Liar” for both Bushes. Truth in advertising as it were.

Lancer / JFK – collage & foto by smith


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