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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,
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Archive for February, 2009

aguacate avocado

Friday, February 20th, 2009

50 foot avocado tree across the street – foto by smith

There’s a 50 foot tree in a courtyard across the street I’d been staring at for a year wondering what it was. Couple months ago Gonzalo, the owner, started grilling chickens on the sidewalk every Saturday and I’d go over and get one. He saw me looking up at his tree and said it was an aguacate — avocado. I said wow, I love avocado and looked up, unable to see any until he showed me. The fruit and the leaves are the same color and it’s dense.

Came back and tried for weeks from every vantage point to see an avocado to no avail. Then awaiting one Saturday chicken, he picked an avocado and gave it to me. I came back and slowly ate it, watching the tree it grew on across the street and thinking “I am eating your seed.”

Now each time I look I can see dozens of them, especially in the unpickable upper third.

Gonzalo picks them by getting on top of the first floor roof and using a 12 foot pole with an empty liter pop bottle taped to the end with a rectangle cut in one side. He reaches the pole up, slips the bottle hole around an avocado and jerks, catching the fruit inside the plastic bottle. Can get two or three each reach.

One Saturday he needed a lime for my grilled chicken and went to the 20 foot tree beneath the avocado and shook a lime down for me.

Within this city block there are orange trees, grapefruit trees, banana trees, mango trees, pomegranate trees as well – and who knows what else because Oaxaca city is naught but one inner courtyard after another all hidden from the street, with trees and flowers and cactus and roofdog growls tumbling over the walls – rich and poor side by side.

This is a great place.

unpicked avocados at top of tree – foto by smith

banana tree down the street – foto by smith


thief in chief

Thursday, February 19th, 2009

Bush and Cheney, the two-headed turkey – foto by smith

Isaac Fitzgerald on wrote a hilarious blog about what new ice cream flavor Ben&Jerry’s could create to honor George W. Bush’s accomplishments in office. This arose because Ben&Jerry’s created Yes Pecan to honor Obama.

Some of Fitzgerald’s suggestions are:

Grape Depression – Abu Grape – Cluster Fudge – Nut’n Accomplished – Iraqi Road – Chock ‘n Awe – WireTapioca – Impeach Mint – Heck of a Job, Brownie! – WMDelicious – Guantanmallow – Neocon Politan – RockyRoad to Fascism – Housing Crunch – Nougalar Proliferation – Credit Crunch – Mission Pecanplished – Good Riddance You Lousy Motherf**ker Swirl – Country Pumpkin – Bloody Sundae – Caramel Preemptive Stripe . . .

The blog is titled New Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Flavors Cream Bush and you can access the whole thing at

There are more nasty suggestions in the comments section.

This is evil, wicked stuff, and George WarCrimes Bush deserves every whack of it.

Bush and Cheney’s racist policies – foto by smith


100, 99, 98, 97, 96, 95 . . .

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

Clonazepam – foto by smith

The doc gave Lady a prescription for Clonazepam to help her sleep to recover from her month of no sleep at all last year. It was supposed to be enough for two weeks, but she still has some two months later and let me try it last night because I couldn’t sleep and was keeping her awake.

According to Wikipedia, “Clonazepam (a.k.a. Rivotril or Klonopin) is a benzodiazepine derivative with highly potent anticonvulsant, muscle relaxant and anxiolytic properties. Clonazepam is a chlorinated derivative of nitrazepam and a nitrobenzodiazepine like nitrazepam. Clonazepam is the second most misused benzodiazepine in the United States.”

Being a semi-retired druggie–I’m down to cannabis, cookies and coffee–I was dying to see what it was like. For 42 years I’ve taken hundreds of drugs, and each time I sit and wait to get off, analyzing their subtle beginning effects to see if, when, how, why I’m getting high.

One of my biggest drug disappointments was in the hospital ICU back in 1991 when I drank myself to death. Before they shoved a hot wire down my throat to cauterize my hemorrhaging esophagus, they gave me some sodium pentothal intravenously and told me to count backwards from 100. I was ecstatic finally getting to try such a rich high I’d repeatedly read about and seen in the movies. I didn’t make it to 90. Somewhere in there I was awake, the next second I was gone, and the third second I was back and they were done. No high, no feeling, just a switch that turned me off, then back on again.

Clonazepam is like that. You put 8 drops in a spoon and lick it with your tongue. You can feel this powerful odd taste moving quickly through your head flesh and think wow, this is strong stuff. But there is no high. There’s taking, there’s taste, and there’s sleep – no in between. Within 30 minutes of taking it, you are asleep. If you want to stay awake and see what it’s like, too bad – you’re asleep. It turns you off like a light switch.

And it isn’t a restful sleep either. Whatever benefit your body receives from normal sleep doesn’t happen. You’re tired, desperate for rest, take the drops, disappear, wake up tired and groggy and desperate for rest.

I tell you, being a druggie just ain’t what it used to be. My body and my brain used to be one unified drug desire. Now at 63 years old with a tired weary worn experienced body and a weary worn experienced cynical sorry brain, it’s more like “what are you doing, and why?” Still, I’m happy to add one more stuffed head to my drug collection. But my body and soul are getting tired. As I wrote three years ago,

Junkie Business

I’m losing my last two crutches:
and marijuana.

In the old days
I could have coffee
after dinner.

Now no.

You know,
this junkie business
is for younger bodies.

You keep doing it,
and pretty soon,
you end up like Keith Richards,
falling out of trees
and landing on your head.

My biggest drug disappointment though was here last year when we trekked up the endless mountains to Huautla to do legal magic mushrooms. The amount of over-priced mushrooms the shaman sold me was not enough to get me off (although Lady had a wonderful warm magic trip – her first). I’ve tripped hundreds of times on mushrooms from 1968 through 2008, and this was the first time I never got off. Turned out it took two of their doses to give me a mild trip. This was massively disappointing because Huautla is where the Beatles, Bob Dylan, and Donovan went in the 1960s to do mushrooms. Since we were going to the very magic mountain which was the source of it all, I expected to have the best trip of my life, and instead got ripped off. (If anyone else goes, stay away from the woman who is involved with the 13 Grandmothers Council of Indigenous Women–they’ve high prices and low quality product.)

I’m kind of glad my drug days are slipping away, especially since what was fun then is work now.

junkie business – foto by smith


poop, scat, patties, pies, chips, droppings, pebbles

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009

dark forces – foto by smith

I’m looking at a list of the products recalled due to the peanut salmonella outbreak, and under candies I see such products as Bear Poop, Bear Scat, Cow Patties, Cow Pies, Buffalo Chips, Deer Droppings, Moose Droppings, Osprey Poop, Prairie Dog Pebbles, and my favorite Chicken Coop Poop. That’s some weird shit ass candy names.

Reminds me of a grade school joke from the 1950s. Kid takes some dog poo and rolls it into a pill and gives it to his best friend saying eat this, it’s a smart pill. Kid eats it and says ewwww, this tastes like shit. See, the first kid replies, you’re getting smarter already.

the candy man – foto by smith


the new church of einstein

Monday, February 16th, 2009

The New Church of Einstein – foto by smith

I’m starting The New Church of Einstein.

Einstein said the Universe & Everything was all relative–speed changes time, time changes space, space changes mass, and we’re all mixtures of all the above so each of our individual axis are relative. We be related relationships, relatively.

And since time is money, my new church will relate us all via time and money, honey. We’re all brothers and sisters in the Temple of E=mc2, so I need each of you to contribute one daily dollar to my churchly collar or I holler out your sins.

For the Germans, ein stein = 1 glass of beer, so that’ll be your holy communion blood, making your secret sacrament time and beer.

As for me, the holy ritual remains marijuana because it massages time and space and place and pace and at base makes even relatives pleasantly manageable. Of course I’m going on a sacramental sabbatical moving to Cleveland where the lack of churchly funds means no cannabis contortions, so I’ll be walking among my fledging flock as a mere unstoned mortal–which will be good because I can better understand their normals need for the holy high.

Remember, Jesus said “Let those among you without a high take the first stone toke.”

bro brain – foto by smith



Sunday, February 15th, 2009

young chicklets – foto by smith

“Most people would sooner die than think, in fact they do so.” – Bertrand Russell

In three weeks I turn 63. Here’s a poem I wrote when I turned 50 that’s still true.

Pilgrim’s Progress

The shy knees say upon turning 50
windows open onto sacred soil,
closing patterns past.

The dark destiny dread
once admitted lacks Darwinian loss,
leaks likes lukewarm like drifter drafted.

Old fuses fixed with shiny premise
shift shape, sometimes seep sleeping
spring sprung into dawn.

My fallen rose rising
my no zone climbing
I sing, pondering coffin’s cost.

The first stanza comes from the Chinese (shy knees) saying that before 50 you wear the face you were born with but after 50 you wear the face you’ve earned. I’m proud of my post-50 face.

young roof dog – foto by smith


a, bay, clay, day, eh, fey, gray, hay . . .

Saturday, February 14th, 2009

traveling on – foto by smith

I’m feeling antsy, in undetermined unstableville because we’ve 17 days before total system shock when we move from Oaxaca Mexico (83 degrees, 25% humidity) to Cleveland Ohio (35 degrees, 73% humidity). Feel antsy because we no longer fit here (or are here in our heads) yet ain’t there.

Also feel unfocused because I’ve finally finished turning our book into a non-fiction proposal, and it comes across so counter-culture we wonder if and how mainstream agents and publishers will respond. We came down to Mexico to finish the book, and we’re going back to Cleveland to get it published. After that, we out of there again.

Until then, who knows?

Do know it’s time to move on. Too much grass and hash and daze and haze here–sun day after day, time slipping away, focus going astray, worries beginning to bray, anxieties starting to play, 15 months drifting going gray, slowly losing my way, tired of avoiding the fray, time to make American hay, looking for words rhyming with a and phrases meaning less mess and more may.

liberation – foto by smith


clone moan

Friday, February 13th, 2009

clown couple – foto by smith

The world’s a sorry sad place, down, depressed. I think it’s simply because we’ve all become too bloody serious over unemployment, toxins poisoning our earth, global warming, the rich stealing all our money, lack of health care, Republicans lying and forcing us to listen to the “gee golly gosh you betcha” brain death of Sarah Palin, and just general bad manners from the religious wrong and the fundamentalist flat-earthers.

If we wanna be happy, we gotta lighten up. So I propose we start cloning clowns. Fast grow them to adults and turn them loose on the neighborhoods so they can go door to door corner to corner neighborhood to neighborhood falling out of cars and tripping over their big feet while beeping their funky bicycle horns and raising their overdone eyebrows above their big red noses. Create clown clones and smile our troubles away.

Clone clown clones now! Make our national song “Send in the Clones.” Designate Walt Disney’s mythical Aracuan Clown Bird as our national bird, the clown fish our fish. Take all these unhappy squares and make them clown arounds. Force folk to watch “Killer Klowns From Outer Space.” Perhaps use some of George W Bush’s DNA as a starter kit, only bio-engineer it to make it a heck of a lot smarter, cuz while dumb’s desirable, too dumb’s dumb.

The world’s too serious a place, we need more laughter, and clown clones could be our answer.

Lighten up. Laugh. Let it be. We need to lessen our too serious vanity; it’s not all about us and our suffering. As one clown recently told me, “You’re so vein, you probably think this blood vessel’s about you.”

clown kid – foto by smith


the unraveling warp & woof

Thursday, February 12th, 2009

agent of Rodentia – foto by smith

Sitting on the roof smoking under the sun blue sky, I followed the wall shadows back to the clothespins on the line and saw a seven inch rug thread hanging down. I went over and pulled it, and the sky began unraveling like a cheap suit. I hope it’s only a local problem – I’d hate to damage another’s view. I neither knit nor weave, so am unsure how to go about fixing it–perhaps 5 minute epoxy?

Help! Night has fallen, and it can’t get up.

grid lock – foto by smith


#4 worst

Wednesday, February 11th, 2009

maybe mimosa – foto by smith

My last Mexican full moon casts cactus shadows on our roof. Mountains rise in suggestive mass off in the night. Our time in Oaxaca is running out. Less than three weeks left of 15 months here.

The longest we stayed any other place in our three year journey was three months on the Istrian tip of Croatia in a small fishing village. The shortest stop was one night in Lodz, Poland.

We’re bucking logic and trend moving from southern Mexico to Cleveland, Ohio – most folk go the other way. Good timing too – ABC News just picked Cleveland Ohio as the 4th worse American city to live in, with only Stockton California, Memphis Tennessee, and Chicago Illinois as worse. “No. 4 Cleveland, Ohio – Only Denver gets socked with more snow than Cleveland’s 52-inch annual average among the 50 largest metros. Clevelanders wait in fear for July 1, 2010, when hoops star LeBron James can switch teams as a free agent.”

Moving to Cleveland means going from a mile in the sky to sea level, from temperatures in the upper 80s to freezing, from 311 sunshine days a year to 66, from 50% humidity to 80%, from poverty to poverty, from color to gray, from butterflies to bugs, from dirty water to clean, from water shortage to abundance, from good people to good people, from Spanish to English, from police state to police state.

A good thing about Cleveland is the type of data these worst lists never consider: it has the most dynamic edgy poetry reading scene I’ve seen in any city, including London England (London poets were just too tame, polite and genteel).

ya ya – foto by smith


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