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Archive for July, 2009


Friday, July 31st, 2009


Now more than ever–as single-payer activists march in DC today to commemorate the anniversary of Medicare–it is essential that we oppose the corporate media’s interference in the public debate that is so urgently needed if we are to really address America’s broken healthcare system.

It is not too late to sign onto FAIR’s petition (, and help us spread the word about it, before we deliver it to major TV networks, which a FAIR study ( found have a dismal record when it comes to stonewalling discussion of single-payer.


u r what u accrete

Friday, July 31st, 2009

free air – foto by Smith

Of morning, noon, night . . .
Our dreams dragging yesterday,
Our hopes tomorrow hung.

I am what I am and that’s all that I am,
I’m Smith, the accreted man.

chronology – foto by Smith


morning noon night

Friday, July 31st, 2009

morning – art & foto by Smith

noon – foto by Smith

night – foto by Smith


i before e except after c

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

my laptop on-light reflected in screen in dark – foto by Smith

This is one of those pass-it-on chain emails I tend to delete. But this one referenced a science study I read a couple years ago that found people can read words no matter what the order of the letters.

This one contradicts itself – it says the only requirement is the first and last letter of the word must be in their correct place which means two and three letter words would always appear correctly spelled, but then types “if” as “fi” and “you” as “yuo” – both of which I read without any trouble.

One thing for sure – I’m not running this blog through SpellCheck.

~ ~ ~

fi yuo cna raed tihs, yuo hvae a sgtrane mnid too.

Cna yuo raed tihs? Olny 55 plepoe out of 100 can.

i cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uedsnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid – aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno’t mtaetr in waht oerdr the ltteres in a wrod are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whotuit a pboerlm.

Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed rvey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Azanmig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt!.

breast light landing – foto by Smith


Single Payer Health Plan

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

Just sent an email to my Representative & Senators in support of a single payer health plan. Thought to post this as a reminder in case anyone else is so inclined.

Contact your Representative:

Contact your Senators:



head lines

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

headlines – foto by Smith

Recent headlines that make me wonder if perhaps Monty Python runs the universe:

Coroner Still Has Michael Jackson’s Brain

Jackson’s False Nose Missing In The Morgue

‘Hooker for Jesus’ weds Christian rocker

Wife Swap’ Mom Accused Of Stabbing Husband

Sex Selling For Less During Downturn

One in Four Men in South Africa Admit Rape

Cop Accused Of Pulling Gun At McD’s Because Order Was Taking Too Long

Two girls, 13 gunshots and zero answers

Texas Mother Says Devil Made Her Decapitate Infant Son

Woman accused of killing newborn ate brain

Dog walker trampled to death by cows

Baby Squirrel Pops Out Of Woman’s Breasts During Police Interview

Cats ‘exploit’ humans by purring

More TVs Than Humans In US

GOP Rep: Health Care Is A “Privilege”

Republicans Against Truth Commission

books – foto by Smith


rufus, the lady, and the tiger

Monday, July 27th, 2009

poets Jim Lang, Smith, Lady – foto by Wendy Shaffer

Lady and I attend a monthly poetry workshop called Rufus organized by our poet friend Wendy Shaffer, one of the best poets I know and the woman who gave us our loaner cat.

Yesterday I discovered that one poet or another didn’t understand portions of my poem The Lady, Or The Tiger – though they all liked the poem anyway.

So here’s a 637 word explanation of my 42 word poem.

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?

– Steven B. Smith, 6.28.2009

According to Wikipedia,

The Lady or the Tiger? is a famous short story written by Frank R. Stockton in 1882.

“Plot summary:

“The semi-barbaric King of an ancient land utilized an unusual form of administering justice for offenders in his kingdom. The offender would be placed in an arena where his only way out would be to go through one of two doors. Behind one door was a beautiful woman hand-picked by the king and behind the other was a fierce tiger. The offender was then asked to pick one of the doors, without knowing what was behind it. If he picked the door with the woman behind it, then he was declared innocent but was also required to marry the woman, regardless of previous marital status. If he picked the door with the tiger behind it, though, then he was deemed guilty and the tiger would rip him to pieces.

“One day the king found that his daughter, the princess, had taken a lover far beneath her station. The king could not allow this and so he threw the offender in prison and set a date for his trial in the arena. On the day of his trial the suitor looked to the princess for some indication of which door to pick. The princess did, in fact, know which door concealed the woman and which one the tiger, but was faced with a conundrum – if she indicated the door with the tiger, then the man she loved would be killed on the spot; however, if she indicated the door with the lady, her lover would be forced to marry another woman, a woman that the princess deeply hated and believed her lover has flirted with. Finally she did indicate a door, which the suitor then opened.

“At this point the question is posed to the reader, “Did the tiger come out of that door, or did the lady?” The question is not answered, and is left as a thought experiment regarding human nature.

“From its publication and surprise ending, “The Lady, or the Tiger?” has come into the English language as an expression, meaning an unsolvable problem.”

I went from this to the TV game show Let’s Make A Deal where contestants can keep what they’ve won, or trade it for what’s hidden behind one of three closed doors – one of which is worth way more than they’ve won.

My three door lines:

Door 1 – refers to the gigantic fruit bats and my first live scorpion I saw as we walked through a cemetery the night of The Day Of The Dead in Oaxaca Mexico last year.

Door 2 – I can’t exactly remember what prompted this, but it does contain echoes of Bob Dylan’s album Blood On The Tracks.

Door 3 – I stole the entire line from a review in The New Yorker by Ben Brantley of the Broadway play “Legally Blonde.”

Of course I misremembered the TV game show, so instead of Let’s Make A Deal, I referred to it as The Price Is Right in the penultimate line.

My last line is a Zen reworking of James Cagney’s famous last line in the 1931 film Little Caesar when he’s cornered by the cops and cries out, “Mother of mercy! Is this the end of Rico?”

I was asked why I went from a two door short story to a three door TV game show and had to say I didn’t know, but both were all about choice.

So here we have an 1882 short story, a 1931 movie, a TV show I last saw in 1963, a Bob Dylan album from 1975, a play review from 2007, and The Day Of The Dead in 2008 all in a poem I wrote in 2009.

This is typical of the way I write.

poets Keisha Davenport, Steve Goldberg Russ Vidrick, Charlotte Mann – foto by Wendy Shaffer


new morning lite

Saturday, July 25th, 2009

new day – foto by Smith

Day path light rises
The night runs away in dream
Mistakes start anew

Cat wakes us at 5
Demands new food and water
Sits and licks her fur

Day two without grass
Sun still rises, clouds still sing
Wife and I make love

Awake, I start clean
But then quickly run awry
Don’t know what I know

I know what I know
But I don’t do what I know
Start over again

New dawn spreads old light
My old body out of bed
I walk new in old

Drink coffee, pet cat
Wonder again why I am
Morning ritual

Short poems not haiku
And not senryu either
More like short news casts

yellow brick road – foto by Smith


3 days

Friday, July 24th, 2009

handle with care – foto by Smith


Rainbow walking New
Mexico mountains where old
hippies go to die

~ ~ ~


The last two pinches
of magic Mary dust gone
I’m straight and narrow

~ ~ ~


Tomorrow rises
Built of failures from today
Yet hopes anyway

tomorrow – foto by Smith


eyes closed

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009

eyes closed

it is a rainy day and I am full of sloth, fetal on the sofa with my
eyes closed there is the vroom and splash of cars down the road
the breeze the shelter of my blanket the cilia of its fibers made
alive by my breath

my heart is in an interior room my bowels are in an interior room
I send my eyes out like a boomerang and my ears out like a boomerang
I send my skin out like a messenger to me and collect
messages from the floor of my brain pan

there is the veil of eyelash the veil of venetian blind
the veil of atmosphere of introversion

from the veil of my sloth I perceive the walls of prison

lady k

– – –


I am always

never quite

almost always meeting
you but not quite

play acting
the end behavior
of a movie scene with
no character development

signpost handling
not putting in time
not really listening

halfway out the door
never in the thick of it

I don’t know your middle name or
where you were born

I forget the name of your ex-husband

some day my account will run dry
some day you will see my game
some day I’ll be recognized
for all my drive-by crime

lady k


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