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Archive for August, 2009

the nightmare of laundry lane

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

today’s laundromat – foto by Smith

It’s a hard life in the laundry lane, and getting harder every week.

The closest laundromat to us has a Dairy Mart attached to it. Last week as I started our weekly load (I do our laundry, Lady cooks), a Grandfather came out of the convenience store dragging by the hand a seven year old girl who was screaming she wanted candy. They came into the laundromat and for 90 minutes the girl screamed, cried, yelled, cursed as her Grandfather prevented her from running back to the store. When she tried to escape, he held her in his lap, whereupon she turned on him and hit him, bit him, spit on him, cursed him with a never ending supply of fuck yous, all the while snot running out her nose. It was the worst temper tantrum I’d ever seen.

The Grandmother and the girl’s father were also there. Grandma, who was doing the actual laundry, suggested her son hold his daughter and calm her down. The twenty-something son refused, sat down and started either texting or playing games on his fone, totally ignoring his screaming daughter and disappointed mother. The Grandfather through it all kept talking softly, kindly, gently to the girl as he held her prisoner on his lap, to no avail. Every so often he’d sit her on the chair by herself, but each time she’d take off for the store and the candy, so he’d pick her up and put her on his lap, trying to pin her arms so she’d stop slugging him, trying to keep his forearms away from her biting teeth. Spittle and snot and screams everywhere.

Then an older stranger woman who didn’t know them (she’s the busy body motor mouth TV religious show watching woman who drives me crazy each week complaining there’s only one station on the TV) started to threaten the girl, saying “If you don’t quiet down, we’re going to have to take you to the hospital. Is that what you want? You want us to take you to the hospital?”

This went on for an hour and a half until finally they gave in and bought her a Popsicle. As soon as she got her treat, she became still and quiet, sitting by herself, happy and content slurping her bribe. She knew all along if she screamed long enough, they’d give in – and they did. Since they did, I sort of wish they hadn’t waited an hour and a half to do so. The grandfather told the interfering lady that his granddaughter had an “episode” like this at least once a week.

So for today’s laundry I went a day early, hoping I’d at least miss Ms Motor Mouth. Ten minutes after I’d started my wash, a white skinhead came back in from smoking a cigarette outside. As he passed me, an older black man coming the other way asked him if he wanted to buy a gold chain. Skinhead said no, and the man left. As soon as he was gone, the skinhead raced over to his laundry basket where he’d left his wallet on top, opened it and screamed out “That nigger stole my 20 dollar bill.” He raced out but the man was gone. He stomped back in, yelled “MOTHERF*CKER” at the top of his lungs, kicked his laundry basket across the room, smashed every loose item he could find against the wall, all the time screaming nigger this and nigger that. Made me feel ashamed to be human. Then he went next door to the Arabs who owned both places and said “A short nigger just stole my twenty dollar bill.” Of course the store was full of Afro-Americans. Then he came back feeling foolish and said perhaps he shouldn’t have used that term when he was talking to the “towel-heads” because they weren’t all that far from that themselves.

The store owner looked at the security tape and saw not only was the $20 stolen, so was his social security card. The owners told him to call the cops. Instead he took off in his car cruising the streets looking for the thief he was going to “mess up” if he found him, which he didn’t. When he returned, he told me he couldn’t call the cops because he was on parole and they’d only hassle him.

Finally the skinhead calmed down a wee bit and said “Maybe he needed it more than I did,” then admitted it was really his own fault for leaving his billfold in plain sight while he went outside to smoke.

Writing all this “nigger” stuff bothers me, makes me feel unclean, even though it actually happened and is crucial to the story. But this is what I wonder – last night I went to a poetry reading where the two feature readers and most of the audience were black, and as I listened to their excellent poetry, once again I head the word “nigger” pouring from the poets’ mouths – a lot. Way too much. Yet it didn’t make me cringe like today’s skinhead did because his was pure bigotry while last night’s was poetic use and at least had an artistic basis. Yet both resulted from racism from one end or the other.

I have no answers. All I can do is fight my own inner bigotry against those who don’t look, feel or think like me.

But back to the laundromat – each week I go, not only are my senses assaulted on one level or another culturally, esthetically or morally, but one or more machines malfunction because the laundromat is at least 15 years old and the owners are not maintaining the equipment. Last two months or so a washer would count down to 10 minutes left and then stay at 10 minutes forever. This has happened a half dozen times. The first four times I’d beat, knee, shake the machine and eventually it’d start its countdown again, but the last two times nothing worked, so I went into the store and told the owners and 10-20 minutes later when they had a break between customers, they’d walk over and use a key to unlock it and get it going again. So today I used the larger twice-as-expensive machines to avoid that problem, and one of them refused to add my soap to the wash. I had to take handfuls of water from the sink and pour it into the soap slot to get the soap to go down. Not sure it did. Then the two dryers I used were only half hot, so after 30 minutes I discovered my clothes were but half dry and I had to move to two new dryers and put more money in. Assault on my senses, assault on my finances.

Next week I’ll drive twice as far to another laundromat and see what new misadventures await me there.

I swear, since I stopped buying grass, either the world’s decided to treat me nastier, or else I’m not as mellow and merely notice the nastiness more. I’ve been trying to write more positive blogs–in fact originally decided not to write of last week’s temper tantrum–but this it is the it it is, and I know no way to spin it into happy-ever-after-land.

Some say we create our own reality, that it flows from what we are within. If this is true, I really worry about what I am.

This is Smith reporting from the nasty sludge in the bottom of a drain in an old decaying moldy dying abandoned house on Nightmare Lane.

today’s laundromat – foto by Smith


night of the living dread

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

detail of assemblage by my mother Mother Dwarf – foto by Smith

We took Lady’s Granny out to Chinese dinner last night. This was her cookie fortune:

“Better to have bread today than cake tomorrow.”

This is ironic because Granny is a Master Worrier. She worries about everything whether it exists in reality or not. Whatever you say, she assumes the worst. If you tell her the sun just rose, she’ll worry that it won’t rise tomorrow, that it’s used up all its risings and we’re all going to die dark horrible painful slow deaths.

Like many generational inherited traits, her worry genes skipped Lady’s mother, but have riddled Lady. I’ve been wondering if perhaps Master Worriers are like Master Vampires in that if you kill the Master Vampire, all the humans they’ve infected will revert to normal. It may be the only way I can save Lady.

detail of assemblage by my mother Mother Dwarf – foto by Smith


spider logic

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

mint farm outside Lansing, Michigan – foto by Smith

When spiders reach an empty space between where they are and where they want to be, they spin a single strand of web and then leap off into the space hoping the wind will blow them to the other side. If not, they climb back up the strand and leap again and again and again until they reach the other side.

Quitters whine, winners win.

to do list – foto by Smith


sex, money, prison, fat, tv, and class & gender wars

Monday, August 17th, 2009

from local War As Art / Art As War show – foto by Smith

The whorl’s getting crazier faster and the sick slick headlines are rolling off the press with ever increasing frequency. Here’s just some of the troubling and absurd news spurts from this past week’s sex, money, prison, class and gender wars. We’re all going to heck in a Monty Python hand job basket.

Burger King Asks Barefoot Baby To Leave

Sperm Bank Business Going Swimmingly During Recession

Birth Rate Falling As A Result Of The Recession

“Kids Are a Pain in the Ass”: 40 Reasons to Abstain from Having Children

Palinsanity – “Obama Wants to Kill My Baby”

Should Fat People Pay More For Health Insurance?

Obese Texas Inmate Hides Gun In His Flabs Of Fat

Mexico’s Prisons: Pizza Delivery, Prostitutes, And Rampant Drug Trade

Prisoners Collect Thousands Of Dollars In Unemployment Benefits

Man Jailed After Yawning Is Freed After 3 Weeks

Man Convicted Of Groping Minnie Mouse

NYC Subway Masturbator Arrested, Claims His “Private Parts Fell Out”

Why Are Cops Tasering Grandmothers, Pregnant Women and Kids?

Men behaving badly aren’t funny anymore

Brazilian TV Host Accused Of Ordering Killings To Boost His Ratings

Greek Woman Denies Setting Man On Fire For Sexual Harassment

Woman Sets Herself On Fire, Calmly Walks Around Miami Mall

Woman Tried To Run Over KFC Employee Because of Missing Condiments

Kitty porn: Man blames cat for downloading child-sex photos

According to Canine Researcher, Dogs Can Count

Why Men Need to Get Over Their Femiphobia — Fear and Disdain of the Female

The ‘Perfect’ Porn Vulva: More Women Demanding Cosmetic Genital Surgery

When My Husband Became a Woman, I Realized I Was a Sexist

Luxury Resort Offers $19 Room, Minus The Bed And Toilet Paper

The ‘Me-First, Screw You Crowd’ Are No Longer Hiding Their Antics

Enterprise Rent-A-Car Sold Chevies Without Standard Air Bags To Save Millions

Nothing keeps the rich from whining about easy street

Town Hall Riots: Right-Wing Shock Troops Do Corporate America’s Dirty Work

All That Stands In Way Of Universal Health Care Is Greed, Lies And Gullibility

Bush Staffers Joked About Following Orders Like Nazis

Wealthy Group Requests Higher Taxes for the Common Good

Rich Americans Scrambling For Options Amid Tax Dodge Crackdown

Is It Now a Crime to Be Poor?

from local War As Art / Art As War show – foto by Smith


but seriously, folks

Monday, August 17th, 2009

details of “Self Centered,” collage of Smith by Smith – fotos by Smith


old nude news

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

Cleveland, June 27, 2004 – foto by Spencer Tunick

We went up to the Cleveland Museum of Art today, and there I was up on the wall. Me, not my art – and I was unrecognizable. They had a huge foto of Spencer Tunick’s mass nude shoot hanging, and I was one of the 2,754 Clevelanders who took their clothes off June 27, 2004.

Everyone who stripped got a small foto (my copy is the shot above), and the museum bought a large copy of the same shot. I’m near the upper end, right at the line where the light becomes darker. As we were getting ready for this shot, a garbage truck started to turn onto the street we were on and it stopped for a long time before backing up. I always wondered what the early Sunday morning garbage crew thought when after driving through the deserted downtown they turn onto East 9th street and suddenly see 2,754 naked people.

It was exhilarating and freeing to simultaneously strip with 2,753 other folk. There was a bit of excitement before I disrobed as I’d look about and think I’d soon see all these folk nude; but once we were naked, I felt no hint of eroticism or sex. It was more simple amazement at seeing so many naked bodies in motion, and not one of them perfect or the same. Fat people, thin people, old, young, tall, short, mastectomies, polio braces, humongous bellies, hanging asses, misshapen breasts, misaligned breasts, missized breasts, tattoos, gorgeous, ugly, Asian, Indian, black, white. It was just at sunrise and it was cold by the lake, so the penises tended to be small.

In the foto above which has both men and women, we were lying on painfully cold concrete so there wasn’t a lot of looking around – I just grit my teeth and tried not to shiver too much. The street was so cold it hurt. In the second foto, Tunick had just the females disrobe and form a pubic-shaped triangle of over 1,500 women. The men just watched in silent awe. The final shot was just men, and the women became quite raucous and rowdy as they taunted us while we stripped – perhaps payback for thousands of years of us ogling them.

I’d do it again in a Cleveland minute. Though preferably in warmer weather.

me in beard and glasses grinning upper left
photograph by Chris Stephens | © The Plain Dealer



Monday, August 10th, 2009

policy – fotos by Smith



Monday, August 10th, 2009

If I give up on a part of something, a part of God dies, a part of holiness of being.

If I am absorbed by something, I make it my total reality.

My total reality is a sum of compounded waves, but it is also a choice, how I am being in the current moment, and it can be a garbage bucket for all those compounded waves, for instance, what if I never saw Mom or Dad again, or if I just stopped calling my friends… my reality would become what my actions are, what my investments are. A soup of molecules, the humidity in the air, watching the cat on the floor, this will become my reality if I do not open the door and venture outside. The cat’s meow will become persistent and repeated and an echo and my mind an echo, and my relationships merely references to something that I may have had in the past, but now all I have are fading ideas, ideas that are grey compared to the technicolor of the real world, of an open door, of a head out the window watching the trees. All of outside will become grey if it is not watched. The only thing that will retain color is the little spot of floor by the cat, perhaps the sofa, or maybe the sofa will turn grey because of the mere extent of familiarity, and I will rust in this spot, I will turn grey, I will decay. No one will remember my name.




Sunday, August 9th, 2009

I have the expectation that any day now, I will become excellent. It will be like a conflagration. My old body will go up in ashes, and the new me will be pure, like new fire, like bright light.

Everything I want to touch, I’ll touch. Anything I just want to pass through, will pass through.

There will be no more stewing in the void. I will cease to be a receiver; I will be a maker.

Lady K


smith word, ball music

Friday, August 7th, 2009

sun flower – foto by Smith

Here’s a jam of my words and voice with Peter Ball’s music. (Peter is known as Apartment One). In these jams, I have no idea what Peter will be playing, and he has no idea what I’ll be saying.

When you click on the link below, a box will come up. Click on OPEN WITH. I know VLC media player, QUICKTIME, and ITUNES will play it. I’m unsure what else will work (my geek factor is seriously deficient).


If it doesn’t work, that’s the way it goes. I tried.

3 bees on a sunflower – foto by Smith


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