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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 November, 2009

break the bank

Sunday, November 15th, 2009

shadowshape – foto by Smith

You can fool some of the people some of the time – and that’s enough to make a decent living.” – W.C. Fields, philosopher

Price of an ounce of gold over the past 160 years:

1850 – $18.93
1940 – $33.85
1972 – $58.42
1973 – $97.39
1974 – $154.00
1979 – $306.00
1980 – $615.00
1985 – $317.00
2006 – $603.00
2008 – $871.96
2009 – $1,112.90

It’s interesting to see (below) what happened after August 15, 1971, when President Richard Nixon took the U.S. dollar off the gold standard: in one year the average yearly rise in the price of gold jumped 2,900% from the 2.3% yearly average of the previous 32 years, or 3,924% of the 1.7% yearly average rise for the previous 122 years.

1850-1940 – 0.9% annual increase for 90 years
1940-1972 – 2.3% annual increase for 32 years
1972-1973 – 66.7% annual increase for 1 year
1973-1974 – 58.1% annual increase for 1 year
1974-1979 – 19.7% annual increase for 5 years
1979-1980 – 101% annual increase for 1 year
1980-1985 – 9.7% annual DECREASE for 5 years
1985-2006 – 4.3% annual increase for 21 years
2006-2008 – 23.8% annual increase for 2 years
2008-2009 – 27.6% annual increase for 1 year

What can I say? Numbers don’t lie, although CEOs, Politicians and The Rich do.

I’ve always wondered why Republicans are considered to be the conservative balance-the-budget party when most of the financial damage to this country was done by Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and the two Bush leaguers.

There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.” – Warren Buffett, billionaire

golden daze – foto by Smith


dreadline malady, sex & torture edition

Saturday, November 14th, 2009

product – foto by Smith

I came upon this trio of old Chinese curses, listed in order of increasing nastiness:

1 – May you live in interesting times

2 – May you come to the attention of those in authority

3 – May you find what you are looking for

Odd that they consider finding what you are looking for the worst curse.

Anyway, speaking of interesting times, here’s my harvest of this week’s news headlines. As stupid and shallow as some of these sound, they are all genuine “news” headlines according to Main Stream Media and their Alternatives.

That I can collect this many weird, wild, unwonderful and worrisome headlines in one week is scary.

~ ~ ~

Life Sucks And It’s Society’s Fault

Am I Depressed Or Just Deep?

Jesus, Karaoke, And Serial Killers

Pothead Dads, Reebok Girl, Hookers and Oatmeal

Lingerie, Nudity, Vodka & Murder


Did Neanderthals have sex with modern man?

Surprise! Bats Have Oral Sex

Beaver Urinates On CBS Correspondent’s Face

Sperm Allergy Afflicts Woman On Wedding Night

Surgery Risk For ‘Perfect Vaginas’

Woman Shares Health Horror: “My Vagina Fell Out”

Surgery Could Regrow Breasts, Scientists Hope

The Bible Allows Breast Implants

Engineered Rabbit Penises Raise Human Hopes

Shock And Outrage Over Lavish SUV With Whale Penis Leather Seats

Man Uses Remote To Control His ‘Bionic’ Bowel

UK Considers Using Human DNA In Animals

Male Bees Commit Mass Murder To Mate With Females

Spanish “Self Love” Lessons Cause Masturbation Controversy

New Species Of Immortal Jellyfish Are Swarming The Oceans

CIA Sent Prisoners Abroad to Be Boiled Alive and ‘Raped with Broken Bottles’

Catholic Church Threatens To Stop Feeding Homeless Over Gay Marriage

Did Christianity Cause the Crash?

Peruvian Man Has Pound And A Half Of Nails Extracted From Stomach

Conservative Heritage Foundation Defends Violent Sex Offenders, Rape, Sex Slavery

Outrage Over Elite Students’ Pro-Rape Facebook Page

Corporations Are “Child Labor-Endorsing, Pro-Slavery Freaks” for Trying to Skirt Trade Laws

‘Revenge’ App Lets You Kill Bankers, Shoot CEOs

O’Reilly: ‘We Can’t Kill All The Muslims… So We Wanna Win As Many Hearts & Minds As We Can’

UK Government To ‘Spy’ On Every Call, Email, Web Search

By 2018, 67% Of U.S. Could Depend On The Government For Their Livelihood

Wastewater In New York Found To Be Radioactive

Drinking Water Spiked With Cocaine And Spices

Is your cell phone slowly killing you?

detail of Mother Dwarf sculpture – foto by Smith


me mom me

Friday, November 13th, 2009

south east corner of sitting room – foto by Smith

This is a hard batch to shoot, at least my two, because they are so intricate, large, and sweep out dramatically into the room from their surfaces.

Plus 3-dimensional art is difficult to show in 2-dimensional fotos.

All these shots of our art I’ve posted look much better and more interesting in actuality – the fotos don’t even begin to do them justice.

Icon, 1983, 26″ x 30″ x 6″, Smith – foto by Smith

This was one of my last pieces in which I used copper fragments and coated them with salt infused acrylic polymer to get the blue-green copper corrosion; after this, I discovered how to make an instant liquid copper corrosion (just add water and salt and copper powder to acrylic polymer). This is one of my special pieces.

Vampire Love, 1995, 14″ x 26″, Mother Dwarf – foto by Smith

Mom – a.k.a. Mother Dwarf a.k.a. Florence E. Smith 1926-2005 – made this out of a glow-in-the-dark plastic vampire skull and turkey bones. She had me name it. In our sitting room where we spend all our time we have 4 Mother Dwarfs, 8 Ladys, and 9 mes.

Buddha’s Beads, 2004, 37″ x 37″ x 8″, Smith – foto by Smith

This one is impossible to show. I made it for the Peek-A-Buddha group show back in 2004 that Yoko Ono was also in (her piece was a pile of free-take-1 white pins saying IMAGINE PEACE. The structure rising up and out from the surface is a 2 feet tall lamp shade frame that I sat on and bent semi-flat. This thing glitters, winks, reflects, refracts and grabs at you as you walk by and if you ever see it in bright sun-light you could be blinded. This is kitsch taken up a couple levels.

detail shots – fotos by Smith


juiciest flies

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

string flower – foto by Smith

“Early to bed and early to rise gets the best worms and juiciest flies” my Lady says to me as she goes to bed.

Not the exact image I want on my mind as I drift into sleep, but it sure does slip easy off the tongue.

string leaf – foto by Smith


3 by 2

Monday, November 9th, 2009

north east corner of sitting room – foto by Smith

My collages / assemblages / paintings are hard to photograph (especially in this low gray sunless light) due to their 3-dimensionality, multiple textures, odd groupings of paint and found objects, and complexity.

Since most of my pieces extend from the canvas at least 1 to 12 inches, one’s perspective of them changes as one walks by. Sometimes holograms or mirror shards wink at you as you move.

These pieces also change greatly depending upon light and time of day – sometimes they glow and dance in the sun, other times they lurk in shadow.

Here’s one mom and two Smith pieces in the north east corner of our sitting room.

Jokerman, 2003, 9″ x 9″, Mother Dwarf Smith – foto by Smith

This is Jokerman by Mother Dwarf Smith, aka Florence E. Smith, aka my mom – born 1926, died 2005. She asked me to name this for her and I offered Bob Dylan’s song of the same name because the Picasso-ish face on the left is from the cover art of one of my Bob Dylan singles – perhaps even the Jokerman 45 rpm record. Those are glittering costume jewel tears falling from the eye. This piece served as the art card for mom’s last show in 2005 just months before she died.

T.V.O.D. / Com Sat I, 2005, 49″ x 48″ x 8″ – art and foto by Smith

This is a large heavy piece four foot in diameter. I envision it as a communication satellite orbiting earth transmitting TV programs down – for example, the wicker horse could be a western being shown, while the mannequin arm with finger pointing is the satellite to earth transmission antennae. This is a wonderfully multi-leveled and complex piece that I never tire of looking at.

Free Bird, 1977, 16″ x 20″ – art and foto by Smith

This is the first piece I made for myself after I moved to Cleveland in 1977, after first making two thank-you collages for the wife I was being faithful to and her husband. It’s basically a state of the nation as shown by one month’s worth of Time magazines. There are three fotos of me in it – as a baby, a 17 year old, and in my early 30s. This is the first piece where I started adding all sorts of found objects – like barb wire, crustacians, glass, pepper, bottle caps, chains, billfold plastic, etc.

A few detail shots to establish context and content.

details of Smith art – fotos by Smith


21st century schizoidman

Saturday, November 7th, 2009

schizoidman – foto by Smith

Since we’ve expended nigh 9% of the 21st century already, here’s a 21st Century poem I wrote back in the 20th Century.

21st Century Schizoid Man

I’ve got certified rats in my rafters
Of legally voided mind waste
So excuse please these cancerous laughters
This spewing of petrified paste
Vague seekings through demented hereafters
I can’t find my mind’s been misplaced

Electron wails mournful my nay brain
Err trails its zinc aftertaste
This drivel due mad jolting sane pain
Embraces thy sameness posthaste
Dying I burp up my madness again
I can’t find my mind’s been misplaced

of when of where of what am i o god of whom of why
for seeketh then thou me thou see the be that thou belie

– Steven B. Smith, 1973

I wrote this in Loyola College in Baltimore after reading Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.

The poem’s three stanzas each represent one second:

1 – The second before electroshock therapy

2 – The second during electroshock during which the brain is scorched and the patient dies

3 – The second after electrodeath as the confused soul rises from the dead body into the aftermath.

I stole the title from a King Crimson’s song of the same name on their 1969 album In the Court of the Crimson King.

I don’t often explain poems because what I put into them frequently doesn’t equal what people will see or read in them since we each bring our own experience, expectation, perception and view to the equation. This is just to show you what I was thinking at the time. Whatever poem you read here is just as valid as the poem I wrote.

no place like om – foto by Smith


sex without nipples

Friday, November 6th, 2009

X – You are here – foto by Smith

This has nothing to do with me or mine except for my brain loving the alien beauty of it, but here are 18 gorgeous high-speed close-up fotografs by Corrie White of milk drops falling into water and splashing up.

And that should make up for this, my latest headline harvest from this soap opera mill we call life on Earth in the early 21st century.

~ ~ ~

Dead Bunny Toss Canceled, Town Outraged

Man Stuffs Mouth With 16 Cockroaches In Record Bid

The Unusual Sex Lives Of Sea Horses

Deer Swims Laps In North Carolina Pool


Dog Spends $62 While Owners Sleep

Why Don’t We Eat Pets?

LED Eyelashes Put A ‘Twinkle’ In Your Eye

What Do Blind People See When They Dream?

Are Womb Transplants The Next Frontier In Fertility?

“Restless Vagina Syndrome”: Big Pharma’s Newest Fake Disease

Bolivia’s Witch Markets Offer Llama Fetuses And More

Most Halloween Candy “Demonic,” “Prayed Over By Witches”

Muslim Woman Slashed Husband’s Throat For Being Too Western

77-Year-Old Man Beats Up Mugger With 2-Liter Bottle Of Pepsi

Is Junk Food As Addictive As Heroin?

Epic Forklift Crash Ruins Estimated $150,000 Of Vodka, Cognac

Sex without nippless

Dick Cheney Ogled My Wife’s Breasts

Breasts On Phone Bill: Customer ‘Flashed’ By Topless Photos

Jeremy Piven: Soy Milk Gave Me Man Boobs

Dolly Parton & Jessica Simpson Talk Big Boobs

Nicole Kidman: I Tried ‘Strange Sexual Fetish Stuff’

Man Gets 3 Years In Prison For Having Sex With A Horse

may u live in interesting times – foto by Smith
Lady made this gif for me out of 2 of my fotos


m, s & b

Thursday, November 5th, 2009

shadowbath – foto by Smith

Lady lamented things were getting a bit too surreal with her failing computer.

I replied I loved milk and surreal with bananas.

She called me a “silly man.”

Now I’m thinking that would make a great book title.

Or a poem line.

Or the name of a law firm.

Or a comedy team.

Maybe a rock band.

Milk, Surreal & Bananas.

Be a great way to lose weight as well – call it the Seriously Surreal Diet.

shadowbath – foto by Smith


5 lady k

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

west north wall – foto by Smith

Here are five of Lady K’s pieces, three made in Croatia in early 2007, two in France from late 2007.

I taught Lady my collage/painting/assemblage secrets January 2006 and she immediately started creating top-shelf pieces with her own vocabulary and got her first piece in an art show 3 months later. She had her first one-woman show in October 2007 when we returned to the U.S.A. the first time (she sold 6 or 8 pieces, more than I ever sold in a show).

I’ve taught two others my art tricks of the trade – my suicided brother Cat Smith and my dead mom Mother Dwarf. Both had serious shows and good press along the way – and like Lady, mom always sold better than I did.

In all three cases, a lot of folk prefer their art to mine.

Offworld V, 2007, 9″ x 14″, Lady K, Croatia – foto by Smith

Offworld IV, 2007, 9″ x 12″, Lady K, Croatia – foto by Smith

Future Fact I, 2007, 9″ x 12″, Lady K, France – foto by Smith

Black Leather Jacket, 2007, 9″ x 12″, lady K, France – foto by Smith

Offworld II, 2007, 6″ x 12″, Lady K, Croatia – foto by Smith


3 more me

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009

The Three Ways of Water, 2003, 19″ x 23″, Smith – foto by Smith

Paint and corrosion applied in thick layers with repeated iridescent white water washes. Highly textured. The grayish blob near the center is translucent, looks like ice. The three ways of water are solid, liquid, gas.

Barcode, 1997, 36″ x 24″, Smith – foto by Smith

I found these two ceramic color swatch test slabs in the garbage, glued them down and splashed paint all around to create my idea of a psychedelic barcode.

Madison Avenue, 1996, 17″ x 21″, Smith – foto by Smith

That’s Tammy Faye Baker’s face in the middle from a 45 rpm record I had of her singing “The Ballad of Jim and Tammy” (written and produced by Tom T. Hall, for you old country fans). The shiny pieces are mirror shards and holographic jigsaw puzzle pieces. The blue is copper corrosion.

sitting room, northwest wall – foto by Smith


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