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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 July, 2010

let yr hair up lady

Monday, July 19th, 2010

Who is this woman?

This is the lady poet who showed up at my door September 9, 2005 for a ride down to the Deep Cleveland Poetry reading.

Our first weeks dating, September-October 2005.

This is the Lady who moved in with me October 2005.

This is the Lady who married me March 2006.

This is the Lady who moved to Europe with me August 2006.

Traveling is hard on the hair, so the day before we left London, she had her hair shortened. This is Amsterdam September 2006.

Lady in Krakow, October 2006.

Lady in Albeilhon France 2007

Mexico Lady May 2008.

Lady K Cleveland April 2009 finally getting serious.

Lady K 17 July 2010 Cleveland Ohio.

Lady K working on her image July 2010.

For 32 years of fotos of Lady, try



Monday, July 19th, 2010

2nd rape victim I’ve come across on W. 14th in three weeks.


the house of escher

Sunday, July 18th, 2010

4-D 1 – foto by Smith

I’m a logical point person, yet have a fair flair for the non-logical, and usually flow surf the fare flare fairly well.

I’m willing to walk to B from A, but just as happy to slip-slide around back-side from Z. It’s the getting, not the got, after all.

But lately I realize I need better dancing tools because some of these new paths I now daily face from B to thee not only contain letters not in my alphabet, but frequently new alphabets with no letters at all, and even Alpha bets bent in beast — so it’s hard to skip or sidestep or jump promptly and proper when the lay of the land continuously relays itself — like living in an Escher-House in Escher-Ville in Escher-Land where the stairs and steps next to never align, and up down right wrong are not even on the map.

So I gotta get nimble, I gotta get slick, gotta top stoking with coffee or stick.

And figure out this new nth-dimensional dense dance damn quick.

4-D 2 – foto by Smith


And you know my name is Simon

Saturday, July 17th, 2010

I hope there’s some way we can work together to consume the proper amount of resources on this planet. To sustain our current rate of consumption, we would actually need seven planets, seven planet Earths just to sustain this. So, it’s very important. I’m committing to this art project, an idea I have of visualizing ideal reality and acting on this real reality to bring it more in accordance with the ideal reality.


the lady vanishes, 2010*

Friday, July 16th, 2010

before foto by Smith

I’ve been suggesting to Lady for years she should shave her head – half in jest, half serious. Don’t believe I’ve ever seen an unattractive bald woman – the lack of hair increases the power of their eyes where soul and intelligence lies.

Yesterday Lady bought a couple wigs so she could look professional when she goes to the office two days a week, and today tells me to chop off her hair. I cringe and ask if she is serious, then cut as much as possible with the scissors, and she and I shaved the rest.

She’s a good looking woman – powerful eyes, good smile – both draw attention to her intelligence.

during and after fotos by Smith
*The Lady Vanishes is a 1938 Alfred Hitchcock film


mainline from the grapevine of the uni-verse

Friday, July 16th, 2010

The Philosophers Stone

We actually create our universe within possibility boundaries. Pattern recognition can help one; if you juxtapose one pattern and try to overlay meaning atop, for instance, the narrative in your head or the conversations that you’re listening to in a restaurant or a social gathering you can use that as stochastic resonance to discern a new meaning, or a deeper meaning. It’s like a meditation stone. You can think, “How does this stone fit in to the context of my life?”


large loom of unwoven weave

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

part of found object art trash stash – foto by Smith

There’s been a bit of a Creature looming large and invisible over Lady’s and my adventures these past twenty-one months which I’ve been walking and waffling and writing around but never quite addressing because it intrudes into my loved one’s business — and her business is her business, as they say in the trade.

But anyone who’s been following Lady’s Face Book entries these past weeks, or watched her recent videos, or read her WalkingThinIce blogs knows she’s not quite processing the same neural net waves we are – rather she’s exploring alternate mindsets where God and Mother Earth weave messages into her mind compelling her to help the Earth by saving the bees and picking up all the litter she comes across on her daily five-mile runs.

She’s solving the litter problem by bringing the trash back here and recycling most of it while piling the rest on our dining room table for later use in collage and assemblage.

Now this is not as odd as it sounds because we put a sheet of plastic over the table months ago and turned it into our art work area. And we both bring street trash found objects home for future art use. Our wonderfully charming little one-person side nook’s floor is currently half-covered with a plastic tarp piled with such trash treasure as old-fashioned pocket watches; Obama buttons; funny glasses with eyebrows big nose and moustache; funky plastic toy cat head (way cool); one pink kid’s rubber sandal; chair rungs; costume jewelry; plastic skeletons; checkers; bottle tops; odd shaped metal from the street; car pieces; broken lamps; bed springs; old dress patterns; toys; crosses; plastic flowers; knife handles; colorful plastics; crystals; advertisements; jigsaw puzzles; broken old art; wood wire rust glass paper proper plastic playthings.

In fact she’s working on a piece right now unlike anything she’s done before – a radically different 30″ x 20″ assemblage that I wouldn’t want to see coming at me in a dark alley but would love to watch folk look at it on the wall. Don’t know where she’s going with it, but as Melissa Jay Craig would say, “It’s got good bones.”

As for her main task – saving the bees – her current effort consists of making and posting QR Codes (a fancy sort of art deco barcode that the new 3G and 4G Droid fones can read) to help bees find the nearest gardens, and hopefully how to find their way back to their lost hives. The implications of what’s needed to accomplish this floods my mind with way too many problems like bee language, pattern recognition, teaching the bees to read our computer generated QR Codes, the bee/human communication interface required to return information et al — and I need to read some of the articles she’s linked to on Face Book before getting into that.

But I do have two thoughts.

1 – The bees certainly do need saving, as does Mother Earth, her oceans, and all the creatures, critters and cauliflowers growing upon her.

2 – I try to look at Lady’s creative output from her bipolar visits to these other quantum states of reality as scouting reports from the otherside.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not making light of this – her mania costs her a lot mentally and emotionally, and my living with inconsistent random acts of reality 24/7 is often wearying and I frequently become churlish. It’s all quite a sticky-wicket.

Fortunately for me these past few days Lady has begun rebalancing from her recent mania — I say this for me because for her she’s higher and happier and more creative and plugged into the Cosmic Oneness when more manic, as anyone in their right mind would be, so for her this is a let down.

Artists and poets tend to be manic and obsessive creatures anyway when creating

Now that I’ve finally started writing a wee bit about this I can see it is a lot more complicated than I’d anticipated, so these reports from backside the mirror in tarnished brain land will trickle out inconsistently, a wedge at a time over time some time or another.

And I keep thinking as I listen to Lady saying how much immediate trouble we and the bees and the world are in of all those horror movies where the child sees real live earth eating monsters and runs to tell the adults about the monsters that are coming and the adults always say “Go away kid, bother someone else with your fairy tales.”

Of course it goes the other way as well – warn of wolves too many times without wolves showing up and they stop listening to you.

But in this case it’s the bees not showing up — literally 1/3 of them. Read this article

“One-Third of All Honeybees Died Last Winter, and That’s Not Even The Worst News Colony Collapse Disorder is still alive and well … even if U.S. bees are not, according to the fourth annual depressing survey of honeybees.


destruction of this sign violates federal law – foto by Smith


never met harvey pekar but i did publish him in artcrimes

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

Harvey Pekar page from ArtCrimes #4, 12 & 21 – fotos by Smith

Time to feed from the dead.

Harvey Pekar, 70 years old, creator of the American Splendor comic book and co-star of the American Splendor movie, died yesterday in his Cleveland Heights home.

I always thought I’d meet Harvey because I was friends with a good number of his friends and Harvey was in three issues of my art/poetry journal ArtCrimes, but it never happened – we were both too anti-social.

Pekar was in ArtCrimes #4 (1988), #12 (1992) and #21 (2006).

He appeared in 4 and 12 because poet Daniel Thompson — his good friend and my co-editor for those two issues — asked him to contribute work, and he appeared #21 because it was the last ArtCrimes and I asked his artist friend Gary Dumm to inquire if it’d be okay for me to re-print it.

Actually it was a re-re-printing because Pekar put the same page in all three issues.

When I watched the movie American Splendor it was like watching a replay of everywhere I’d been in Cleveland, and most of the folk I’d been there with – in fact my friend poet Daniel Thompson appeared in several stories of American Splendor.

So so-long Harvey. You did Cleveland proud, and you called General Electric the Great Satan to its face on its own David Letterman TV show. Way to go.

Here are a couple decent news articles on his passing.,0,6170883.story

Pekar panels from ArtCrimes #4, 12 & 21 – fotos by Smith



Sunday, July 11th, 2010

This is our mission: to help BP gain a conscience.


he only eats dead frogs when he has to

Saturday, July 10th, 2010

Dick Head at Tremont Art Walk – foto by Smith

I finally heard myself on our local National Public Radio station on its “Around Noon” program hosted by Dee Perry — I listened in the online archives to the Wednesday, July 7, 2010 episode titled “Matt Gallagher, Tift Merritt, and Tremont Art Walk”. The station is 90.3 WCPN.

The half-hour broadcast can be heard online at

The”How-the-Jeff-Chiplis-shooting-might-adversely-affect-the-Tremont-Art-Walk” portion hosted by David C. Barnett is 22 minutes into the show in his regular segment called “Idea Stream.”

The four folk quoted in Idea Stream are neon artist Jeff Chiplis; Councilman Joe Cimperman; friend, lawyer, and owner of Brandt Gallery Jean Brandt; and myself. Who’da thunk I’d be a voice of the community, what with my checkered past and present. I sounded like a semi-wise gravelly-voiced old-coot come down from the hills to see what the fancy folk are doing. It was a good show – didn’t tear down the community or try to frighten folk away, and included our positive quotes without glossing over the real problems any urban community faces. And none of the four of us sounded like idiots. A good day for the artists.

Last night was the first Art Walk since artist Jeff Chiplis was shot hours after last month’s ArtWalk, and local folk were worried the streets would be empty because people would stay away in fear — but the streets were packed with people and the restaurants all full, possibility even more so than last month, so no cultural art/restaurant/bar traffic loss occurred due to the robbery shooting. Tremont has the longest running monthly Art Walk in town and it’s a source of neighborhood energy, synergy and pride – we also have the most avant-garde art around, a bit of an edge in among the acceptable.

How to be a ladder without getting stepped on
by Doug Meyer, $200

The show I was in last night was a good one – Fear & Love diptychs curated by Shawn Mishak (of the punk band Kid Tested). Interesting work in a variety of styles and mediums. One diptych I liked a lot was a barbed-wire shadow ladder angling off a metal ladder.

Read more:

Dick Head outside the Doubting Thomas gallery – foto by Lady K

Outside the Doubting Thomas gallery I came across Dick Head aka Robert Ritchie and bought an art t-shirt from him. Gave him $10 for the t-shirt, and $10 for signed permission to use his poem “I Only Eat Dead Frogs When I Have To” in my memoir.

Dick Head, Smith, and tee-shirt outside Doubting Thomas gallery – fotos by Lady K and Smith

Lady K and her mother Jerie were also interviewed this week by The News-Herald for an article titled “Small-business owners will be busy with Entrepreneurship Academy at Lakeland“. She and her mother have a small web designing business, and the news article includes a minute twenty-one second video of Lady and her mom.

What are the odds of the two of us being interviewed by two different agencies in two different mediums and having them broadcast within two days of each other?

Are we stars yet? Where’s the gropies, the cookiecaine, the sweatmeats, the rollers of big cigars?

The man who interviewed me – David C. Barnett – reminded me he and I and Melissa Jay Craig had gone to the Euclid Tavern in the early 1980s to hear a band, then stumbled through the Donald Gray Gardens in back of the stadium until finally ending up at my 4th floor warehouse studio that I was paying $300 rent on for 3,000 square feet — with four 12-foot windows facing Lake Erie and nine more 12-foot windows facing downtown Cleveland. Those five years in the warehouse were my equivalent of Hemingway’s Paris in the 1920s – most every artist I know now I met then. Barnett had a collage in ArtCrimes #5 in 1988. He said an interesting thing as he left last week after the interview. Told me he was much younger than Melissa and I and that the amount of alcohol and the way we drank that night “frightened” him. The man has good instincts because those were leaving earth orbit via alcohol and drugs times, and Melissa and I were always lucky we made it back without hurting ourselves or others.

If you try long enough to be good, eventually you become better – or just older, slower, wiser and more tired – and then you stop frightening the youngsters.

Here’s David C Barnett’s piece in ArtCrimes #5 which was edited by Melissa Jay Craig.

David C. Barnett’s piece in ArtCrimes #5, 1988 – foto by Smith

My Fear & Love in Los Cleveland piece in the Doubting Thomas gallery diptych show was the smallest and oddest piece there, rather like it had snuck in at the end without invite or proper attire. But it was a good show, a lot of interesting art in various styles and philosophies and all the artists probably less than half my age. I’m glad the youngsters accepted me, if they did. Who knows, no feedback yet.

my piece in show – fotos by Smith

I asked Dick Head what he wanted for his tee-shirt and he said $10. Lady cried out “But that’s much too cheap!” Dick Head said “Yes I know but I like you guys so it’s $10 dollars.” So I told Dick Head I was going to make him a deal – I’d give him $10 for the shirt and another $10 if he’d sign a permission statement saying I could use his poem “I Only Eat Dead Frogs When I Have To” in my memoir for free. He said I could use any of his poems anytime because they were not copyrighted. So he signed, got the $20, and my mind is free. The poem has appeared in a couple ArtCrimes already.

Excerpt from Criminal –

Dick Head’s highlight was when he read poetry at the Old Brooklyn Inn wearing nothing but an octopus wrapped around his waist. The tentacles hung down, and so did Dick Head’s dick. He held a large stuffed green felt frog in his left hand, a butcher knife in his right hand, and stood on a plastic drop cloth as he shouted:

I only eat dead frogs
when I have to
lifes a bitch not a bore
Im a slut not a whore
live for lust
loves a drag
I only eat dead frogs
when I have to

Art is free
but paint cost money
The galleries are full
of commies faggots & more
I dont let it get me sore
Cus I only eat dead frogs
When I have to

Then he gut-stabbed the stuffed frog with the knife, and the cow entrails he’d sewn into it the previous night spilled out on the floor. One of the finest poetry moments I recall. Even the college kids sat up.

my fine legal document with Robert “Dick Head” Ritchie allowing me to use his poem “I only eat dead frogs when I have to” in my memoir – foto by Smith


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