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Archive for May, 2011

Hamburger all over the highway

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

Sunny days – foto by Smith

I’m going to start re-posting a few of my favorite poems I’ve written over the past 48 years. They’ve been seen before but not by my new readers, and I feel an urge to reestablish my bona fides.

But first, an update on my hip replacement and a recommendation to those of you possibly in the same pain.

Well, the doctor said no driving for eight weeks after surgery. Tomorrow makes three weeks since they cut me open and chopped and channeled my chassis, and yesterday I drove 60 miles back from Lady’s parents because it was best that way since I was awake and she wasn’t — and our last ride home with her driving asleep at the wheel was the scariest ride of my life (and I’m the guy who actually rolled his own car upside down in his own driveway – of course I was going way over 60 mph at the time, which ain’t easy to do in a driveway). Last night I figured I’d rather incur some extra leg pain driving so we wouldn’t become part of that old 1970’s comedy group Firesign Theatre’s famous quote “And there’s hamburger all over the highway in Sector Seven.”

I think maybe the doctor knew what he was talking about on not driving because today I hurt in new places. No damage done, but a wee bit of caution learned.

As for the hip replacement – anyone out there in serious hip pain, go for the operation. It’s changed my life; in fact it’s given me my life back. The years of horrendous debilitating bone grinding against bone pain was gone as soon as I woke up. And the bad torn-flesh pain only lasts about two weeks after the operation and there are a lot of pain pills to help you make it through the night.

Two days after the operation I was home. Two days later we went to a party. Two weeks later I’m walking without crutches or cane. It’s like magic, the proverbial before and after. If the doctor wanted, I’d make a free commercial for them praising them to the skies.

I’m poor and had to wait 6 years so Medicare would pay for the operation, but if you hurt and you’re covered, go for it. It’s literally a miracle.

Anyway, for the next few days I’m blogging some Smith classics, poems that always work when I read them to audiences, poems I’m still proud of 5 decades down the road, poems from each of those five decades – starting with this.

Dear Occupants, Accidents & Occidentals

Just yesterday it was yesterday
Now it’s already today

Confuse not mercy with weakness
Confuse weakness not with an upset liver
And confuse not an upset liver with love
It is the shape of the silence
Which defines the sound
Like winter rubbing against summer
Each refines the other

Only certain curtains can be drawn
The rest must be endured
The souring sermons
The centered self serving
The lion den Christians in Coliseum stands
Twixt ape and angel wandering
Torn between the knowledge
And the need

Do I worship the moon or sun
Or yet the blooded one?
I bloat and smell
Decay in age
The focus runs

— Smith, 2003

Lady K, her Grandmother Lenore, her parents’ dog Miles – foto by Smith



Monday, May 30th, 2011

This is episode one. Next episode: FISHTHING AND THE CHAIN GANG OF CAUSATION


House of Would

Monday, May 30th, 2011

The house of would – foto by Smith at Chiplis Studio

A friend named Anonymous sent me these lines. I find they contain a lot of truth and are right fine. This friend has got to be real old because Anonymous has been writing poetry since before Shakespeare. Wonder if it’s really Diogenes?

I heard it I swear,
that to remember is fine
to forget is divine.
Fresh picked fresh vine fresh thread fresh mind
never can be controlled
only satisfied.

— Anonymous

These lines reminded me of something in the Bible about “The eyes can never be filled” — because no matter how much you have, no matter how much you see, the eyes and I’s want more.

Here’s my Eye and I poem . . . the Eye of course being God. I know some of you have seen this poem too many times, but poems ain’t a use once and toss commodity. Plus I give you new pictures this time and a brand new lead-in, so what more do you want. This is one of the poems I love to read to audiences, especially when I get to the “Ah yes, it’s all tits and toothpaste” stanza where I always get a great reaction.

Lamentation 5 – The Faithful Bewail

As Eye and I went walking
And Eye and I were talking
Eye on I was watching
So shake your booty Buddha boy
Can’t you spare a paradigm?

For me wanna marijuana
And me wanna do the dog
Bow the wow to shady lady
Leap and lap her fire log
Oh let me be your poodle boy

All aboard the Cardboard Express
Fresh in fresh sin and absolution
You can keep your Hallelujahs
Let me have my Loch Ness Jesus
Nam myoho renge kyo

Oh yes
It’s all tits and toothpaste
A test tease totality
In textbook time

But I am not bothered by grace
Why watch the dead rework the living
Embalm our worst in overtime
Famous faces in golden places
Never look to me
To see Zen flesh-less-ness to be

Serpent servant sorrows sire
Brags big broths in briny bowls
But aftermath of meat belief
Is math to meat retreat

So Eye and I still walking
Though Eye and I not talking
But Eye on I am watching
So do your duty Buddha buddy
Cue this cat to paradigm

— Smith, 2004

World wide whirl whorl – foto by Smith



Sunday, May 29th, 2011

Grandma and have a picnic breakfast a couple times a week. This week we went to a lakeside park…

We walked up to the lake but they wouldn’t let us in.

“We are in jail,” I told Grandma. “We’re landlocked.”

Grandma and I have this love of dressing up like ragdolls, with striped shirts, the color pink, patterns. Quite often when I pick her up, we’re wearing something eerily similar.

Her father named her after Lenin. He had two families, our family, and a secret family. He gave all his money to the communists. Grandma had to go begging to him for money. All this responsibility for a little girl.

Sometimes I call her “my little baby Grandma.”

At various times, Grandma and her brothers were in an orphanage. Her mother had periods of insanity (brought on by syphilis given to her from Grandma’s father.) Sometimes Grandma ran away from the orphanage, back home to her mother.

At one point, Grandma was living with her mother, and her brothers were still in the orphanage. She went two streets down and found a brother playing in a school playground. She grabbed his hand and took him home.

“You see this skirt?” she said. “I wore this skirt for you. I thought you’d like it.”

Lady K in 48 years? Maybe. I’d be glad to look like Grandma.

“Do you remember how I used to dress?” she asked.

“Yes,” I said. You wore black or blue polyester pants and you had a couple shirts you wore regularly. You dressed this way most of my life. Then, one day, Grandpa took you shopping, and told you to buy pink for a change. You started wearing all these colorful clothes.”



Lie now, pay later

Sunday, May 29th, 2011

I’ll buy that- foto by Smith

Lie Now, Pay Later

You pay for what you get
You get for what you do
All part of karmic net
All ripples on one pool

If you do what would be don’t
If you don’t that which you should
Your will will turn to won’t
Your won’t will wreck your would

Your bill might be delayed
Your fate may look okay
Eventually dismayed
Your soul will have to pay

Look deep in looking glass
Turn in and weigh your heart
Your ass will be bit by past
Your spirit lose its spark

What goes does come back round
Your lies will one day surface
And you won’t feel so proud
Exposed before your purpose

Your greed just leads to dark
Your fear weaves more worry
Keeping yourself apart
Will only lead to sorry

We’re all one giant web
Connected by each move
None of the lies you’ve said
Will single sin remove

Act now or pay more later
Be good before you’re gone
Karma’s an alligator
Which feeds on what you spawn

— Smith, 5-28-2011

Over Tip Top – foto by Smith (Chiplis Studio)


flow surfer, sifting flux

Saturday, May 28th, 2011

Float away – foto by Smith at Chiplis Studio


How weary do I journey on my way
Travel metered not by mile but by day
Seeking naught the moment signing this way’s end
But instead the mending of my last way’s wend

— Smith, 1967

Still trying to mend my way’s wending 44 years further down the road. The more I learn, the less I know; the less I know, the more I am.

I’m a flow surfer, sifting flux.

flux (extreme closeup of Chiplis neon joint) – foto by Smith


Rat Rut Race

Friday, May 27th, 2011

Monkey butt – foto by Smith

Rat Rut Race

Hi ho cheerio up and away
And so I begin another day

Another day of two less thoughts
Another play with two yes plots

Two yes plots, three of no
Turn the key and away I go

— Smith, 1965

That’s my 19 year-old me 46 years ago, when I was a Plebe in the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis. My days did seem rather wind-up and mechanical in a military way, a state I always had trouble with, which is probably why I was kicked out two and a half years later for weed.

Now that I have a new Second Chance Dance at life with my new hip, I have to find a way to increase my yes plots, lower my no plots, rise above my old self — must not only learn and live, but relearn to live.

And that ain’t easy. Old inner tape loops and my previous exoskeleton are still trying to lead me down paths I no longer wish to walk.

New hip, new walk; new walk, new path; new path, new chance; new chance, new dance — new life to enhance both for me and those around me . . . and Mother Earth as well.

2nd chance dance – foto by Smith at Chiplis’ Studio



Thursday, May 26th, 2011

My wands.

It seems too much of my reality is rear view mirror hindsight. I see a clue, then I see its reflection later in some outcome, word, action. Many of these reflections and clues hint at the old myths, the old dreams, the old magic.

I’ve too often had a worried view of the future, a post-apocalyptic mechanistic expectation that this planet is going to become uninhabitable for many species.

I’ve been thinking of ways to visualize and coax and heal rather than expect the worst. It’s worked for me in some ways, at least according to my perception, and is a bit fun. I’d like to dare to dream and be irrational, because it seems more fundamentally rational to be conventionally irrational than to be conventionally sane.

According to some, all this is a gauzy dream, a reflection in we scriven. I’d like to make offerings to the reflection, promises to the dream.

All this comes with a caveat. My caveat is that I must perform ethical and joyous actions within conventionally rational domains in order to show commitment to the dream. This is what I consider my contract with the Universe-God-It-Ess-One-All-Thing.

My friend’s wand:

“In Wicca and Ceremonial magic, practitioners use several magical tools including wands for the channeling of energy—they serve a similar purpose to the athame although the two have their distinct uses. While an athame is generally used to command, a wand is seen as more gentle and is used to invite or encourage. Though traditionally made of wood, they can also consist of metal or crystal. Practitioners usually prune a branch from an Oak, Hazel, or other tree, or may even buy wood from a hardware store, and then carve it and add decorations to personalize it; however, one can also purchase ready-made wands. In Wicca the wand usually represents the element air, or sometimes fire, although contemporary wand makers also create wands for the elements of earth and water as well. The wand is most often used by modern Pagans, witches, Shamans and others in rituals, healing and spell casting.”

My friend’s wand:




Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

communities, ideas and twigs

(Explanation of picture: I was thinking today that sometimes we are individuals in a community of others but we can bust through to another shell in which we find in the old otherness a home. Other thoughts about the shell and attributes in layers, too, the yin yanginess of it all vs the whole egg cocoon monad thing. And more. And on anon. Monkeys with typewriters from Shakespearean Gods.)

Feeling mania coming on. I’ve mostly averted it during Smith’s operation and recovery with liberal doses of Gabapentin and the occasional Prince Valium, less coffee, moderate running, etc. The doses of emotional medical joyrides and the forging forward bursting green mother load of spring and its resultant creativity are challenging waters for this raft. Alternately joyous with an hope that I don’t go overboard from into more uncontrollable deluges, which make me feel nauseated with myself.

“I don’t understand why I can’t feel calm naturally, without a pill,” I tell Smith.

“That’s what meditation’s supposed to do,” he says. “That’s what Yoga’s supposed to do. But sometimes it takes years of practice.”

“So meditation is sedation?”

“No, it’s calmness without sedation. It’s the ride without the ticket.”



Back Story Blues

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

War, 2003, 17″ x 13″ x 4″ – assemblage & foto by Smith

Time to reintroduce myself to new and old with this freshlyly updated cliff notes version of my basic back story, my anti-cv, my real résumé . . . 65 years of the good, the bad and the real ugly.

Smith 2011

Bitterroot Mountain born

farm boy cow milker chicken-rabbit-hog waste remover
hod carrier

paper boy
car thief
house wrecker
radar electronics technician
USNA Midshipman
life insurance salesman

armed robber
prison cook
graphic arts salesman
Bethlehem Steel extra man
snow cone flavor delivery man
college graduate
newspaper film / music / book / stage critic
avant garde theater manager
women’s shoe salesman
computer operator
drug dealer
carnival laborer
church janitor

programmer analyst
condo owner

near dead
european traveler

10 countries 3 continents 31 months

hip replacementee

— Prologue to soon to be self published memoir titled

Stations of the Lost
a true tale of
armed robbery, stolen cars, outsider art, mutant poetry,
underground publishing, robbing the cradle, and leaving the country

by Smith & Lady

Vampires on the Beach – assemblage & foto by Smith


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