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Archive for July, 2011

Mandycat Snaps

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

Cat clean – foto by Smith

New Smith/Ball song at Bare Cat Blues . . . from a poem three days old into a song two days young. My words and vocals, Peter Ball’s music and recording. Peter says, “Both of us sound like we are driving fast along a cliff road and may go over and meet the surf and rocks below any moment. Somehow we survive.”

There are 23 more Smith/Ball songs at

None of which has anything to do with today’s poem, except they’re both part of my July poem push . . . 9 senryu for Mandy’s 9 lives.

Mandycat Snaps

Does soft surface dance
paw paw press purr tail swish swish
making milk and bread

No mendicant she
It’s straight ahead need want now
No please or later

She is training me
She has hungers, she has needs
I’m the means they’re met

She works my buttons
Cries, rubs, purrs, scratches, bites
Get her wants and when

She does what she wants
Her path her time her meow
It’s her her herness

Cat folk live longer
It is because of the purr
And softness of fur

It is her head butts
Her little “Hey, you’re okay”
That make my day

She watches us
Small moves, big moves, in between
To replicate us

Heat has got her down
Full fur on floor hugging cool
Can’t find her zipper

— Smith, 7-21-2011

Cat water – foto by Smith


A Real Letter from Me to You

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

I attended a meeting last weekend about the “American Dream” movement they are building. Although associated with Democrats, I think this movement also encompasses progressive ideals. Everyone in the room was concerned about sustainability, the environment, peace, universal health care, good work, etc. Several people were very discouraged with some of the things President Obama has done, so there was a lot of conscientiousness and self-examination in the room.

Here’s some bit of news about the Gang of Six in the Senate:

They are trying to raise taxes on us and cut taxes on the rich, and cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. But we aren’t going to let them.

For young people reading this, these things might seem like things that don’t immediately matter or that it is useless, but they do, and there is hope that we can change things. I’ve seen the standard of living deteriorate and expectations deteriorate significantly over the past ten years. It is not unreasonable to see this turn around and become healthier. We have the resources and talent to turn things around. I had the pleasure of seeing a Democrat in Wisconsin get reelected last night after having made phone calls to do this; I’ve seen us raise over a million signatures for putting Ohio’s anti-collective bargaining SB-5 bill on the ballot so we can overturn it when we only needed to raise 230,000… I have been involved in these campaigns and it does help and it does matter.

One of the action items of last week’s meeting is to find five friends who will also participate in the movement to a small or large extent. As we are in such a time of flux, I think this is an important opportunity for people to engage and thus am providing this information with the thought that you’ll consider this and participate if you can. You can sign up for some information here: (newsletter signup on the right column of the screen.)

I understand that we live in a fast-paced society, but I think in this time of flux it is especially important to help ensure programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

I think also we’d seen a kind of deterioration in community life over the past twenty years, and now people are rebuilding community with local food movements, poetry, music… and activism is another way to rebuild and heal and socialize. I think that many have felt apathetic, estranged and horrified by the insanity of some of the stuff going on in the political realm. A way through this is to step into it and be part of healing via activism.



Empirical Dada

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

Braille of sea – foto by Smith

Empirical Dada

The Braille of sea
surface to touch
from bastion of be
to pluperfect plus

— Smith, 7-20-2011

Pluperfect plus – foto by Smith


The Monkey and the Weasel

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

The monkey – foto by Smith

The Monkey and the Weasel

Uneasy malaise
I see the fractures spreading
as each one remains
Cracks in the sidewalks
the city oozing ozone
crisis in the lane

Tomorrow rises
built of failures from today
yet hopes anyway
The tree leaves rustle
bird chirp insect run and weave
burst in new day dawn

— Smith, 7-19-2011

The weasel – foto by Smith


Bare Cat Blues

Monday, July 18th, 2011

Shame is not free . . . – foto by Smith

Bare Cat Blues

I lick my butter from a silver spoon
Yes I lick my butter from a silver spoon
Once a month I howl at the moon

My baby growed and left me for more
She done went and made me forlorn
Said I wasn’t packing as she slammed the door

I do not know how I got this far
Ain’t no way I done got this far
This living thing’s like juggling hot tar

I’m broke down and tumbled too
Been broken, beat, and humbled through
Happy ever after don’t seem to be true

Must lighten my load before I sink too deep
Cuz I’m ducking everything but the kitchen sink
While down the road lies death’s keep

I’m a simple man not easily fooled
Though simple-minded and frequently fool
My eye-closeds are spin-doctored wool

I seek for truth yet stumble through lies
Wasted my youth stalking the whys
Now I just fight the hive

Get up tomorrow and host my load
Lift-hearted romantic my engendering goad
I tote life’s line down the road

So I sniff my butter from a silver spoon
Cook new butter in a silvered tune
Lick me enough and I start to croon

— Smith, 7-18-2011

Self portrait – foto by Smith



Sunday, July 17th, 2011

Waterwave – foto by Smith


Two ways of water
fast slow hard soft light heavy
always yes and no

Three ways of water
ice liquid gas holy be
in one wet worship

— Smith, 7-16-2011

Nightwater – foto by Smith


Back Track

Saturday, July 16th, 2011

Sky Smith – foto by Smith

Back Track

Oh I once was a cow
Then I was a horse
None of it is now
I done run that course

They say I know a lot
On that they’re all quite wrong
I fake it on the spot
And act like I belong

There’s more than one of me
All looking out within
We all take turns to see
Which of us will win

It’s not that I’m at war
Not fighting me inside
It’s more like we all share
Me in me with me reside

So though I’m not true man
I can fake it good
I just watch you humans
Pretend I’m of the hood

Yet much you do is odd
Hurts others, costs big bucks
Goes against the sod
Reduces global luck

Not sure you’re what I want
Your footsteps seen too small
Your can’t becomes my can
Your going bringing fall

— Smith, 7-16-2011

Mutant me – foto by Smith


Haiku Death Matches

Friday, July 15th, 2011

Fallen monks – foto by Smith

Haiku death matches
leave monks lying in the road
as sin saunters on

— Smith, 7-15-2011

When it rains . . . – foto by Smith


Onward Ho

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

1 minute family – foto by Smith

Onward Ho

We clawed through the sea
belly flopped onto land
till wretched in wealth
we poisoned our glands

We cut down the trees
befouled our own nest
gave the dogs fleas
and messed with the rest

And now running us
greed dressed in suits
a big moral muss
that none can refute

The balance of fair
is lost in this life
where our given share
is trickle-down lies

There’s more than enough
but not much more time
share some of the stuff
or pay for the crime

Because if you don’t
this card house will fall
be a world of won’t
collapse on us all

— Smith, 7-14-2011

Hotel terror – foto by Smith


No TV for Me + P.I.R.S.A.W.

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

Window woman – foto by Smith

No TV for Me

News depresses me
with its shallow anger and hate
but what gets me more
is doing our laundry
at the Soap Opera Laundromat
having to hear Drew Carey
call contestants down
to The Price is Right stage
where they bounce
and jiggle
and squeal
and wiggle and squirt
in greed of need
and want to flaunt
something for nothing
in quarter hour fame
before the shame
of being same
all small and normal

— Smith, 7-13-2011

Here’s an older The Price Is Right poem from a suicided poet named Steve Melton aka steve e gloom which I published in Artcrimes #5 Self Portraits & Poor Self Traits May 1988.

by steve e gloom aka Steve Melton

The price is right studio audience women
Are unbeautiful and have unfurnished minds.
                 I see
                 And hear them
                 They called
                 HER NAME –
                 She came.
                 She came on down
                 Oohing and dying

This is the pathetic substance of life
Pitiful, like the price is right, Me.
Blank. Coffee. Easy. Chair.
The price is right studio audience women
Annihilate all that is real.
Their screams are my screams.

Their sordid pricing dreams I share

Window woman – foto by Smith


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