Closed Shop

2nd chance – foto by Smith

Closed Shop

I used to have dilemmas
a whole herd of them
until I sold them for a pack of solutions
but I was better at holding dilemmas
than hustling solutions
so lost it all
but at least the dilemmas were gone

— Smith, 8.31.2011

Dilemma – foto by Smith

Laptop Dance

It’s all relative – foto by Smith

Laptop Dance

Set laptops in laps
“Armed, Captain”
open monitor lids
“Shields raised and ready”
turn on
“Make it so”
go cyberwhere
parasitic lap lover
excreting heat and bitten bytes
symbiotic sex self
slaving in lap
mingling freqs
freak to geek
pulse to pulse passion
flowing go
upload and down
with a bit of the old port in n out
until she cries
“Use me used, you USB”
(if only I had more RAM in my ROD)

— Smith, 8.30.2011

Ramifications – foto by Smith

Do the cat dance

Shadow cat – foto by Smith

I find I keep writing the same poem . . . a haiku/senryu about our cat Mandy doing her little cat-dance where she’s making-milk-or-bread while two-legged doing her two-paw push-push into a soft blanket, her tail swishing back and forth while she purrs ecstatically. Found these three from the past two years; there are probably more. Anyway, it’s a good excuse to show my new cat-shadow fotos.

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

Shadow cat – foto by Smith

Cat making milk with
paws pushing plush pile blanket
purr tail lashing

Shadow cat – foto by Smith

Push push the plush plush
Cat makes milk on soft blanket
Her purring our heart

Shadow cat – foto by Smith

the catbird bop

The Owl & the Pussycat, 2011, 39″ x 27″ x 7″- assemblage & foto by Smith

The Owl & the Pussycat Have Sex

Such a strange love this fowl and feline
this bond between cat and bird
in waters deep beyond their reach
a heck of a hoot
in their catbird heat
with a fine feathered furring for each.

Except that
this part here
won’t fit that part there
and just where does what enter what
and if they do
and these things merge
do their children
an egg-fur-flux future share?

Or if cat and bird
choose even stranger loon
perhaps they’d do it doggie style
while howling, hooting
and meowing at the moon.

— Smith, 8.28.2011

Titled my new assemblage The Owl & the Pussycat, so wrote this send-off poem to christen it into this fairy tale-less world.

Check out the original poem by Edward Lear which he wrote in 1871 for the 3-year old daughter of a friend . . . I’ve included it after the following fotos.

The Owl & the Pussycat, 2011, 39″ x 27″ x 7″- assemblage & fotos by Smith

The Owl and the Pussycat
– by Edward Lear, 1871

The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea
In a beautiful pea green boat,
They took some honey, and plenty of money,
Wrapped up in a five pound note.
The Owl looked up to the stars above,
And sang to a small guitar,
‘O lovely Pussy! O Pussy my love,
What a beautiful Pussy you are,
You are,
You are!
What a beautiful Pussy you are!’

Pussy said to the Owl, ‘You elegant fowl!
How charmingly sweet you sing!
O let us be married! too long we have tarried:
But what shall we do for a ring?’
They sailed away, for a year and a day,
To the land where the Bong-tree grows
And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood
With a ring at the end of his nose,
His nose,
His nose,
With a ring at the end of his nose.

‘Dear pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling
Your ring?’ Said the Piggy, ‘I will.’
So they took it away, and were married next day
By the Turkey who lives on the hill.
They dined on mince, and slices of quince,
Which they ate with a runcible spoon;
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
They danced by the light of the moon,
The moon,
The moon,
They danced by the light of the moon.

I just love that dancing by the light of the moon stuff. An unfinished sequel, The Children of the Owl and the Pussycat, was published posthumously in 1938. This is what made me wonder how owl and pussycat cohabitated, how they did their catbird bop.

7 = cover boy

foto by Smith

I’ve had six of my fotografs used for book covers these past two months (+ one back in 2008 for which I actually got paid $100 by the publisher), all by request of the poets and writers, which tickles my ego pleasure center no end.

The foto above on Bree’s autobiography the Rainbow Sweater & My Mother was taken in poet/artist Peter Leon’s studio this year. The book contains “stories of LSD, karma, chronic pain, the poets’ life, daughterhood and Buddhism” and is available via Bree’s Green Panda Press for $10 at

foto by Smith

This was taken in a display window in the ancient city of Pula on the southern tip of Croatia’s Istrian coast back in 2006. It will be the cover of Chris Brook’s upcoming chapbook The City Shaman’s Notebook soon to be published by Vertigo Xi’an Xavier’s The Poet’s Haven Press. Several of the poems in Chris’ book were inspired by my wife Lady K (who is indeed inspirational).

foto by Smith

This foto was taken inside the walled city of Essaouira, Morocco on the northwest coast in 2007. Sara Holbrook asked to use it for her book More Than Friends by Sara Holbrook and Allan Wolf.

Sara’ is a well known children’s book author, and her many books may be ordered at

fotos by Smith

Last month I had the front and back cover’s of Dianne Borsenik’s best haiku/senryu Blue Graffiti published by John Burrough’s Crisis Chronicles Press. It is available for $5 from
Crisis Chronicle Press.

fotos by Smith

And finally last week I had the front and back covers of my own chapbook Unruly published by John Burrough’s Crisis Chronicles Press. It is available for $5 from
Crisis Chronicle Press.

Except for Sara Holbrook’s book, these covers are all from the past two months, which is rather a nice run for me. There are more fotos I’ve let others use as covers, but I’ve forgotten which ones because I no longer keep lists of shows, covers, publications, readings, etc because it became too masturbatory. All I keep now are the dates of my poems as I write them.

Folly Unfettered

Me on Target security TV monitor – foto by Smith

Here’s another audio adventure into the nether regions of word and sound — Unfettered Folly . . . the music, mix and recording are by Peter Ball (aka Apartment One) while the lyrics, a few odd sounds and the multitude of voices be me.

This is an odd song . . . it builds in its swampy hypnotic slinky snaky loopy way into a tribal dance about the cyberfire. It perks up a bit at the minute-ten point and really picks up again around the two-twenty mark, then rolls around awhile gathering energy awhile, briefly falls apart, regains its balance and finally whispers its way home.

These music jams with Peter are an interesting process. They’re live with no rehearsal and I have no idea what he is going to play. Once he starts, I try to fit my words to his music, and sometimes it takes me half a song to get it. And lately we’ve been adding 3-4 tracks to help hide my vocal misfortunes and flesh out the song.

I now have 27 Smith/Apartment One songs online at

Adult oriented material – foto by Smith

our corporate anthem

Bridget McGuire, Jeff Chiplis (kneeling) and myself wiring – foto by Steve Lambert

Spent Tuesday down at the SPACES Gallery helping an artist wire the CAPITALISM part of a 20 foot truck bed sign saying CAPITALISM WORKS FOR ME so blinking lights can flash within the letters as the viewing public goes up to a voting kiosk to vote TRUE or FALSE, with each vote count tabulated on a LED display in the sign. I wired the “I” and “T”, so I’m the capitalism IT man. (See foto above)

Here’s the promo for the piece:

Steve Lambert’s “Capitalism Works for Me!” exhibit is a 20-foot-long lighted sign that allows visitors to vote ‘true’ or ‘false’ through a kiosk and accompany LED scoreboard. The sign will first be shown at SPACES and travel around Cleveland before touring to Boston, Santa Fe, Los Angeles and other cities in the U.S. Check it out on Monday, Aug. 29th between 6:30 and 9 pm at the Capitol Theatre! Find out more about SPACES’ “Capitalism Works for Me!” exhibit

Steve Lambert can be checked out at

~ ~ ~

On Your Knees Please
(and let’s hum the Corporate Anthem)

Lost degenerates’ breast whipped intentions
Horseradished and foreskin unfurled
Now scheme clitoral dreams
And corporate corporeal retention.

Lies lie your why and my
Rubber stamped existence.
Live like the less.
Don’t focus.
Don’t rest.
Suck tit or lick long extension.

— Smith, 1989

Capitalism (parking lot mockup) by Steve Lambert – foto by Steve Lambert

A Flux in the Flow

Yin yang – foto by Smith

A Flux in the Flow

Which craft would you take
The clean sweep or the cage?

— Smith, 8.23.2011

Rocksalt & a hard place – foto by Smith

Ylem 1

Point of view – foto by Smith

Ylem 1

They’re never simple, simple things
got cause just neath the surface
teeth in nasty places
two sides to each equation
plus bystander option
ain’t no one or other
all or nothing is myth
it’s leggos of egos
layered in sayer
cathedral cards raised in mist

You just have to hope the rope holds
that you scramble through simple sans sin
while rushing forward
juggling onward
forewarned by past spins of the skin

— Smith, 8.22.2011

Ylem — pronounced eye-lum, kinda like island — is the name of the stuff that existed before stuff existed.

If our universe is expanding, the nothingness we’re expanding into is a somethingness called ylem. I don’t know if the ylem we’re expanding into just becomes more dense as we cramp its space, or if the pre-stuff ylem is also expanding into non-stuff which existed before ylem — perhaps this pre-pre-stuff-stuff is called mely, or pre-ylem.

Of course all of this is a joke because the entire universe is a hologram according to some recent theories so there ain’t no real stuff pre-or-post-ylem around anyway and we’re all just programmed projection. I think we’re like cosmic TV which these humongous pre-ylem eyeball gods watch for amusement. If that’s true, the best way to stay alive is to make the EyeBalls laugh . . . do that and they keep extending your contract.

I figure there are a more ylem poems coming down the line, assuming I keep the godz laughing.

Ylem girl – foto by Smith


Unruly published by Crisis Chronicles Press – fotos by Smith

Got to see my new chapbook “Unruly” last night at the Night Fragments reading. Good book. Contains 25 of my poems and two of my fotos, Poems selected, arranged and published by John Burroughs of Crisis Chronicles Press. He printed the poems crosswise on blue-ruled 3-hole school writing paper, with the blue lines vertical, the poetry horizontal, the holes across the bottom.

You can purchase it for $5 at Crisis Chronicle Press.

Mostly brand new poems — 7 from 2011, 15 from 2010, and one each from 2004, 1990, and 1968. Here’s a short one that sums it up.

Me, Myself and Lie

There’re three mes in me:
skin, brain, and bone
and none of them will leave me alone.

— Smith, 2010

Lady reading at Night Fragments – Poetry in the Dark 8.20.2011 – foto by Smith

Great reading last night. Lady was on fire both word and performance. She started by lighting a beeswax candle handmade by monks, stuck it in a pail of Lake Erie sand, sat it on the stage, turned around and said “Welcome. I am the ambassador from Planet Cleveland here to your Planet Lorain.” She spoke almost preached on spirituality and saving the planet then read 4-5 long poems. Well received.

I had my best reading in a long while. Got my mojo back. Had a pretty good performing groove going before we left the country in 2006 — I could usually quiet the room — but after three years away it was gone. Last night’s brand new audience finally primed my pump. I know what I’m doing again.

Afterward, a 70 yr old woman came up and said I had a way with words, didn’t think they made them like me anymore, and going through the door, turned, did a quick lean-in crouch with raised thumb and said “You’re the bomb.” Wow.

Lady reading at Night Fragments – Poetry in the Dark 8.20.2011 – foto by Smith