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Archive for August, 2012

Flesh Form

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

the spirit rose – foto Smith

Flesh Form

Not so much I mind the flesh
but the pains,
sweat, elimination, eating,
not being able to fly
are not to my design.
I want to soar, swoop, swirl, whirl . . .

Except I do mind this meat prison me
free flow flux
caged in flesh
when I wish sky, beyond, why . . .

— Smith, 8.30.2012

fleshform- foto Smith


Compassion is most applicable for those in need of it

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

Compassion comes from a limitless well and we don’t have to dole it out sparingly. As a matter of fact, compassion is most called for in circumstances that try patience.

I think specifically of the Cleveland Five, mostly overgrown kids, young men who were part of the Occupy Cleveland movement. The FBI people came up with a plot to blow up a bridge, resources to do the plot, approached these young men with the idea, and encouraged and coaxed them to do it.

The five were among the most irresponsible of the bunch of activists—immature, some troubled. At least one of them had been to prison before.

But they are lovable despite all this, to me, at any rate. I’ve been through troubled times, and I think many excellent people have had these times, and it’s just something one gets over with time. These kids had an adolescent, creative spirit. I think of one of them and how he dressed, River Phoenix good looks, purposefully torn jeans. These kids wanted to be part of something larger than themselves.

The fact that they were caught up in a good movement was great (Occupy Cleveland operates according to principles of nonviolence), but unfortunately in Cleveland they were victimized by someone working on trying to discredit the movement.

The Cleveland Five had ideals despite falling for the plot. They thought outside of their own needs much of the time. They actually participated immensely in the maintenance of the info tent downtown. It was physically and mentally hard because one would not really know if another person was going to come for relief. Also, cold during the winter. Heck, they were out there all winter for lengthy periods of time, a lot of them!

They helped feed the homeless and they also made Public Square safer. Crime went down in the square when the movement was there. And these young men were a part of the movement.

I felt that due to their immaturity, remnants of adolescent anger and bravado, they were more susceptible to the person who was working for the FBI. The FBI person came up with the plot and supplied the means. Without him doing that, the young men would’ve not done anything like what they are being punished for.

It was unfair. It was like creating a virtual reality environment in which no harm can be done (because the explosives were set up to not work) and luring susceptible people in, but then punishing them for real as though they’d masterminded the situation.

Another analogy: it’s like those FBI people were drug pushers going around a junior high school tempting students. In that case, the law might penalize the drug pushers rather than the junior high school students who fall for the drugs. The students might get counseling whereas the pusher might go to jail.

In my opinion the proper course of action is for the young men to go to psychiatric hospitals for a year or so and then be released. And for the FBI to be investigated by Congress and/or its own internal quality control mechanisms such that it stops entrapping people! Entrapment like what the FBI did = causing bad situations. Entrapment does not equal solving problems. Entrapment only equals causing problems.

You can help with legal costs of four of the five here…

~ Lady



Masked Parade

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

Ever feather – foto Smith

Masked Parade

Butterfly in bed
color gone

Which face do I wear?
There’s a man playing discontinuous saxophone in a chair.

Things change real fast these days
and I’m way behind.

Butterfly blossom
leaves old tired shrunken husk
rises to new light.

— Smith, 8.29.2012

in wink’n’nod – foto Smith



Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

Out – foto Smith


My life is like a book
which is cool
but it’s not always
the one I want to be reading
right now

— Smith, 8.28.2012

In – foto Smith


that’s Pat’s in the Flats #2

Monday, August 27th, 2012

Pat’s in the Flats, found-neon assemblage by Chiplis – foto Smith

Sold nine copies of the memoir at a reading. It was a strange sensation, exceeding expectation. We have three copies left to sell and five more readings scheduled . . . better buy another box of books.

I was off inwardly as emcee for yesterday’s Poetry at Pat’s in the Flats reading. My previous two MC gigs this year were both new, fresh, off the cuff, exciting — which sparked my inner light. Yesterday was my first attempt at duplicating a previous gig and I wasn’t ready. When you have a regular gig, spontaneity flies out the door and spontaneity is what drives me behind the mic, so preparation’s needed next time.

Maybe having to hawk the book also added to my unease . . . I hate hawking. Before October’s Poetry at Pat’s in the Flats I’ll have to probe my psyche, practice my patter, maybe pull out a performance — but then my whole *performance* is about not having a *performance*, so that wouldn’t work very well.

I even read badly from my own book. I’m not used to reading badly these days . . . usually so-so is as low as I go.

But machts nichts because bottom line I had a great time; the featured poets were top-notch, the open mic readers each worthy of featuring, and the music by Malphonia was so sweet, poignant, evocative of another time and place . . . even old-fashioned in the best way of the word. One of the open mic poets (Mikel) even pulled out a bassoon and played a short number . . . what a beautiful looking and sounding instrument (although you don’t really pull out a bassoon, you take it out piece by piece by piece by piece by piece and assemble it).

So, seiza ya sometime in late October when we have the Fall Session, Poetry at Pat’s in the Flats #3 . . . it might be held outside on the back patio under the autumn sky, and they’ll likely let me emcee. Gotta get better at this public persona stuff, especially if the memoir makes it.

Some bands that’ve played at Pat’s in the Flats past 30 years – fotos Smith

Pat’s in the Flats – fotos Smith

Shelly Chernin on ukulele – foto Smith

Malphonia (1st foto is more accurate) – fotos Smith

Door to men’s room – foto Smith

Lady listening – foto Smith

Ambience at Pat’s in the Flats – foto Smith


U square not there

Saturday, August 25th, 2012

blurb in Scene by Anastasia Pantsios

Tomorrow a.k.a. Sunday a.k.a. August 26, 2012 is our 2nd seasonal session of Poetry at Pat’s in the Flats from 11am to 3pm featuring poets Mary Weems, Russ Vidrick, Tom Orange, Steve Thomas, Milenko Budimir, and Shelley Chernin with music by Malphonia (who are Joe Milan on accordion and vocals, Steven Mastroianni on euphonium, trumpet, vocals, the stylings of Milenko Budimir on Micro-Percussion). Open mic to follow as time permits, although I may open with open mic as well . . . being emcee, I can do that.

Poetry at Pat’s in the Flats is put together by Jean Brandt of the Brandt Gallery and happens once each season. This is Summer Session.

Pat’s in the Flats — “working-man bar by day, blue-collar rock club at night” — 2233 West Third, Cleveland Ohio . . . (At the bottom of the Literary hill on the eastern edge of Tremont.) 216-621-8044

We’ll have a few copies of my memoir Stations of the Lost & Found available for sale as well . . . 364 pages, $20.

Chiplis found-neon assemblage at Pat’s in the Flats – foto Smith



Friday, August 24th, 2012

Shadowlight – foto Smith


We see the garbage, the mud
but miss that lotus grows from both.

No mud, no lotus.
No lotus, all mud.

— Smith, 8.23.2012

Lightshadow – foto Smith


cover boy

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

The Other Guy with cover art by Smith

John Burroughs and his Crisis Chronicles Press used another of my fotos for cover art: The Other Guy, a new chapbook by John Thomas Allen (CC#31), published 10 August 2012. To order, send $6.50 (includes postage) to 3344 W. 105th Street #4 Cleveland, Ohio 44111. For more information or to order online, visit

John’s used my fotos for Crisis Chronicles Press covers #s 11, 12, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19, 22, 25, 26, 28, 29, 30, 31 (with back cover fotos also 11 and 12) so far and counting. I like this trend a lot. I never know he’s going to use one of my fotos until he publishes the cover, so I get unrequested exposure, get to see my art through another’s eyes and needs, and receive a free copy of the book so am constantly discovering new poets I’d never know otherwise.

To see all his covers on FaceBook, click here:

Here are 2 more Smith covers from 25 years ago. The blue on the back cover is my liquid copper corrosion mixture.

front & back cover collages by Smith for Artcrimes #1, 1986


I think Reality is excited

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

Firecracker stars bursting outside our kitchen at midnight led us both to stumble out of bed, wondering if our toaster was exploding. Smith made some noise like he understood the reason in half dream state and I understood what he meant in half dream state but then we reviewed this when we went to bed and the reason was just firecrackers and young people, at least on the surface.

An hour of tossing and turning further led me to the couch, then woke up 15 minutes later than normal after a dream where my phone was broken. I think it has something to do with paying proper respect to some conventions.

So I rose quickly like the monks say to wake up, like throwing off your shoes. Like throwing off your shoes is easy, yes? Well, tumbling upwards out of bed can be like the same kind of thing with the right mindfulness or mindlessness.

So I rose quickly and saw more firecrackers in my head, a big purple anemone with streamers and sparklers and thought, wow, my yoga session was ready for me.

After yoga, my morning letter to the Universe, interrupted by the loudest early bird squawking I’ve ever heard. It was like a baby bird didn’t realize it’s not supposed to squawk in the dark so loud. I went to the kitchen to suss the reason. Looked down in our driveway, saw another investigator with a flashlight looking at the cars in our driveway. It didn’t make sense. The bird had only squawked a minute. So the investigator had to be out there for a different reason. I thought, well, is it someone from the apartments in our landlord’s two houses, or someone looking to cause trouble? So I watched with the intent of raising the landlord if anything ill seemed to happen. But the person decided all was OK and turned around and left.

I left to run early this morning and it was so nice. Way before sunrise, and the stars were out, and the dew was on the grass, and the traffic was calm. The stars were out, the stars were out.

Stars, firecrackers, bird. What does it all mean? It’s like Reality is excited. I think it is excited.

~ Lady


as above, so below

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

Rien, 12″ x 12″ by Lady K, 8.19.2012

I took 2 of Lady’s leftovers from her collage above for our collab collage below.
“As above, so below” – old Hermetic phrase.

Bone Dance, 6″ x 8″ by Smith & Lady, 8.19.2012


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