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The Grasshopper’s Tale


Smith life – foto Smith

The man Cool Cleveland labeled “everything your mother warned you about” has released an autobiography that continues his tradition of shock and awe.

The book, Stations of the Lost & Found: A True Story of Armed Robbery, Stolen Cars, Outsider Art, Mutant Poetry, Underground Publishing, Robbing the Cradle and Leaving the Country by Smith & Lady, is the story of Steven B. Smith, a Cleveland artist who pursued the outrageous and the good, finally finding meaning in art, poetry and odd life experiences.

Public radio’s WCPN reports Smith as “one of the 70’s artistic renegades and anti-establishment types who proudly wore the banner of criminal and terrorist; Smith is something of an underground legend in the Cleveland art scene.” (September, 2012)

He’s also called “the ultimate insider of outsider art” (Northern Ohio Live, 2006); “funny and poignant, but with rough edges worthy of a tetanus shot” (Scene, 1996); “equal parts artist, poet, publisher, eccentric, gadfly, lightning rod, underground cultural icon.” (Deep Cleveland, 2006); and “a genius at putting objects together in a way that is all at once poetic, raw, perhaps lugubrious, and at times biting or potentially offensive” (Plain Dealer, 1987).

Life-long friend Stone Ranger said, “Let’s face it Smith, if the song ‘My Way‘ were written about your life, it would be lyrics by William S. Burroughs and music by Laurie Anderson, as performed by The Velvet Underground.” (2002)

Published by The City Poetry Press, there will be book readings at Mac’s Backs in Coventry Saturday September 29, 2012 at 7 p.m. and Visible Voice Books of Tremont Thursday October 25, 7 p.m.

The beautifully-written 364 page book is available for $20 online at createspace.com/3903652, through the Smiths at readings, or via their daily blog,walkingthinice.com. Copies are also available at Mac’s Backs and Visible Voice Books.

The back book blurb sums it up:
Drug orgies, massive refindings of reality, the acceptance of interdimensions. Errant life scout, cultural adventurer, perception tester, court jester, inner seeker, reality adjuster, flow surfer, servant and searcher of Other.

Born in Bitterroot, raised on Paradise Prairie, farm boy, car thief, Naval Academy, expelled for dope, society marriage, armed robbery, jail, illegal loft dweller, Artcrimes, rat attacks, overdose, celibate, remarried, expat. Ran from the cops ten times, got away nine.

Stations of the Lost & Found has been getting excellent feedback from readers.

Dianne Borsenik, poet and publisher: “What a read! It’s an I-can’t-put-it-down-what-the-heck’s-gonna-happen-next kind of book.”

John Burroughs, poet & publisher: “I’d trade any of Kerouac’s or Bukowski’s volumes for it in a heartbeat.”

William Merricle, poet: “The book is brutally good and honest.”

If you need a book for reviewing purposes, let Smith know at smithcrimes@yahoo.com or call (216) 645-9400.

~ ~ ~

The Grasshopper’s Tale

My life’s dog food for do gooders
Hot dodgers dogging God’s zone
Fur sure of itself
Per path and position
Point portion pursued

We who rise in heat from dream
Lick recollection loose
From cold fire’s template
Futility’s fog
We bleed in abandon
Dance dawn’s dapple light

— Smith, 1989


Smith life – foto Smith

2 Responses to “The Grasshopper’s Tale”

  1. Christina B. says:

    gosh I love both photos funny.. I don’t think I’ve seen a mannequin with facial.. but both photos are very cool. loving the poem too.

  2. […] stories.  Smith’s own blurb about the book is much, much better than anything I can write; so please read it here.  He has led one strange life. The oddest thing about it, though, is that Smith is – and has […]

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