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...and they lived happily ever after. Smith & Lady: poets, artists, photographers & adventurers.
Our relationship was forged to the soundtrack of Yoko Ono's magic,
frenetic, love-laden song, "Walking On Thin Ice." ( play song )

Archive for February, 2013

The whole tooth and nothing but the tooth

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

Magic mouth – foto Smith

My sister emailed asking if I were alright . . . she was worried because I hadn’t blogged for four days. Guess that says something about how wordy I’ve become.

We’ve posted almost a blog a day since June 25, 2006, which means except for our first ten months, Lady’s and my life is online with almost daily reminders of where we were and what we were doing — 2,846 blogs with more than 7,000 fotos from 10 countries on three continents posted in the past 2,431 days (of course for the first two and a half years Lady and I were both blogging daily).

If the cops were to pick me up and ask what I was doing 5 years ago, I could read the blog and tell them.

This is kind of funny because when Lady started blogging in June 2006 I asked her why she would want to do such a thing; then took a taste myself and got hooked.

I’ve been quiet lately because my last eight upper teeth being pulled and a thick chunk of plastic teeth slapped into my mouth a week ago has consumed my thoughts. Tried an open mic last Friday as a poetry reading test and found I whistle my esses and slur certain thickened sounds whenever my tongue slides against the plastic teeth.

An online article says it takes a week to acclimate to false teeth for every ten years of age, which leaves me with six more weeks suffering before I get used to it. Funny how no one tells you these things before the procedure. I have to sing my lyrics for the first time in public a month from now and wonder how it will go.

Oh well, suffer now for a better tomorrow, in my continuing process of trying to rise to meet the horizon

Take care of your teeth folk; you don’t want to be where my mouth is, which seems to be one of the lower levels of purgatory.

Need some diversions – foto Smith



Monday, February 18th, 2013

Catcurl – foto Smith

The Kitten-Cat Can

She’s in the soft spot
fur curled around tail
purr open, eyes closed

— Smith, 2.18.2013

Ubasti, the cat goddess – foto Smith


woe is me, oui (no, not really)

Thursday, February 14th, 2013

Transparent skull in dental office – foto Smith

Can’t blame them, they were only fighting for their existence, but two of my eight teeth pulled yesterday did not want to go.

In fact reality conspired against me making it to the dental chair in the first place, even though we left early.

The dental school parking lot was full, as was my first special-knowledge free-parking side street.

The second hidden free-parking back street had an open *trick* parking space which tried to eat us . . . it was an open ice sheet with holes, and as I tried to pull in, the front tire got stuck in an ice-hole pocket while the rear tires were trapped by an ice-lip — the car rear sticking out in traffic. Couldn’t push due to the ice sheet.

I got a chunk of concrete and was smashing the fore and aft ice-sheets to create rocking room when an electrical lineman walked up with blue salt pellets and sprinkled them under the tires (there always seems to be a helpful angel stranger who comes along unbidden when we’re in a serious bind) . . . and between the salt and ice-smashing, it worked.

Headed for the main pay lot because we were running out of time, only to find the parking lot literally gone, turned into a construction lot. Eventually found a high rise lot where I almost backed into another car that snuck up behind me.

After plopping down $550 to pull eight teeth (probably half the normal price due to dental school status), my last two teeth put up a serious fight. Don’t believe one is supposed to hear that much cracking and breaking teeth bone inside one’s head.

Now I have a gigantic chunk of plastic in my mouth masquerading as teeth but basically acting as a gag-reflex initiator . . . as I talk, certain tongue-roof–mouth dances make me feel like vomiting. Fortunately I know I’ll acclimate to this because the body/mind can get used to almost anything (look at the Bush/Cheney years) . . . thank goodness we have no poetry or book readings because I’m going to have to relearn how to talk, and eat, and swallow.

All in all not something I recommend to others . . . what I do enthusiastically shout out though is TAKE CARE OF YOUR TEETH WHEN YOU’RE YOUNG cuz you don’t want to be me right now. I’m in one of those situations where I don’t want to be yet have no choice but to endure.

My mother-in-law, who is four years younger than I, commented that I’m finally toothless . . . reminded her I’m keeping eight bottom teeth, plus I can always gum evil-doers into submission if I must.

Skull in dentist office – foto Smith


The Next Big Thing: the Smith sequence

Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

Stations of the Lost & Found – foto Smith

Here’s my section of The NEXT BIG THING, a chain-blog where an author answers a list of questions about one of their books, then asks five writers to answer the same list, with everyone blogging their answers with links to the previous few blogs.

I was asked by poet/publisher Bree. You can read her answers at Bree’s blog, as well as Bree-tagged poet John Swain’s answers at Swain’s blog.

My foto was used on the cover of John’s book, and Bree has published both of us, so we’re all incestuously poetically entwined.

Q: What is the title of the book?

Stations of the Lost & Found: a True Tale of Armed Robbery, Stolen Cars, Outsider Art, Mutant Poetry, Underground Publishing, Robbing the Cradle, and Leaving the Country by Smith & Lady.

Q: Where did the idea come from for the book?

After Lady moved in with me in 2005 I started telling her my past adventures and she said there was a book there. I said yes I know, I’m going to write it someday, and she said “No, there’s a book right now” and started collecting my past into a manuscript.

Q: What genre does your book fall under?

Memoir, autobiography 1946-2006.

Q: What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

It’s too late for Humphrey Bogart or Robert Mitchum to play me and Lauren Bacall to be Lady, so Edward Norton for me, Lady Gaga as Lady, Sean Penn for my brother Cat, Donald Southerland as Space Ranger, Gertrude Stein as Melissa, and Rip Torn as Jude Wilson . . . Chiplis can play Chiplis.

Q: What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

Good gone bad gone good.

Q: How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

Started collecting fall of 2005, began editing in Croatia winter 2006; then passed the manuscript back and forth over three continents for editing 40-50 times before publishing it back here in the U.S. in 2012.

Q: Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I have more — and more outrageous — life stories than most.

Q: What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Here’s the back cover blurb: “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.”

In a way it is the story of the U.S. since the end of WWII, at least the underground creative road less traveled anti-barcode America.

Reader comments, book excerpts, extra fotos, and some raw material available at FaceBook at

Book may be ordered at or through

Amazon has a nice feature where you can “look inside” at the contents, the first 6 pages, or my favorite which is “Surprise me” . . . it even lets you “search” the book for specific words. Heck, hit “Surprise me” often enough and you might get the whole book eventually for free.

Q: Is your book self-published or represented by an agency?

We self-published it via CreateSpace as print-on-demand, but are looking for an agent to get it professionally published.

back cover blurb – foto Smith


teeth in nasty places

Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

Pulled this one myself last year – fotos Smith

Since dental students are pulling my last eight upper teeth today, I scanned 50 years of my poetry for tooth references and found eleven, mostly negative, all from the past 8 years . . . the worse my teeth got, the more they crept into my words.

I’m rolling seven dice like dead man’s teeth / and counting all the dots

Teeth are falling out / My muscle body broken / But I am wiser

They lie through their teeth / They crush what is good

what we cannot with grasping / or rending with our teeth

No wailing / No gnashing of teeth / When I go

teeth in nasty places

be made to muse till long in tooth

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

This crown broke off at the gum line last year – foto Smith


Sum of Seventh Some

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

Light at end of tunnel – foto Smith

Sum of Seventh Some

I am urgent urchin
master of my mutation

I’m but beast of birthing
escape entropy by cascading chaos

I don’t worry about inertia
I worry outertia

Too Jung to be a Freud
make marvel moondog marinade
matinee mundane morning

Call me Close-Call Kid
chaser of satellite signal

Brainslips skip cross now to maybe
thought slice segues section

Water rush of tree leaf river
soothes my slide to sleep

— Smith, 2.12.2013

Appearance and emptiness – foto Smith


Onward Ho (the song)

Monday, February 11th, 2013

icu – foto Smith

A final draft from the vault before moving on . . . a fun bouncy eco-blues from twos year ago.

Click here to hear Onward Ho . . . 4:26.

Onward Ho (the song)

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

Up through the stages with the goods for the bads
Releasing our rages and trashing our pad

For 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

So down through the ages from the good to the bad
We’re still simple savages trashing our pad

— Smith, 2011

u c what’s happening – foto Smith


Brush your teeth & get checkups regularly

Monday, February 11th, 2013

Smith is getting his eight remaining upper teeth pulled Wednesday, the day before Valentine’s Day. I’m glad that he’s getting this done because it’s been so hard for him to chew properly. When he gets used to the dentures, this will be easier.

I asked how it is he got such tooth problems:

“Number one,” he said, “I have small teeth. Number two, we were poor. Couldn’t afford much dental work unless we had to. Number three, from ’53 to ’60, I was raised on a farm with well water. So I didn’t get the benefit of the fluoride the government started putting in the water ’bout then. Number four, when I went into the Navy, they pulled some bad teeth and said they’d replace them. They lied. Number five: when I finally had some money and started going to dentists, I got stuck with some really bad ones. One dentist even took my straight bottom teeth and made them crooked with a retainer. Number six: since I was a contractor, there were times when I didn’t have any work, yet I had to get teeth fixed. So instead of getting crowns I couldn’t afford, teeth were pulled that shouldn’t have been. Finally, I just had bad luck with teeth. My karma; seems to be.”

“How do you feel about Wednesday?”

“Oh, I think getting false upper teeth is a setback to me. It’s a line I didn’t want to cross. But I’m not worried about it. They’ll pull them, they’ll give me pain pills. The only thing I’m worried about is the temporary upper denture that won’t fit well, won’t feel good, and I have a very high gag reflex. So… it’s not going to be fun.”

I’d not really given much thought to dentures prior to hooking up with Smith. My first memory of them was Grandpa Ireland popping the teeth out at us to freak us out. Grandpa ate anything. He ate salad, he could tear at steak, he could eat corn-on-the-cob. He had dentures most of his life due to having had some kind of illness in his teens.

“I’m not worried about eating,” Smith said. “It’s just a line I didn’t want to cross, losing my teeth.”

As a forty-year-old, witnessing Smith’s tooth problems helps keep me in line brushing my teeth and seeing the dentist regularly for cleanings. Being so much younger than my partner has had some costs but has also helped me to prepare better for the future. I’m starting an IRA, I’m taking care of my teeth, I’m really working on my diet and exercise with my comfort in the long term future in mind.

The downside of being with someone who is so much older is that there is a lot of worry over my partner’s health and sadness over the thought of losing him before I die. And the mysticism of older people is pretty much gone… my parents don’t seem much like parents to me anymore in terms of authority–now they are more like peers.

~ Lady


Original Cinema

Sunday, February 10th, 2013

See ya – foto Smith

Here from the vaults a bit of downtown Weirdsville via tape loops, stained voices, backwards recording and collaged repetition . . . if original sin were a movie, it’d be Original Cinema . . . 3:05.

Original Cinema

Small signs of logic pool to larger sockets,
Sprocket rules of flow

Autumn snap cracks cross
Yes no boundary, now then grime
And the even Steven myth

Add in:
   Coffee rotation
   Bee pollen white crystal
   Hotel Babylon
   One million years TV
   Suburban life halfsounds
   Fungus eyes
   Hotdogs with blood and pus
   Artists of perpetual perception
   Fat bottom womyn in glass bottom boats
   Nature and man gone wrong
And this war of little mist
And reefer sticks
The two soul sham
Of wham bam action ma’am
(long way virgin slim to glass ceiling fan)

This bad boy business nuzzles
Nose near own navel lint
Bug belly blood in amber
Waves of shame
Dinosaur dregs dynamo hum
Blood rough ready rumble
Reflecting clone,
Trade in tiny tins

Liberty’s filthy whore Profit
Loss enough for now

— Smith, 1994

64 Ball & Smith collaborations at with music/mix/recording by Peter Ball of Apartment One and vocals/lyrics by me of Mutant Smith.

Scraps – foto Smith


A mini-me reading

Saturday, February 9th, 2013

A perfect couple – foto Smith

For those curious how my poems flow or go, here’s six minutes of what I sound like at readings.

Click here to hear 7 short acoustic poems . . . 5:43.

Poem text below foto. (Two of these poems have been turned into songs at

Red dawn, green night – foto Smith

~ ~ ~

Empirical Data

Everything depends
On who and what and where and when
It never ends
Cuz everything depends
On why and high and low and then
It’s worse than Zen
This never end
If I’m awake it’s now
And constant daily harrow
Toiling morn to morrow
To somehow slip the sorrow
Trying to round the bend
Ahead of time’s outrageous arrow
Which never mends
Which never ends
Which always depends
On what reality recommends
Or the trends tend
Eye gloss ago
It’s now and how and when and then
Again and again and again

— 2011

~ ~ ~

Be-Bop Baby

Do wop and rattle, do rap and roll
you gurgle my girdle, fine flux my flow

Smile for me baby, give me a grin
been lonesome lately, been wanting back in

Grip on my gripper, zipper my chin
prepare you pure proper for serious sin

Wrap my poor rattle in your jelly roll
my pretty petal your saddle to sow

Petal to mental then mental to mime
in most elemental pleasure sublime

So work with me baby, work till we whine
work till we’re gravy and wavy in line

Wake us to wonder of thunder and thyme
rosemary plunder, the rhythm in rhyme

— 2012

~ ~ ~

Buddha Bang

San Francisco 1966
done sailing sea
I search the streets
for drugs and sex
two Asian beauties quip
‘hey sailor, wanna get higher?”
Short story short
to temple depart
chant and ching the Buddha thing
in incensed air
I bought their wares
chose $6 chant
they took me back
the old bait and switch
I go for sex
get enlightenment.

— 2012

~ ~ ~

No Wailing Offense

There will be
No tears
No wailing
No gnashing of teeth
When I go
When I’m gone
When I die
When my flesh
Is sold
For packets to eat
Or door stop
What knot
Plot not
Best to burn me baby
Use me as sand
Grit to rough the bland
Just call me
Oyster helper
Pearl point
Beginning irritant
Smooth in end

— 2005

~ ~ ~

The Heart as Arsonist

Sure the kindling,
but as well the wood.
The place as such
and substance
of the matter.
Amounts of time to flicker,
flame in bright arrogance,
become fuel to continuity,
faded maturation.

It is not wonder
yet is
why wolves, weres and lovers
lie dreaming before fires
fire places
It is the melancholy
of the cycle calling.
Warmed atavisms
consumed in life
in love of rebirth.
The remembrance
of werewolves wanting wings.

All these
the core past caring
the fire is
is love.
The spark
to kindle the passion
then human the substance
to weather completion
this this is love.

— 1975

~ ~ ~

My Tree Barks

My bark is worse than my bite
although once my bite was worse than my bark
back when I was but burgeoning bark on tree
but it was a dogwood tree
so I was bark bark
and became known as Bark Bark Smith
and little dogs pissed on me.

It was a good life
warm and wet
before I matured into tendril stock
which warps and weaves
in woof woof wonder
which is why
I’m now known as
Bark Bark Woof Woof Smith
the One Who Never Whimpers.

— 2010

~ ~ ~

Ciao Chow Boogie

Ciao chow boogie
Go down wail gone
Sassafras the fancies
She’s my daddy-o mom
My moldy goldy oldie
My crazy maybe one

Raise sin to sensation
Peel feel from the ground
No explanation
Just loose liquid sound
Undress in nude nation
Do the two-back get down

Riding now into never
With every sly lie
I’m cool cat copacetic
In absolute time
Jig forever together
In metaphoric fire

— 2000

~ ~ ~


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