A Hatcheck Girl in a Capitalist Bar

the hatcheck girl, (detail from Mother Dwarf collage)

A Hatcheck Girl in a Capitalist Bar

The capitalist in the hatcheck bar
suggested to the coatroom girl insofar
as tips were concerned she could go far,
for flirting brought her twenty-five cents,
while cleavage shown was a dollar,
and sharing her tits would pay the rent
and get her a fox fur collar,
while I think if she had any sense
his nuts with her knee she should clobber.

— Smith, 1.1.2014

Almost ran dry, but this popped out. Woke with “a capitalist in a hatcheck bar” in my head, and fleshed it out while soaking in a hot bath.

Humor, truth, rhyme, brevity . . . good enough for my final poem of the year (dated tomorrow because I’m writing a poem a day for as long as I can, and this is tomorrow’s poem today).

the capitalist – fotosmith



You’re like immediate surf
surging around and in and
through and through me

Energy buzzing in my ears
sensory input, amazing coherent
strings of communication that
come forth whether bidden
or un

Joining with
perceptibly, eyes open
and witness, fingers
answer and ask
tongue tastes

So many ways with…

Multitudes of calipers
like swaying sea creatures
opening and closing
with murmur of
the current

into withness

Purple electric sparks
luminescent being pulsing
in the dark

Behind my eyelids
the inky sea of see

~ Lady

Counting Coup

Counting Coup

Satan thinks he owns my soul
but with each foto I take of myself
I retake a small slice,
and I’ve taken thousands
stealing my soul back
one sin at a time.

I have touched the Devil’s hoof,
fed his horse balderberries,
and dulled his tempting knife,
so wear the eagle feather in my hair
and paint red his wife.

I won’t count coup on you though
because we burn same blood,
walk same rain,
so your loss would not be my gain,
just extra pain.

— Smith, 12.31.2013

(explanation of the phrase counting coup =

Again, tomorrow’s poem today, for a poem-a-day since October 1. I work a day ahead to give myself a creative safety net, so that’s 92 poems written and posted in 91 days. Did not think I could do this. Trying for at least 8 more for 100.

Odd what comes out when you HAVE to write a poem. Things I’ve not liked I had to go with because of time spent in day’s went, so I kept chipping away the ugly to make them as real as possible.

Extremely satisfying process. Thanks to John Burroughs and his Crisis Chronicles Press for getting me on this path when he asked 8 of us to write 31 poems for October (Lady, Shelley Chernin, Mary E. Weems, Steve Brightman, John Swain, John Burroughs . . . the 8th poet dropped out). Told him I doubted I could do it. Go figure.

restealing my soul, a slice at a time – fotosmith

In Tuition

secular city

In Tuition

I been Christian, athiest, agnostic, Buddhist,
anamist most
(though never communist)
and through it all been blessed,
yet see for most it’s Mao or less a mess,
never what’s right or best,
just how to bring in more by giving less.

So all you takers, sharers, givers, stone-hearted killers,
willers, millers, shillers, fakers, shakers, sackers,
rackers, shrivers, markers, breakers, caretakers,
slave failures, pokers, prodders, ponderers, perusers,
pricks, pushers, pullers, uppers, downers, clowners,
inners and outers,
you know how cleaning up your act always starts tomorrow?
well tomorrow is today,
today is the new tomorrow,
clean-up starts today
or there’s going to be sorrow to borrow at bay.

— Smith, 12.30.2013

laterlight – fotosmith

9-slice Cat Life


9-slice Cat Life

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

Cat on a cushion, cushion on the floor.
Feline’s on a mission to make my heart adore.

Rock-a-bye Mandy
fur full purr warm in my arms,
heart handy pure charm.

I tell her, “We are your humans.
You are our cat.
Ye, she, me, we are family.”

She sits, regal, imperious,
why ancient Egypt worshiped cats,
diviner grace, majestic indifference.

Our Mandycat no
mendicant, rather Queen Cat,
tells us what to do.

She’s agenda cat,
knows what she wants and that’s that.
I tell her wait, your request is in the queue.
She says queue you.

She teaches fast curve
ratio of blood slash per purr,
her body her her.

The Kathy kitten and the kitty cat
both know whereof they’re at
sometime here, sometime that.

— Smith, 12.29.2013

Queen Mandy – fotosmith

Highku of Living

highku Smith

Mandycat jumped up on the bathroom sink, so I reached over, said “Look at this” and turned on a trickle of water. She wagged her tail and started lapping.

Next time I went in the bathroom, she jumped up on the sink, looked at the faucet, looked at me, looked at the faucet, so I turned it on again and her tail and tongue started going lickitty wick.

Yesterday we heard her meowing like she was in trouble. I found her sitting on the bathroom sink, waiting for me to turn the water on. As soon as I reached for the faucet, her tail started up.

Love the interspecies communication, the trust and expectation, but do not believe this particular ritual will be continuing.

Been writing a poem a day since October. Here’s tomorrow’s poem today.

Highku of Living

She looked me over,
saw no marijuana pan.
“Why aren’t you smoking?”

“For our finances.
Comes down to cash or mellow.
Save now, stone later.

“Every toke I don’t
take is one more toke waiting
somewhere down the line.”

— Smith, 12.28.2013

high – fotosmith

Out at the In-laws 6

in-laws 1

Out at the In-laws 6

Vroomin’ past Vrooman Road
60 miles east to ma-&-pa-in-laws house we go
(Lady trying to sleep en route)
for gifts and greetings and early Christmas eating
amidst the snow and row
(secret tokes outside in blow)
and when done’s said
instead of home to hide from cold
100 miles southwest to more in-laws cause
(Lady ensleep, me enwheel)
for gift and greeting and too much food eating
more magic tokes in the snow
hidden from in-law know
hours to go
meat dairy egg prowl vegan stomach
sleep slides down eyes
which pop in surprise when small dog
raises hind and pisses on Lady’s leg
till 12 hours ending we head 60 miles north to home
(Lady alay in sleep, sleep atugging my peeps)
on Xmas empty roads
no one in either direction as far as the crow can cry
me unasleep at the wheel.

— Smith, 12.27.2013

in-laws 2 – fotosmith

Blue Breasted Boobies

detail Smith collage

Blue Breasted Boobies

Lady’s changing to her running clothes
(only 4 miles this morning).
When she was topless I said,
You know, we should paint your boobies blue,
then we could call them bluebies,
you could go blueberry picking naked
and folks would never know you’re nude,
they’d just say
Look at them berries ! ! !

— Smith, 12.26.2013

poster on the streets of Pula, Croatia – fotosmith

Lady of the Elf Woods

the cat & the Lady

Lady of the Elf Wood

Happy happy bornday, Lady.

Tomorrow is the ninth Christmas
in our 8 years 3 months 2 weeks 1 day together.

(9th of nth, solve for forever)

These 8.2 years we be are 20% of your life,
12% of mine to date.

(did we ever date?)

Been through some adventure in my time,
and let me tell you Lady, you are as good as it gets.

(and I been got)

Merry Christmas too, my love.

— Smith, 12.24.2013

Lady of the Elf Wood – fotosmith