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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,
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Archive for April, 2014

Sober 23

Monday, April 21st, 2014

Sober 23

One more gone, go one more.
See what tomorrow has in store.

– Smith, 4.21.2014

23 years sober, starting 24.

Drank myself to death April 21 1991 and woke in intensive care. Three days later I rose from my dead and walked home to alcoholessness.

Alcohol was the hardest drug I ever beat . . . over the next nine years I quit NyQuil, cocaine, speed, pills, needles and everything else except for coffee, grass, and the occasional magic mushroom.

Still stride the fine fusion of self delusion, but wriggle in its grasp.

excerpt from my bio Stations of the Lost, a True Tale of Armed Robbery, Stolen Cars, Outsider Art, Mutant Poetry, Underground Publishing, Robbing the Cradle, and Leaving the Country by Smith & Lady, The City Poetry Press, 2012:

One night in April 1991 watching the movie Mortal Thoughts downtown with Mom, I started swallowing small amounts of liquid, which was odd because I wasn’t drinking anything. An alcohol induced ulcer at the base of my esophagus had hemorrhaged and I was swallowing my own blood. I came home scared and didn’t tell Mom.
While Mom was downstairs in her space, I lay in my loft for fourteen hours vomiting blood into a bedside bucket, passing out, coming back, all the time my little computer brain computing, saying, This is serious, you’re going to have to go to the hospital. But hospitals meant money and I was poor with no health insurance. I’d vomited blood the previous December for four hours and managed to stop it through will or luck so I thought maybe I could stop it this time, too.
For the first six hours I thought, Right now I can get up and drive to the hospital.
A couple hours later, more lost blood, more unconsciousness, I thought, Well now I can take a bus to the hospital because I’m too weak to drive anymore.
Later it became, Now I have to call a cab.
Each time I’d start to lose consciousness from blood loss, I’d think, Is this it? But each time I worried about Mom who still needed my help and company, so I came back. All through this, I collected the blood into the bucket and wondered, What art piece can I make with a bucket of my own blood? Buckets of human blood aren’t easy to come by, so this was a seriously unique art supply.
Finally I couldn’t do anything but weakly call over and over until I woke Mom. She called EMS. I was too heavy for them to carry down from the loft because I weighed ninety pounds more then from all the wine and food. I rolled out of my waterbed, crawled on my belly across the floor and slid like a seal head first down the loft stairs where they put me onto a sling and carried me to the ambulance, where I immediately disappeared into unconsciousness. When I returned to this reality after an indeterminate period of time I looked at the nurse and croaked, “Wow, nice to be back,” and threw up a huge amount of gelatinous blood. It looked like pre-chewed Jell-O quivering in her tray.
Oh, I was gone. I mean, I left my body. Before—in the fourteen hours of vomiting blood—I would occasionally lose consciousness and there’d be a nether region where I was aware I might not come back and then I’d worry about Mom and return. But down in the ambulance I zoomed right past that point. I was gone. When I regained sight, it was literally, Wow, I’m back, and it felt good. I was glad.
I officially quit drinking in intensive care the third time they shoved the tube up my nose and down my throat. The first two times I gagged the tube back out with my throat muscles. I decided right then that if I lived I would never have a tube shoved up my nose again due to alcohol, and I haven’t drank since.
The docs dripped six units of blood into me. After the fifth unit one doctor turned to the other two and said, “Where’s it going?” A friend inquired later if I knew what type blood I’d received. I said, “No but the next time I went downtown I bought a five hour boxed set of James Brown music.”
Back home, Mom dumped my blood bucket because the rot smelled bad. Everyone’s an art critic.
After I stopped drinking Mom admitted to me, “It was so bad living with your drinking I was thinking of moving out.”
“Where would you have gone?” I asked.
“I had no place to go,” she said, “but I couldn’t have stayed with you the way you were.”

I got a call from Dick Head while still in the hospital. “I can’t drink anymore or I’ll die,” I told him.
“Then why don’t you die!” he screamed. “I’d rather die than not drink.”


Mobius Wheel

Sunday, April 20th, 2014

Good Dawn to you, happy Easter Ishtar Eostre and 420 day too.

Mobius Wheel

Back in my gee williker days
I thought the natural order of things was
be born, learn, play,
go to school, work long while, retire,
sit around smoking peace pipe
culling past for truth in chance
condensing knowledge to wisdom
which one shared
if ever another dropped in in need.

But no, t’aint so
it just keeps going
life don’t stop
it hops the ops
happens the stance
dues the done did in do again
peoples things and things people
keeping score by asking more
buying store until fun done
and we head to the great no know beyond
which might be cool or total fool
or none of the above
but until said sum done
rent needs paid
pay needs spent
work sun up
work sun down
run range arrange around and round
look for sage but find a clown
yet naying nope and seeking yup
still bestest bet for ending loop
so live in hope
learn to cope the cruel not cured
keep the buddhayou preferred

– Smith, 4.20.2014

the crack in the cosmic egg


Stealers Wheel

Saturday, April 19th, 2014

the center does not hold

Stealers Wheel

Steal haul crowd
heading for keelhaul now
or mauling low in kangaroo court
of last resort
not life to be proud
but strife misallowed
in need of abort
before we get sore
so cease your stole
restore your steal
or we gonna get real
and show you the door
so, go, steal nevermore
or abhor.

– Smith, 4.19.2014



City Mice Country Gone

Friday, April 18th, 2014

City Mice Country Gone

Three mice gone.
Two set free.
Three undone before referee.
Three dead brought dread,
Who we to choose undone?
Catch and release instead
Out in park with lark and sun.
Sorry first three gone.

– Smith, 4.18.2014


Unassembly Line

Thursday, April 17th, 2014


Unassembly Line

‘Sometimes during assembly
it is best to be two people’
the instruction sheet dissembles
and I laugh at this gaff
as if I could get me down to two
to yes and no and right and wrong
and here and there
instead of all faux everywhere
for many much outside my head
needs me to be mirror and mat
for this and that
and other else from selling shelf
to play the elf
because you and you and you and you
can’t use true fool
so I’m many mans with but two hands
two eyes to store the many more
two lives to live for many give
to dance a jig in game of rig
in sacred is
the many win choose me to lose
in sly reply no asking why
just human biz
while me and me and me and more
walk through the door
answer bell
so say can say that tell can sell
the just not quite assembled right
with screws untight
and might unright
and win again
yet yen no end
beginning in this wheel unround
the reel unsound
so oh to be a Steppenwolf
with but two me’s to be
two eyes to see
to close this gulf
or even more
to be just one
in one fine sun
I would adore

– Smith, 4.17.2014

open other in



Thursday, April 17th, 2014


I’m gonna gold pan my reality
’til everything I see’s in happy relation
the stuff inside
and out

A gold pan that’s my mind, or window
or mirror… all… embroidery…
a metaphor that’s more,
a handle
on the big It

I’ll hold it tenderly, that gold pan
and when I find stuff that’s not so happy,
treat it with compassion, mend it, heal it,
work it o’er into the rest like a loam
that cures the culture

I can rest; I can rest at times
and I can work; there’s much work
to be done ratcheting pieces
into place

When I’m tired I’ll put myself
into the dish, lay in the hammock,
suspend myself in web of life and Spirit
natural machinery passing its energy through me
kindling the best regenerative capacity
I have

~ Lady


Spring sprung?

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014


Spring sprung
Worm squirm
Bird flirt alert

– Smith, 4.16.2014

Wrote this two days ago when it was 78 degrees and the birds were courting in the sun. Guess after yesterday’s and today’s snow and cold, it ain’t “finally” after all.

Tomorrow we try again. Maybe spring will come back for my poem.

Woke with portion of remembered dream. Lady and I were flown in a cargo plane to a desert plain in Africa. Got out, walked across the sands with a knobby walking stick that kept getting stuck, then climbed an extremely steep cliff which had many people wearing only loin cloths perched on its face. I climbed three-fourths the way up, turned my back to the cliff, planted my stick, and stared out over the plain. Guy next to me asked if I knew what was going on and I said I had absolutely no idea where I was or what I was doing there, and he said incredulously, “You mean you don’t know what’s up top?” I said no, and as he opened his mouth to tell me, I woke. Good dream, but bummer waking before the revelation.


Once Upon a Time

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014


Once Upon a Time

Best ice cream I’ve ever eaten
I hand cranked myself on our farm
best butter I had I hand churned as well
I’d milk the cow
get a gallon or two of milk
one-fourth which was cream
skim off the top
plop it in the butter churn
add some salt and crank away
sold a gallon of milk for fifty cents
pound of butter fifty cents
dozen eggs fifty cents
all this in the mid 1950s of course
roaming the woods from pond to pond
apple tree to apple tree
bare breasts in the barn
bare bodies in the field
post atomic bomb but pre-space
the last honorable Republican in the White House
TV’s golden age glowing
brand new rock ‘n roll fast fun
gas 27 cents a gallon
three channels on TV
party line phones
AM radio only
45s and 33 and a thirds
riding my bicycle everywhere
racing our miniature collie Lassie down dirt roads
climbing trees
climbing barns and sliding off roofs
climbing wind mills
lying in high grass in breeze of summer sun
watching no news
reading no news
knowing no news
the people in charge good enough at lying
so we didn’t know how crooked they were
all that mattered was sun and fun and girls
sad we were poor but not miserable about it
hopeful for the future
grateful for the present
and now six decades later
with over say and over prey and over stay
really really thankful for that past

– Smith, 4.15.2014

on the farm


Old School

Monday, April 14th, 2014

have a heart

Old School

Sometimes a poem ain’t a poem
so much as it’s fancy reportage,
but since I’m the poet
and I say it’s a poem,
it’s a poem,
so those of youse
with your tired rules
and shallow schools,
go mumble with your marbles
and marvel in your moans
and let the rest of us tango with the tone.

– Smith, 4.14.2014


Bird Walk Toxin Talk, Dike 14, Cleveland

Sunday, April 13th, 2014

Cleveland Lakefront Nature Preserve

Sometimes a poem ain’t a poem so much as it’s fancy reportage, but since I’m the poet and I say it’s a poem, it’s a poem, so those of youse with your tired rules and shallow schools, go mumble with your marbles and marvel in your moans and let the rest of us tango with the tone.

Bird Walk Toxin Talk, Dike 14, Cleveland

We walked a bird walk guided talk today
on 88 acres of peninsula,
land carved from Lake Erie water
by 20 years of dredged river muck dumped
from the bottom of the Cuyahoga river,
silt and dirt and toxins and runoffs
from the industrial flats,
chemical poisons from steel mills
and coal and asphalt and salt and sewer
and chemist only knows what
taken from the bottom of a river that caught fire
and burned for two hours in 1969,
a river described by its 1880 mayor as
a sewer that runs through the heart of the city,
a river first fired in 1868 and then burned repeatedly
before its multi-million dollar 1952 inferno,
all ignored until 69 when white national reporters
asked America’s first large city black mayor
just what he was going to do about it
so he cleaned it up
showing Congress and country it could be done
igniting the nation’s clean air and water act
leading to boating riverside dock bars
and Goodtime cruises,
though I still wouldn’t drink it, or even swim
(thank you Mayor Carl Stokes),
and today we walked river muck reclaimed
by grass and plants and trees and time
and seeds shat by birds and mammal
and blown by wind,
we saw loon, towhees, tree sparrows,
over a dozen great blue herons,
more redwing blackbirds than I’ve seen in my life,
egret, robins, mallards, crows, seagulls, tern,
flickers that used to be called yellow shafted flickers
until they changed the names to sell more books,
song sparrows, blue gray gnatcatchers, falcon,
fox sparrows doing their back n forth shuffle dance,
a yellow rumped warbler, downy woodpeckers,
cooper hawk, redtail hawk, turkey vultures, cowbirds,
morning doves, and blackbirds
all amidst a constant chorus of birdsong
with solos by anglewing butterflies, poison hemlock,
deer, wild cucumber, boxelder,
and a host of birds plants trees butterflies I missed
and I gotta tell you
it’s a nice this

– Smith, 4.13.2014

Cleveland Lakefront Nature Preserve


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