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Archive for March, 2016

man of bad bone

Saturday, March 19th, 2016


Status Report 194

I’m a man of bad bone
decent heart
good love
lousy lover
strange ways
lots of luck
I walk my road
seek abode
carry load
try not to let Fortune’s kiss
turn me toad

– Smith, 3.19.2016



Ten years married to the sweetest prize I ever tried to lose

Friday, March 18th, 2016


Status Report 193

Ten years married
to the sweetest prize
I ever tried to lose

I wanted to be alone
in my twentieth year of celibacy
and she was way too young

My unwelcome mat
said GO AWAY in large letters
as she knocked my door

Finally gave in
knowing it couldn’t last
tried the ride

Ten years later
no one doing it better
we still walk as one

In what is but beginning

– Smith, 3.18.2016

We were married by a witch in the afternoon 10 years ago, and that evening hosted a group poetry reading at the benefit auction for the 25th Street Book Store at the punkish Inside Outside Gallery in the end of the building, then afterward invited the poets and artists and audience up to our studio for a wedding celebration party.



We go into the would

Wednesday, March 16th, 2016


Status Report 192

We go into the would
to gather word
to share around the fire.

– Smith, 3.16.2016



you know why there’s no beatnik pi?

Tuesday, March 15th, 2016


Conversation with Wife 24

“Got a coupon here for hummus.”
Why don’t you hummus a tune, dear.
“And one for diced tomatoes.”
I don’t like to gamble with diced tomatoes,
too hard to roll a 7.
“You should write that down.”

“Mr. Smith, are you a wave or a particle?”
Depends who’s askin’.

“Today is Pi Day, 3.14.”
That’s only partial pi, where’s the rest?
“Pi never repeats, does it?”
Goes on forever, piece of pi for everyone.
“The endless circle.”
You know why there’s no beatnik pi?
Cuz pi are squared.

I’m tired of the coolness in here.
“Are you cool?”
I’m so cool I could counteract global warming.
“Are you hot?”
I’m so hot, I can cancel my own cool.

“Ewww, wet nose,” she says as we kiss.
Sorry, leaky nose, snot anything to worry about.
“You should wipe that down.”

– Smith, 3.15.2016



on reading To Kill A Mockingbird

Monday, March 14th, 2016


I’d seen the movie but hadn’t read the book so I started To Kill A Mockingbird with my normal fear it wouldn’t live up to its rep, but the first half was exceptional. Then Harper Lee died and there was too much news analysis so I set it aside. Started in again and got 65 pages from the end when I left it in a hospital waiting room. Didn’t feel too bad because figured I had the essence of the story and could always finish it in a library someday, but next day went back and it was where I’d left it. Finished it yesterday and I was wrong – those last 65 pages are extremely important. What a great character the young girl Scout is. She can be my sister anytime. Totally impressed with the book. Now have to ponder whether to read her earlier alternate version published later.

~ ~ ~

On Reading To Kill A Mockingbird

Glad for the goodness
Sad for the badness

Why we be this way?

– Smith, 3.14.2016



one of the seven dresser drawers

Sunday, March 13th, 2016


Conversation with Wife 23

Is that crying cat part of what’s playing?
“Yes, it’s music for pets, pet music.”
How do you pet music, with your ears?
“Well you pet pets with your hands
so do you pet music with your ears?
Guess I still got it if I can make you groan.
“Can’t you ever be serious?”
I am serious, Dog Star Sirius.

“Do you need money?”
No, I got 20.
“Here’s another.”
Thanks, now I’ve 20-20 vision.

How do you feel?
“I’m all sniffly and sneezely.”
Ahh, one of the seven dresser drawers.

“I love the mindful meditation bell
I got from Thich Nhat Hanh.”
In the mountains, Mom used to check my head
for would Thichs when I came in from playing.
“That’s a horrible pun.”
Not as bad as the one about Thich Nhat Hanh
being the opening act for Was (Not Was).

– Smith, 3.13.2016



Conversation with Husband 1

Sunday, March 13th, 2016

“I used to take my girlfriends down into the fog by the Spokane River to neck,” Smith told me in our morning mid-conversation.

“Necking was something, huh,” I answered. “Especially in the teens.”

“Or nippling,” he said. “Everything from the nipple up… or cunting, I used to go cunting.”


“It’s not my fault that words are drippy, nasty little things,” he said.

“Or sometimes like Koto music,” said I in reproach.


O Great Disc of ocher round

Friday, March 11th, 2016

Sun Shining Thru Translucent Clouds by Kevin Eberhardt

Sun Shining Thru Translucent Clouds

Round yellow, round yellow
come out and warm a fellow

Unsmudged sun smearing cloud
adrift in shifting sky
over land embossed by green
mixed with when and why

O great ball of gas and fire
your warmth and light ease my ire

We embrace thy heat
thy light replete
relive your ritual try
of dragging night by the bye

O Great Disc of ocher round
we soar with you over ground

You sprout new shoots of small green leaves
from water, wood and bark
in its shade we take our ease
and listen to the lark

Why don’t you fall warm gold skyball
with no feet how can you be so tall?

– Smith, 3.11.2016



between rock and soft place

Thursday, March 10th, 2016


Status Report 190

At 9 p.m.
after wife’s been abed an hour
her closed computer turns itself on
boots its sleeping self up
and every 15 minutes chimes once
followed by deep slow low

bong … echo … pause …
bong … echo … pause …
bong … echo … silence …

then 14.5 minutes of quiet and we do it again
her computer closed and supposedly off
me sitting stoned in the dim light night
anticipating calm of next gong
riding its echo
thinking of the 8-fold path
and folded bath towels
of honey out of reach
of living happy life in unhappy world
of lending light instead of feeding dark
of one-hand slaps
head-knock laughs
and giving before ask


– Smith, 3.10.2016

rocksoftplacebetween a rock and a soft place


shards of 8 different decades

Wednesday, March 9th, 2016


Since I’m now 70, I can relate a bit more to this Charles Bukowski poem I published in Artcrimes #11 – Eat at Eternities, April 1991, guest edited by poet/artist Ben Gulyas.

~ ~ ~

somebody else

a hangover at 70
seems somewhat worse,
of course,
than one at
but considering
most other things
I feel about the
my strengths, my
ideals, my

it is only when
I am walking
and I see my
in a
plate glass
that I wonder,
who is

that thing

that old fart.


– Charles Bukowski, 1991

I don’t have to compare my hangovers because I quit drinking in 1991, 25 years ago, and I don’t see “that thing” in the mirror because I’m not as ugly as he was . . . few men are.

I’m not rich like him, not famous at all, but I may well be healthier and happier than he ever was, at least according to the excellent documentary Bukowski: Born into This, 2003, directed by John Dullaghan (it has an user rating of 7.9 out of 10).

I do have some old man ugly skin . . . 8 weeks throat cancer radiation 10 years ago seriously ravaged my neck scrotal, and 15 months of Mexican sun while living in Oaxaca damaged my arm skin.

Amusing story – guest editor Ben Gulyas in 1991 wrote asking Bukowski for poems, who sent a nice letter back with doodles on it and enclosed a dozen poems. Ben wrote back saying the poems lacked his usual fire, did he have any others? Bukowski never answered. So we published half what he’d sent in Artcrimes, and the other half in the Jim Lang/Gulyas Split Whiskey poetry paper.

~ ~ ~

Status Report 189

70 years on my head
and I’m still awaiting white hair
to make me look like a poet

Mirrors don’t show
the shards of 8 different decades
embedded in my mind

Fertilizing cultural clime
for climb
from 1946 to 2016

25,567 days of then
with each brief daily now
joining them

Quick new now just born appears
to get me through affaired arrears
and tangled tide

I’m still unknown
neither rich nor well off
50 years after my first rejection letter

But art and poems and friends and fotos
pile in amiable disarray
in my backspray

And body rage eases
as it ages
in pain

So happier in head
due wife and cat
and life

And grass

– Smith, 3.9.2016



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