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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 the ‘cleveland’ Category

Life Walk Bird Talk

Tuesday, April 14th, 2015

Life Walk Bird Talk

News creeping seeping through my glow
telling me what I don’t want to know
but need to to . . . ?

Ugly stuff in need of antidote.

Which is wife, cat, friends, family, life.

And bird walks along Cleveland’s Erie Canal Towpath Trail.

Saw, heard, or was told
chipping sparrow, red-winged blackbird, cormorant,
mocking bird, robin, song sparrow, wood duck,
towhee, flicker, red-bellied woodpecker,
white-throated sparrow,
morning dove,
tree swallow, house sparrow,
new beaver lodge and dam flooding boardwalk,
mallard, cardinal, cowbird, starling, seven swans flying,
crow, kingfisher, rock pigeon sparrow, chickadee,
blue jay, bullfinch, geese, downy woodpecker,
and a ferret river bank running.

My kinda news.

– Smith, 4.14.2015


Smith & Lady Poems March 2015 – Lady’s #31

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015


Away from the melee, away
from the undertow of the appalling,
the maelstrom of the loathsome,
surf the cosmic way rather

Take the bank of your life to
the here now of corporeality, an odyssey
with you and me, the hero’s journey of art,
cameras in our hands, beginners’ eyes
delighting in novelty, so many maiden voyages,
riddles like rooms of zoomorphic fish canoes
oared by crews from shadowy odeums,
neighbors and friends

The fish is not your mother
but embrace the story – maybe she is
your mother, echoes of time, tide lapping us,
sated travelers startling awake like from
the twirling skirt of our lake’s wet tongue

~ Lady



Smith & Lady Poems March 2015 – Lady’s #14

Saturday, March 14th, 2015

Pi Day

We wring hands begging spring and finally, winter’s
leaving Cleveland, a seasonal glacier carving the roads,
embellishing them with the grit of our driving in the
relinquished like hackies in taxies waltzing round potholes
as prevalent as scaled craters on the moon, o battered
road of rugged emotions–the consolation prize jobs for
people to spackle and pave, gigantic rags of the city
repairing its crust

Soon land’s raw thaw will be absorbed into spring’s
forgiving pillow powering fresh green leaf, flowering
chrysalis seed, budding trees for bees, sprinkling petals
into regal paths for cheerful hops of curious sparrows,
fresh air like ribbons of light, byzantine rites of stain
glass windows, spiral candy dance for everyone from
lusty flushed youth to clean peace aged

~ Lady


Black History Month Poems – #25

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015


Black history in Cleveland
my association of Black with civic
life, adulthood, urbanity–

The mental landing pad of
Public Square, stony-faced quadripartite sphinx,
history in concrete or ticker tape glyphs
from 19th century newspapers

Feeling it out
in the snow of words, some sense of
being in it, the staking claim in work and mire,
pencil and paper, trading figures
and invention

George and Hanna Peake
first African American settlers
arrive with half bushel of sepia silver
like a pail of liquidity, invent
hand mill for grinding corn
ready to exact hi-fidelity
from swamp

Settlers arriving
into almost naked cosmos with
long chains of teaching clothing
minds and hands, relationships
with native people
of the land

~ Lady



of winter discontent

Sunday, November 30th, 2014

Tomorrow’s December, winter whether. I’m more spring summer fall so will hold warm fotos, flower poems and thoughts of spring rebirth close through the coming months of snow and ice and blow.

Didn’t used to be this way. I was born in cold, raised the same. Wasn’t until we missed the winters of 2007-9 living in warmer wheres that brain realized there were options and now mind gnaws at winter’s rope.


The ubiquitous
hibiscus unfolding
in full flowing.

– Smith, 11.30.2014


bitz & piecez

Tuesday, November 18th, 2014

Mary E. Weems

Poet, Professor, Playwright

Reading Mary Weems’
serial daily haiku
I grin, nod head yes.

– Smith, 11.18.2014

Mary E. Weems

We were outside this morning in 12° . . . Lady was going running but couldn’t see because her glasses fogged up, so I offered to take them upstairs and put them in my pocket. As she left, I took a couple fotos, walked less than 100 feet, moved the car, came upstairs. When she returned and asked for her glasses, they weren’t in my pocket.

Went out and closely searched my entire route. No glasses. I felt like a pile of do-doo. She was graciously forgiving. Still felt like crap. Took flashlight and broom back out, swept the leaves, looked in the shadows, and finally found them under a parked car. No logic for them being there. No logic for them falling out of my jacket pocket.

But for once logic ruled. I had a finite path from the front of the house to the back. If second search hadn’t succeeded, I was going to crawl the route sifting everything with my frozen fingers. I am so grateful for the amazing luck I’ve been gifted my entire life. No fame, no money, but good friends, good adventures (and bad), good parents, good luck.

foto I took before I lost her glasses

Last night I got sick, probably food poisoning. Lost my inner ear balance so as I walked, I fell to the left, had to hang onto items to walk. Got a little scared, researched things like stroke symptoms (not even close) and the closest I could come was inner ear damage.

Suspected food poisoning though because it happened once before when we lived in Mexico — the room was spinning so badly I leaned left holding myself up by the wall as I walked . . . in between walls, I had to crawl. That episode was way worse than this one.

Woke up this morning with minor vertigo, but as soon as I ate, It was gone.


morning window


Hot Cold Fusion

Thursday, November 6th, 2014


Hot Cold Fusion

The heat of the bath
relaxes meat in my mind —
o holy liquid.

If it’s not the heat,
it’s the two hundred percent
damned humidity.

Arctic ice melting
freeing the polar vortex
for vacation south.

It’s too hot one day,
too cold or chilly the next –
welcome to Cleveland.

– Smith, 11.6.2014



41.4822° N, 81.6697° W, August 2014, so far

Sunday, August 10th, 2014

41.4822° N, 81.6697° W, August 2014, so far


sticky wicket mercy

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

Sopping wet from sweat from bicycling 61 blocks on an errand of mercy, then back again.

Months ago Lady with her ever kind and giving Ladyheart gave a lift to someone less fortunate. Later that night she and I took over some food to him at his apartment and gave him and his urine soaked trousers a ride to the free church dinner.

Lady called Meals On Wheels to see if they could feed him and they said have him call so we went back and loaned him her fone but the gentleman in need got feisty with all the questions and when they asked if he had trouble getting around, he snapped “I get around fine. I use a cane but it’s a fashion statement.” Since Meals On Wheels is for those having trouble ambulating, they turned him down. The man definitely has trouble getting around and basically cut off his nose to spite their authoritarian face.

Friday I recorded a tune with Peter and forgot to turn my fone back on afterward. Friday night I get a voice message saying he’d like to talk to us. Go over Saturday but he’s not there so Lady leaves her jar of fresh canned blueberry jam and a bag of food in his door.

Lady gets a couple more voice mails asking if she’d taxi him someplace.

This morning I find another voice message from last night, call him back and get “Sorry, voice mail box is full, go away.” Get another voice mail from him from another number and call back and get a third party who is not exactly nice, doesn’t seem to understand what I say, and hangs up.

Get curious why I’m not hearing my fone ring and discover my fone’s still off, so since Lady’s at work with the car and I know what it’s like to be in trouble and need a hand, I bicycle 61 blocks in the hot sun.

We talk. He doesn’t remember me because I’m not with Lady. Ask him why he called and he said he’s out of money and he thinks if he can get hold of Steve & Kathy, they’ll lend him some. I say “I’m the Steve of Steve and Kathy.” He hadn’t recognized me because I’m not with Lady.

I explain we are on limited income and can’t be his patron. He says he gets $1,000 a month from disability (he’s 83) and his rent is only $230. I ask, “If you get that much, why are you in trouble every month?” “I donno, I do stupid things,” he replies. He doesn’t drink alcohol or do drugs, so I don’t know what’s going on.

I tell him he cannot call us to ask for money or rides, and he says it’s good to know that. He’s quite a nice old man, I like him, but I can’t even afford to buy a little grass for myself so certainly can’t afford to raise him – besides, he’s 15 years older than I am.

I explain to him how he messed up on the Meals On Wheels because he insisted he had no trouble getting around. He says he meant he can get around the block he lives on, but not to the church serving free food. So we agreed that if Lady will call Meals On Wheels back and try to explain he was confused when he answered and ask if he can interview again, he’ll give less prideful answers. She says she’ll call them again, so we’ll see.

Then I gave him $7 and bicycled back in the heat.

Moral of story? Be careful to whom you give your fone#, and be aware that helping others sometimes is like trying to rescue flies willfully stuck to flypaper – you might get stuck yourself cuz it’s all one great sticky wicket.

Still, is better to try to help than harden one’s heart . . . otherwise you end up like Bland Paul or Mutt Romney or Ted Cruel, which is NOT a pretty picture.

(Took these two fotos on my bicycle way back home today . . . on the same car)


2morro Mad Sing You II 1-4pm, Pat’s in the Flats

Saturday, July 19th, 2014

Tomorrow down in the Flats, 7 poet-music acts for a Sunday afternoon – MAD SING YOU II 2nd Annual poetrymusic Fest July 20, 2014, 1pm – 4pm a 21 and over show at Pat’s in the Flats 2233 W. 3rd St (bottom of Literary Hill) Cleveland, Ohio $5 cover charge.

Starring: Latex Menagerie (spoken word by Bree, Adam Brodsky & Russ Vidrick), Shelley Chernin, Jesus Crisis Ban/ne/d (poet John Burroughs), Tom Adams w/ Goggles Pisano, The Deep Cleveland Trio Band (dan smith, Morgan Ellington, Miles Budimir & Eric Anderson), Terry Provost (backing band, the Rickety Claque, featuring Dave Shaggy Snodgrass), and The Leftovers (featuring Steven Smith & Shawn Mishak) . . . and Lady will sing one song with me.

~ ~ ~


Young Rabbit Angstrom
felled by casual fucking
and former glory.

– Smith 7.19.2014

Finally finished “Rabbit at Rest.” Now reading another by Updike – “S.”.

~ ~ ~

Recorded this yesterday, a short talking urban blues, so to speak . . . click here to hear One Life to Live, Peter Ball music, mix and recording, me word and voice, or as Peter put it: Steven B. Smith – Vocals and Lyrics with The Planetary Extinction Orchestra.

One Life to Live (the song)

Am I running from the coming
of the fountain of afford?
Is the water getting wider
before we get to ford?

How’s the hide of hoarder
as he hoists his heavy load?
When the heck will this be paid for
as we stumble down the road?

I say sock it to em, sex it up,
add some color, bunny hop,
make it funky, do it down,
even clunky you can clown
defrown that upsidedown.

These are the questions lacking
in the running of day,
the personal people problems
per their portion of the pay.

We don’t have a lot of options
in the play or way of lay,
but then that’s not our business,
or at least that’s what they say.

I say sock it to em, sex it up,
add some color, bunny hop,
make it funky, do it down,
even clunky you can clown
defrown that upsidedown.

– Smith, 7.18.2014

foto by Lady K


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