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Archive for the ‘Philosophy’ Category

yesterday’s poems

Wednesday, August 5th, 2020

I’m stealing my soul
back from the Devil
one selfie at a time

~ ~ ~

Rebuilding my soul
In spite of Satan
haiku by haiku

~ ~ ~


yr face iz gonna freeze

Wednesday, December 11th, 2019


66 Basho talked to me

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2019

66 Basho from The Complete Haiku
translated, anointed, introduction by Jane Reichhold
Kodansha USA 2008 – original artwork by Shiro Tsujimura
Basho 1644-1694

Inside the temple
visitors cannot know
cherries are blooming

(36 of 1012, 1670)


Tomorrow the rice dumpling
will be just dead reed leaves
with a dream

(76 of 1012, 1677)


Scudding clouds
as a dog pisses while running
scattered winter showers

(86 of 1012, 1677)


On a bare branch
a crow settled down
autumn evening

(120 of 1012, 1680)


Dew on roses
the rapeseed flowers’ faces
become envious

(132 of 1012, 1681?)


The crane’s legs
have gotten shorter
with the spring rain

(136 of 1012, 1681)


Fully in darkness
grabbing a thorn
instead of a firefly

(137 of 1012, 1681)


Old pond
a frog jumps into
the sound of water

(152 of 1012, 1681-82)


Dew drips drips
wanting to rinse away
the dust of this world

(206 of 1012, 1684?)


Even a long day
is not enough for the singing
of a skylark

(304 of 1012, 1687)


In the middle of a field
with nothing to cling to
a skylark sings

(305 of 1012, 1687)


A peasant’s child
stops hulling rice
gazes at the moon

(314 of 1012, 1687)


Winter sun
frozen on horseback
the priest’s shadow

(332 of 1012, 1687)


On snow and sand
you can fall off a horse
drunk on wine

(334 of 1012, 1687)


First celebrate
the flowers in your heart
confined in winter

(341 of 1012, 1687)


With young leaves
I would like to wipe away
the tears in your eyes

(396 of 1012, 1688)


Early autumn
the sea and rice fields
one green

(443 of 1012, 1688)


Various grasses
each flower
an achievement

(444 of 1012, 1688)


Travel weary
how many days of this?
autumn wind

(447 of 1012, 1688)


Seeing someone off
his back looks lonely
in the autumn wind

(448 of 1012, 1688)


Spring departing
birds cry and in the fishes’
eyes are tears

(497 of 1012, 1689)


Heat threads
tie together
to hold the smoke

(498 of 1012, 1689)


How glorious
young green leaves
flash in the sun

(502 of 1012, 1689)


Fleas and lice
now a horse pisses
by my pillow

(531 of 1012, 1689)


Not permitted to tell
how sleeves are wetted
in the bathroom

(548 of 1012, 1689)


Small flower scraps
small red-beauty shells
small wine cups

(597 of 1012, 1689)


A clam
torn from its shell
departing autumn

(600 of 1012, 1689)


First winter rain
even the monkey seems to want
a little straw raincoat

(613 of 1012, 1689)


Not yet a butterfly
even as autumn passes
the caterpillar

(614 of 1012, 1689)


Winter garden
the moon and insects’ song
a thin thread

(616 of 1012, 1689)


Now children
come run among jewels

(619 of 1012, 1689)


Butterfly wings
how many times have they flown
over the wall’s roof

(637 of 1012, 1690)


Day break
not yet lavender
the cuckoo

(645 of 1012, 1690)


Missing a wife
putting on bamboo grass

(647 of 1012, 1690)


Don’t be like me
even though we’re like the melon
split in two

(659 of 1012, 1690)


A dragonfly
unable to settle
on the grass

(660 of 1012, 1690)


A wild bore
it is also blown about
by the typhoon

(661 of 1012, 1690)


At my house
the smallest of the mosquitoes
is my treat

(662 of 1012, 1690)


Soon to die
yet showing no sign
the cicada’s voice

(663 of 1012, 1690)


Drinking morning tea
the monk is quiet
as is the mum flower

(678 of 1012, 1690)


With lightning
one is not enlightened
how valuable

(685 of 1012, 1690)


Building a bridge
between snow-covered mountains
white egrets

(695 of 1012, 1690)


Year after year
the cherry tree nourished by
fallen blossoms

(709 of 1012, 1691)


Summer rain
where the poem card peeled off
a mark on the wall

(716 of 1012, 1691)


For a while
flowers are above
the night’s moon

(719 of 1012, 1691)


hung on a nail
a cricket

(738 of 1012, 1691)


The hawk’s eye
already it has darkened
the quail call

(752 of 1012, 1691)


Feeling holy
the leaves that stain
fallen leaves

(762 of 1012, 1691)


Memorial Service
five gallons of sake
like oil

(808 of 1012, 1692)


Year after year
the monkey wearing
a monkey mask

(816 of 1012, 1693)


Ice fish
their dark eyes are open
in the net of the law

(822 of 1012, 1693)


Baby sparrows
exchange voices with
rats in the nest

(891 of 1012, 1694)


Life’s journey
plowing the patch of rice field
back and forth

(934 of 1012, 1694)


Flowers and fruit
at the same time melons
at their peak

(941 of 1012, 1694)


exactly as a pine in the fields
the shape of a branch

(944 of 1012, 1694)


Pine and cedar
to admire the wind
smell the sound

(963 of 1012, 1694)


Rippling waves
the fragrance of wind
in their rhythm

(964 of 1012, 1694)


My dwelling
the moon’s square of light
at the window

(980 of 1012, 1694)


Under a clear moon
the foothills’ mist
is the field’s cloud

(982 of 1012, 1694)


The color of wind
planted artlessly
in an autumn garden

(985 of 1012, 1694)


A cricket
does it get into the bed of
a wild boar

(998 of 1012, 1694)


How pleasurable
sleeping late in autumn
as if master of the house

(999 of 1012, 1694)


Autumn night
dashed to bits
by conversation

(1004 of 1012, 1694)


This road
that no one goes on
autumn’s departure

(1006 of 1012, 1694)


Ill on a journey
dreams in a withered field
wander around

(1011 of 1012, 1694)


Clear cascade
scattered on the waves
green pine needles

(1012 of 1012, 1694)


old Provost, new Smith

Saturday, September 14th, 2019

Took this foto of a chair not there because Jim Lang frequently quoted “A day without Wittgenstein is a day without a chair” going back maybe 25 years. I never knew he was quoting a Terry Provost poem.

Interestingly, I shot this outside the Negative Space gallery at our monthly reading while Terry was still there – so I took this foto because of him while he was there and me not knowing it was because of him.


— Terry Provost

A day without Wittgenstein is like a day without
disappearing chairs, without
weaving cloth at an empty loom. Where
the dog fails to talk
to himself.
A day where it neither rains –
nor does-not.

How hot the taxing pursuit
of exactitude. A few millions upon billions of
electron volts exuding the threat
of electrocution, the guillotine-sweat of essence
from some Manhattan Project nuclear pile gone critical
beneath Chicago.

One day a new order of insects shows up
on the front page, as yet
un-named, as yet
un-begging the un-question of its un-filed
and phylum. As yet both a coelacanth
and not.

Before there were alphabets there were no
spelling errors. Sure,
your pictograph of a wooly mammoth might
have resembled an Erymanthian boar, but the
terrifying, gory, Byzantine abomination of
orthography was as yet a buchstab
in some Phoenician-father’s eye.

Phonetic-Phoenicians everywhere,
and ere the iridescent wing,
a golf course gone to green in Phoenix
has made the snowbird sing.
When plumbing the unknown, the lyric’s a poetic
analgesic for bumps on your noggin.
Contusions acquired where confusing desires ride toboggans
near cobbled-walls where language

On a day without Wittgenstein
a dangerous virus,
not quite living, seeks
life’s essence,
and not quite understanding, speaks
what it does not quite
know. A petroglyph
a stone’s-throw away from
a glass-shattered house,
putting the sigh in
science, as you cast
bricks from the roof
of your mouth.


free will on the installment plan

Wednesday, August 28th, 2019

Recent Facebook statuses:

~ ~ ~

I am what I is… not much mainstream involved.

~ ~ ~

Been thinking about joining the power structure. I am white. I am male. I am old. Of course I’m poorer than Trump’s chance of telling the truth, and I’m not a lizard-person, so there is that. Can one become a lizard-person? Are there apprenticeship programs? I do lie well, so I have the basic skill set.

~ ~ ~

I wanna be a kleptocrat.

~ ~ ~

Walking from kitchen to living room swinging my arms, my forefinger thumps against something… I look down to see a 3 inch black & pale wasp of 3-segments circle me slowly then move on, and my fingertip tingles with the might-have-been.

~ ~ ~

We’re back home from her eye operation, she’s sleeping… they lasered away 2,500 portions of her eye, reducing the edges of her retina in hopes of increasing blood flow so her retina doesn’t swell.

~ ~ ~

Watching roadkill before it becomes roadkill –
what do you want for Brexit?

~ ~ ~

The better root of the bitter truth
is the bitter route to the better truth

~ ~ ~

They always talk of darma,
but what of darpa… and their darkids?
People say the darmist things.

And when darma goes shopping,
does she drive her karma?

~ ~ ~

“We die. That may be the meaning of life.
But we do language. That may be the measure of our lives.”

– Toni Morrison

~ ~ ~

Folk call me a cradle robber for marrying 27 years younger,
but she chose me, so it’s more like she’s a grave robber.

~ ~ ~

The 1950’s kids TV show was originally to be called The Howdy Dawdler Show, but the puppet star-to-be dawdled so long they found a puppet that would do his duty and changed it to the Howdy Doody Show.

~ ~ ~

We need to change the rules —
you can only shoot someone who has a gun.

~ ~ ~

I live in the addict.

~ ~ ~

Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” – Genesis 3:1, New King James Version

If God made everything, how can the Snake of Eden be craftier than anything God made?

~ ~ ~

Spirit caged by skeleton
bone cased in flesh
free will on the installment plan


Cat & Dog

Saturday, April 7th, 2018

Cat & Dog

Cat was on the feather
Showing me where the feather was, dear

“Did you catch a cat?”

Barely, like one of those quantum particles,
snapping my fingers,
hard to hold

Our cat knows
which one is the prey
in our current game

I saw a woman
play Three Card Monte with her dog
she’d put a dog treat under one of the cups
go swish, swish, swish, mix them up,
and the dog would point his nose at
the correct cup every time
and eat the treat

While this is impressive
it’s not quite as impressive as it looks
because she cheated;
she kept her right hand
on the cup with the treat,
never took it off,
went swish swish swish swish swish and
always kept her hand on the treat cup

The dog just watched it go
back and forth
and never left the right hand

When she stopped
he would touch his nose to it;
he would get the treat

Instead of a fireplace
we low-class have a water tank
there’s usually 10 seconds
between the bubble burps in the aquarium filter
but sometimes it’s 11 or 12

I am a wee odd.

For example, I count how long it takes you
from locking the door
to becoming visible in the parking lot

It used to be 31 seconds

“You mean you count?”

Yes, 1001, 1002, 1003

It used to take you 31 seconds to get out
and then 41 seconds because you were cold and you were carrying more stuff
and recently it was 51 seconds
and I started thinking, ‘this is getting
too long but you’ll probably stop at
the mail box,’ and I saw you and you had
a package in your hand.

If it had been more than 60 seconds,
I would have come down and checked

“Wow, that’s very nice”

I work what grid I can, he said
black cat, red feather, white line.

~ Smith & Lady


Sun Ra

Saturday, March 24th, 2018

Sun Ra


My brother, a man of few words
goes across the street to pick up
a Mexican lunch and after he’s full
he gives me his bag of
leftover fresh tortilla chips
a kind of intimacy


Tetras – their movement’s squared off into binary digits
flicking 90 degrees like an object suddenly stimulated in a child’s mobile
half of them draw straight lines one tetra length long
various vectors and tangled orthogonalities

They cloud in their favorite spot, the hollow on the right side of the tank
between the lake rocks and the bookcase
The ones on the edge more quick, shooting long tangents,
unsure what they define
and when they thin they scatter
the cloud loses its mind

When a tetra’s alone, it’s adrift
without the ballast and balance
of its companions

The reflection
from the fishtank’s bubbler
goes up at the same rate
looping like contained
stars on a strip
of quicksilver


Lyle Lovette says
stars shine on water
sun burns on sand


Jupiter is rising
in the ring of Saturn
to celebrate the equivalence
of the days forthcoming

Polly want a polysaccharide?


Staircase at night
Low piano note
Comfortable noir


I’m going to get a beer
husband goes off to urinate
we’re a pair

The romance of
cyborg man and
atomic eye woman–
the title of our
next book

“When the rising sun
hits the army tents it’s a tent, son,”
he says, then, “s’n will be gone
before eight”

I say, “Astute observations for hire”
He says, “Call me Am….. Astute Man”

then “I was born on the border of
Tolerance and Intolerance,


Were my face an owl
thought not thought but
regard for thock of my
feeling, a mirror bent
down from a tree


I’d be a
calm caravan
plodding crucible of mothered feet,
shadow liquid in its shifting
under witnessing stars

Retiform filter
gold sifting loaded loam
easy, like a cold ripening apple
thinking about the sun
in the night

~ Lady


3 poems, 2 fotos, no song

Thursday, January 4th, 2018


Meet me in the meat lane
I’ll be lambing up the chops

trying to chase the safe
and not the not

laminating lamentations
crying up the crop

slipping slide relations
in cut of guardian knot

never wanted to fuck my mother
didn’t want daddy dead

actually loved my younger brother
before he blew off his head

they’re all gone and yet remain
in my side of am

none of this of course germaine
to jiggle jelly jam

– Smith, 1.4.2018


To Be Continued…

You can befuddle a dog
by throwing a stick

You can confuse a cat
by dangling a string

And you can distract people
by mentioning money

– Smith, 1.3.2018

My poem Bad Bush George (for the CheneyBush Beast) is up at WineDrunk SideWalk:


2 leftover tidbits, 1 new tidbyte

Wednesday, December 27th, 2017

“Mingus Our Magic,” 4.5″ x 5″ x 1.5″
for Lady K., 12.24.2017

Piece in the fotos titled for poem I wrote Lady in our 10th week of relationship. I turned her onto Mingus, Yoko Ono, and Was (Not Was), and she turned me onto Gorillaz.



Mingus our magic
We mingle our meld both mode
And modality

– Smith, 11.21.2005


My December feature on Medusa’s Kitchen returns me to form – October and November were uneven, perhaps mindflux from shoulder surgery.


2 leftover tidbits, 1 new tidbyte:


Philosophy 168

We yearn for oneness
but since the Big Bang
we’re someness
underneath a box flap
pulling at the strings

– Smith, 12.22.2017


The Flu

One toilet
Two people
Four orifices

– Smith, 12.12.2017


Status Report 262

Cold and blow outside
but anti-inflammatory pills gone days ago
so I drive 8 blocks to hospital pharmacy

Leave ear warmer and scarf
cuz parking’s 2 minutes from door

But parking gate’s broken
won’t raise me in,
I’m waved away

I know this game,
Reality and I play all the time,
the let’s-mess-with-him
and see if he’s laugh or curse

Staying calm
I say Buddhist chant
bought 51 years ago in San Francisco for $6

Nam myoho renge kyo
right word, right thought, right action, right path

Drive halfway home to free street parking,
walk back through ice and howl and blow of cold

Get 90 1-a-day pills 8 cents each

Start back
staying inside long as I can
down deserted corridors of weekend hospital
the SLAP SLAP SLAP reminding me
my right sole is loose

(perhaps going to church 60 years ago
didn’t take as well as it might).

Check sole and see coat zipper undone
I re-zip it and the lower half unzips again

Pull coat over head,
force zipper unzip,
zip and watch unzip again

Snap snaps,
top 3 close,
bottom 2 broke
coat flops open catching cold

Hunched against biting wind
I scurry through storm
chanting and laughing

Reality’s joke,
but punchline’s mine

– Smith, 12.27.2017


serial solar recycle

Monday, November 6th, 2017

Sisyphus Prime

In dark before dawn
clutching cup of hot black coffee
poised between was and will
not quite is
licking wounds
weighing pain
seeing how much grass is left
to ease me through
the three reals of time
before the rock
during the rock
after the rock
and as always
the hill
the rise
the mountain
the sweat unsweet
doing today yesterday
tomorrow today
now now
now being walk to work
push up hill
drag back home
to repeat unnecessary
serial solar recycle

– Smith, 11.6.2017


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