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Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

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.

Reification

— 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
family,
genus,
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
ends.

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.

 

the 2nd coming mending wall

Thursday, August 29th, 2019

Strange – I pick these 2 poems for their moral implications, and find they were written within 5 years of each other, back in the WW I days – the war that ended all wars.

The Second Coming
by William Butler Yeats, 1919

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

~ ~ ~

Mending Wall
by Robert Frost, 1914

Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
And spills the upper boulders in the sun;
And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.
The work of hunters is another thing:
I have come after them and made repair
Where they have left not one stone on a stone,
But they would have the rabbit out of hiding,
To please the yelping dogs. The gaps I mean,
No one has seen them made or heard them made,
But at spring mending-time we find them there.
I let my neighbour know beyond the hill;
And on a day we meet to walk the line
And set the wall between us once again.
We keep the wall between us as we go.
To each the boulders that have fallen to each.
And some are loaves and some so nearly balls
We have to use a spell to make them balance:
“Stay where you are until our backs are turned!”
We wear our fingers rough with handling them.
Oh, just another kind of out-door game,
One on a side. It comes to little more:
There where it is we do not need the wall:
He is all pine and I am apple orchard.
My apple trees will never get across
And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.
He only says, “Good fences make good neighbours.”
Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder
If I could put a notion in his head:
“Why do they make good neighbours? Isn’t it
Where there are cows? But here there are no cows.
Before I built a wall I’d ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offence.
Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,
That wants it down.” I could say “Elves” to him,
But it’s not elves exactly, and I’d rather
He said it for himself. I see him there
Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top
In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed.
He moves in darkness as it seems to me,
Not of woods only and the shade of trees.
He will not go behind his father’s saying,
And he likes having thought of it so well
He says again, “Good fences make good neighbours.”

 

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

 

Lady poem – Days of Untrouble

Tuesday, August 27th, 2019

Days of Untrouble

Realizing my chimpanzee wants to scream
is a relief from assigning words
to my tantrums, monsters in the wild mind
mercury in my pinball machine

When in grace, I think it’s like this:
I unroll my tongue
I unzip my face down to my bowels
I unfold myself onto the clean slate of a table
a salty finger bowl of bled paint and jellied intestines
laid open to the gentle cauterization
of room temperature oxygen

Lips, eyelids, hand, chrysanthemum

You know, thoughts don’t have to do anything
feet are a stone cold path
a meadow runs through the holy cycles
of day, night, stars, gold, silver,
dew catchers, buttercups and
lightning bugs

– Lady, 5.25.19

 

last week’s ego

Saturday, August 24th, 2019

last week’s ego

“It’s time for Smith again (Steven B. Smith), hot on the airwaves (heatwaves!) from Cleveland! And a big thank-you to him for, as usual, waking us up on a Friday with his sharp-edged poems and visuals.” – sez Medusa’s Kitchen editor/publisher Kathy Kieth.

10 fotos 9 poems at Medusa’s Kitchen – http://medusaskitchen.blogspot.com/2019/08/dark-questionables.html

 

last month’s ego

Friday, August 23rd, 2019

I haven’t blogged my last 2 monthly features on Medusa’s Kitchen. Gonna have to give my ego a shake.

Here’s last month’s, which I particularly enjoyed – 10 fotos, 9 poems (3 of which have audio links).

Per editor/publisher Kathy Kieth – “Thank you, Smith (Steven B. Smith), for your rattlin’ rhythms on this hot Friday in July, rapping to us all the way from Cleveland! Smith’s visuals are always music of their own, too, morphing colors and forms as they lovely-ly do.”

http://medusaskitchen.blogspot.com/2019/07/doing-time.html

 

where ole ego go ? ? ?

Friday, July 5th, 2019

Donno where ego goed… haven’t blogged May or June’s feature on Medusa’s Kitchen, nor the video of my February reading.

Here’s Medusa.

http://medusaskitchen.blogspot.com/2019/05/cool-and-sly.html

http://medusaskitchen.blogspot.com/2019/06/gotta-try.html

 

5 Basho, 1 Buson, 5 Smith

Thursday, May 16th, 2019

a few haiku by Basho (1644-1694)

Inside the temple
visitors cannot know
cherries are blooming

Dew on roses
the rapeseed flowers’ faces
become envious

On a bare branch
a crow settled down
autumn evening

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

Old pond
a frog jumps into
the sound of water

~ ~ ~

one by Buson (1716-1783)

Butterfly
sleeping
on the temple bell

~ ~ ~

and non_haiku by me… Normally non-haiku are senryu, but these probably ain’t even that.

Tokyo, Kyoto
same country, same letters
but oh!

In field
corn over my head
alone with sky

Black cat
saunters saucy
fur so sure of self

Cold pain world
slow soak in hot salt bath
briefly evens up

Dogwood dew,
a tear and fear
affair.

 

monthly feature #41, April 2019 – 10 fotos 9 poems

Tuesday, April 30th, 2019

My monthly feature #41 on Medusa’s Kitchen – 1st was December 2015 thanks to poet D.R. Wagner recommending me (he of the late 60’s d.a. levy coterie)

Thanks to editor/publisher Kathy Kieth for her generosity – 9 poems, 10 fotos:

http://medusaskitchen.blogspot.com/2019/04/fracking-flux.html

 

9 poems 10 fotos March 2019 Medusa’s Kitchen

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2019

I’m 2 monthly features and a filmed reading behind blog-wise these past 3 months. My raging ego seems to have gone iffy.

Doesn’t make much difference anyway  since fame abhors my vacuum and the world’s slowly boiling itself in frog soup.

Here is my 40th monthly feature on Medusz’s Kitchen, thanks to editor/publisher Kathy Kieth…9 poems, 10 fotos — http://medusaskitchen.blogspot.com/2019/03/becoming-one-with-one.html

 

 
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