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Our relationship was forged to the soundtrack of Yoko Ono's magic,
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Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

Lady’s latest

Saturday, July 24th, 2021

Rhythm a.m.

The snake flick of the lighter’s tongue
its reflection in the window
firey eyes glint

Husband cups warm orange light
in the cradle of his hand and pipe
all the wrinkles of his wisdom
squint to suck a flame

He ahems some coughs
lights the pipe again

Dog raises head

Husband consults the clock
flicks another glint
rocks forward
says alrighty
time to walk the dog

He blows his nose
The dog skittles his nails
on the Tylenol groan of
foyer floor

The door slams like
the thump of a book
Bells rattle
Windows shake

Now it’s just my invisible
silent breath and the tick tick
of the clock’s swinging pendulum
They’re on their walk
and I am alone

– Lady 7.24.2021


4 deer, 1 dog

Saturday, July 17th, 2021

Four deer in park
One dog off leash
One man calling


Ralph Philip “Pappy” Smith, 1922-89

Tuesday, July 13th, 2021

Ralph Philip “Pappy” Smith, 1922-89

Dad dead 32 years.

Wish I’d known him better, but I left home at 17, ignorant.

We loved each other. But while I respected him, he found me weird. When I mentioned I’d made the Dean’s List at Loyola College, he said he couldn’t respect me because of my shoulder-length hair. He later upgraded me when I started getting newspaper and magazine articles on my art and poetry.

He was a brick-block-stone mason, and I made good money summers as his hodcarrier from 14-17.

Pappy was a good man. Honest. And funny. Folk liked and trusted him, were talking of running him for local office.

Lady thinks I get my sense of humor from him. Some of these fotos suggest that may be true.

1st foto below is his contribution to my 1975 art journal.


weex worx

Thursday, June 24th, 2021

2021.6.18 – Yesterday
2021.6.19 – The body
2021.6.22 – Money Jungle
2021.6.23 – The tune and tang
2021.6.24 – Yellow blush of green in spring

~ ~ ~


My road map
hope for best
fear worst

I can tell you now
the answer ain’t 42
but thanks for all the fish

Always dark
under dark
under light

~ ~ ~

The body
or the Buddha
temple what you will

~ ~ ~

Money Jungle
Duke Ellington and Mingus
fight it out

~ ~ ~

The tune and tang
sway and swang
of train

~ ~ ~

Yellow blush of green in spring
brings hope to heart
heart to sing

~ ~ ~



Thursday, June 17th, 2021


~ ~ ~

Day is rock
life is hill
wife keeps me going

~ ~ ~

I know the status quo
wife above
husband below

~ ~ ~

My flesh
my bone
what’s me?

~ ~ ~

Good bad
bad good
that’s life

~ ~ ~

soft slow sun
park bench heaven

~ ~ ~


my May Medusa

Monday, June 7th, 2021

I quite like my May feature on Medusa’s Kitchen — 9 poems, 10 fotos.

This isn’t always the case since I submit them a month before they appear, and I’m not always happy when I read them 4 weeks later.

Publisher/editor Kathy Kieth’s blurb is much appreciated as well:

“Our thanks to Steven Smith for rocking our poetry world today with his sounds and senses (dogs piss, rocket hiss, cricket creep, frog peep)! Poetry is about the music of words, and Steven is definitely a composer who knows all about that. Thanks again, Smith, for the melodies and rhythms of your poetry and visuals.”

68 features so far – 563 poems, 596 fotos, 32 songs.


select shuffle

Sunday, June 6th, 2021

select shuffles…

Bad Woman Blues – Beth Hart
I Asked for Water (He Gave Me Gasoline) – Lucinda Williams
God & the FBI – Janis Ian
Hell on Heels – Pistol Annies
Give Me One Reason – Tracy Chapman
It’s My Way – Buffy Sainte-Marie
Woman – Susheela Raman
The Boy Can’t Help It – Bonnie Raitt
Down By The Water – PJ Harvey
Criminal – Fiona Apple
Dancing Barefoot – Patti Smith
This Is – Grace Jones
She Bop (slow acoustic) – Cindi Lauper
Blood Makes Noise – Suzanne Vega
Black Caffeine – Emmylou Harris
Strange Girl – Laura Marling
The Way I Talk – S. G. Goodman
Broken English – Marianne Faithful
4th & Vine – Sinead O’Connor
Walk Like an Egyptian – The Bangles
Only Happy When It Rains – Garbage
Weed Killer – The Kills
Raised on Robbery – Joni Mitchell
Grow Mama Grow – Dominique Fils-Aimé
Devil’s Got Your Boyfriend – Tracy Bonham
Germ Free Adolescents – X-Ray Spex
Deep Dish – Ani Difranco
God – Tori Amos
Kill Your Mama – Alicia Keys
Don’t Fucking Tell Me What To Do – Robyn
Think Twice (Version X) – Lavern Baker
Trailer Trash – carolesdaughter
Tried To Be A Man – Rickie Lee Jones
Never Say Never – Romeo Void
Scary Latin Love Song – Mary Margaret O’Hara
Bad Kitty – Liz Phair
A Swamp Dog’s Tale – Goat Girl
Welcome to Hell – Hen Ogledd
You’re Dead – Norma Tanega
Indus – Dead Can Dance


flesh in the life lane

Saturday, May 29th, 2021

companion to Life in the Flesh Lane
and Life in the Smith Lane

Flesh in the Life Lane

There’s life before and after
laughter’s led to slaughter

so, gonna drink my coffee
smoke my dope
and go

it’s good to have a plan

can’t feel bad
just cuz bad people do bad things
and I can’t stop em
or teach em
or make em be one

especially with my past

besides, who’s looking who
down here in the zoo?

– Smith, 5.29.2021


my Dylan shuffle

Wednesday, May 26th, 2021

Dylans on my A.I. shuffle list

003 – Everything Is Broken
019 – Like A Rolling Stone
041 – Mozambique
042 – Someday Baby
043 – Things Have Changed
045 – Ballad of a Thin Man
058 – Desolation Row
066 – False Prophet
079 – Crossing the Rubicon
157 – One More Cup Of Coffee
158 – Thunder on the Mountain
161 – Highway 61 Revisited
282 – Lonesome Day Blues

previous Dylans on list

Beyond the Horizon
Beyond Here Lies Nothing
Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right
Down Along the Cove
Goodbye Jimmy Reed
Gotta Serve Somebody
It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry
Just Like A Woman
Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues
Most of the Time
Mr. Tamborine Man
My Own Version of You
Not Dark Yet
Positively 4th Street
Rainy Day Women #12 & 35
Spirit on the Water
Stuck Inside of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again
This Dream of You
To Be Alone With You


Wendy Shaffer / Smith collab #4

Tuesday, May 25th, 2021

Seasons slide side by side
first rain, then snow, then nine below
raising want of warmth, hearth and home
the cat on your lap, the television’s drone
the dribbles and drabs of civilized paths
counting costs of culture
abacus upended, values extended
the weather without whethered within

In the house of the North Americans
the weather remains the comfortable same
while outside
humans lay on their blankets
over the sidewalk grates
hunting some warmth from the waste
and a few table crumbs to taste
before the gong bongs gone

What a luxury!
this clean pillowcase
pillow, lavender and bleach
so many gifts in the drift
of then through now
to hold in future

We’re the lucky ones
born in the U.S. of A.
white, not targeted
to be shot on sight
allowed to drive alive maybe even survive
the safety of our sameness
the smallness of our brain

In moments of madness
there’s lavender and lilac
women of sorrow laughing at the well
while the sun does a dance with bright green leaves
and the butterfly sleeps on Buson’s temple bell

– Wendy Shaffer & Smith collab #4


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