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Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

Where does the red brick go?

Wednesday, January 26th, 2022

Where does the red brick go?

My 76th feature past 74 months . . . the usual 9 poems, 10 fotos.

“Smith is here today, telling us about his Lady and the dog and the cat and the house they have in Cleveland. He tells it in true Smith fashion—little snatches of what he calls LIFE (the good and the bad and the mostly in-between). Thanks for your visit today, Steven—always a pleasure!” – Kathy Kieth, publisher/editor . . . send her some stuff, she posts every day.


Crashes: Fast, Soft, Slow, Hard / As Rock Rolls On

Thursday, December 30th, 2021

Didn’t blog November or December’s monthly feature on Medusa’s Kitchen.

Wondering if my ego’s all it used to be.

Thanks to publisher/editor Kathy Kieth for the features past 73 months (a gig longer than my 1st marriage).

Crashes: Fast, Soft, Slow, Hard (1 poem, 10 fotos)

As Rock Rolls On (9 poems, 10 fotos)


word harvest 12.1 thru 12.15 2021

Friday, December 17th, 2021

word harvest 12.1 thru 12.15 2021

2021.12.1 – I love the dog
2021.12.2 – Cold day
2021.12.3 – You just do
2021.12.5 – Yesterday’s bones
2021.12.7 – I’m yesterday’s news
2021.12.9 – Tomorrow never comes
2021.12.10 – It’s all perception
2021.12.11 – Life with Wife 14
2021.12.13 – Working entropy mines
2021.12.15 – In the dark anyway

~ ~ ~

I love the dog
and he loves me
I see him gnawing bone
knowing if I died
fell to the floor
a couple days not being fed
that’d be me

~ ~ ~

Cold day
long hot salt soak
skin cuts

The crow of the blessed
the cry of the dispossessed

Yesterday’s bone
tomorrow’s scream

~ ~ ~

You just do
you do you do you do
until you don’t

~ ~ ~

Yesterday’s bones
tomorrow’s flesh
spirit inflected

~ ~ ~

I’m yesterday’s news
today’s trash
tomorrow’s compost

Zoo parking lot
full of red light people
going places not to be alone

Night train rumble
carrying yesterday away

weary’s what you got
weary, worry, wondering

Once feared
being inadequate
now I’m almost adequate

Morning dogwalk
heavy rain
another two-deer day

~ ~ ~

Tomorrow never comes
today won’t leave
yesterday waits

~ ~ ~

It’s all perception —
look how the stars sparkle
on the pus tonight

~ ~ ~

Life with Wife 14

Sometime it’s low fruit
or no fruit
“Especially with politicians,” she adds

What was cheese before it died?
“Cheese is, cheese was.”

She’s looking up the recipe
for broccoli and beast

“I going to trim your beard.”
I sez no.
She sez “Yes.”
I sez no.
I gets “the look”.

~ ~ ~

Working entropy mines
walking empty line
to last station

~ ~ ~

In the dark anyway
I sit in dark
for camouflage

or am I the darkness?


Here’s 3rd third (11.21-30.2021)

Sunday, December 5th, 2021

Here’s the 3rd third (11.21-30) of my side of poem-tag with poet / playwright / professor Mary E. Weems . . . each day we use the other’s last poem to start our new one.

2021.11.22 – Don’t know if I didn’t attend kindergarten
2121.11.23 – Poor most my life
2021.11.23 – Capitalism’s clone Covid-19
2021.11.23 – Wife on diet
2021.11.24 – Sin is scintillating
2021.11.25 – Sitting in silence
2021.11.26 – What a wonderful, grateful country this is
2021.11.27 – When not using the belt
2021.11.28 – Talkin’ n laughin’ n watchin’
2021.11.29 – Moved into first single-family house
2021.11.30 – The person
2021.11.30 – Amerikkka

~ ~ ~

Don’t know if I didn’t attend kindergarten
because I’m that old or we were that poor

Age and money weights everything
(though mind can free it)

~ ~ ~

Poor most my life
yet smarter than most
looking down on the downlookers

Hospital waiting room
more mediocre music
devil as D.J.

Is it tomorrow yet?
Except then it would be today again

Hot bath sauna
soak poisons from the body
melt em from the mind

Preaching tabernacle
to the choir
good gulp gone

Too many times
it’s gotta do it
so whatcha gonna do?

I ass you
you mind bound?
you behind behind?

Rich white freedom
fracturing the rest of us
time for pitchforks and torches

Bunny bashing mice
told to stop
by the woodland fairies

~ ~ ~

Capitalism’s clone Covid-19
has killed 5,160,000 people worldwide
so far
and we’ve barely started counting

~ ~ ~

Wife on diet
I offer her cookies
sez “You’re the Devil”

I’ll take sin over salvation
much easier to spell
and more fun

~ ~ ~

Sin is scintillating
sin is sine qua non

Sin is singularity
sin quantum’s dawn

There’s sin in single
sin in sing

Sin snake wiggle
long since singed

Sinning in, and out about
and of course in the devout

Also the looters of the looney bins
with their lawyers and loathsome louts

It’s not so much original sin
as seedy second-hand doubt

Sincere as Satan’s sire
sinsational sin in search of fire

~ ~ ~

Sitting in silence
clocks asymmetrically ticking
rain whispering roof
dishwasher murmuring
wife upstairs washing up from cooking
dog here waiting wife
cat in wife’s chair cleaning
sirens on bridge blocks away
harmonizing with coyotes below
frequent slow low freight train rumble
waiting for turkey to cook
the in-laws to come
sitting in silence

~ ~ ~

What a wonderful, grateful country this is
you were living here before whites arrived
you were brought bound black in ship bottoms
your yellow skin greased the railroads

~ ~ ~

“When not using the belt
it contains in the box under the deck board”

There’s me
there’s the world inside my head
there’s *something* out there

Eyes in cold
awaiting wife
watching walkers

There’s now
there’s next
there’s the creeping up behind

I’m not a nice guy
i just play one
in reality

There are heres
there are theres
there are elsewheres

In a haze
I look dazed
at your ways

“Sometimes during assembly
it is best to be two people”

~ ~ ~

Talkin’ n laughin’ n watchin’
folk flee misery
welcome to the newest
longest fastest slowest endless
binged mini-series
called LIFE
where ya gotta grab yr laughs
as you can
pearls snatched from pus
(for the way is dark)
(the way is painful)
(the way is crass)
to hide from them
and keep for us
yesterday’s bone today
for tomorrow’s prone to praying
one more chance
to mile groan foot feet
of meat marching
butcher bound
to ground

~ ~ ~

Moved into first single-family house
since I left parents 58 years ago

The years between saw
bootcamp barracks, Memphis airbase,
military prep school,
Bancroft Hall in Annapolis,
cannibalized row houses in Baltimore,
rat and cockroach enclaves in Baltimore,
soleless apartment complexes in Baltimore,
a Michigan woods shack
with my not-yet self-killed brother,
a low trash highrise outside Cleveland,
a 4th floor warehouse overlooking Lake Erie,
a 5-condo long ago pharmacy,
a few park benches and sleeping in bushes,
31 months of backpacks tents
and ancient rooms in foreign lands,
a friend’s love shack,
and 12 years top floor old Victorian house
before moving here
our 141 year-old house
on the lip of an 80-foot bank
overlooking the Cleveland zoo

My first house ever
thanks to wife who got tired
of paying rent
and found her own
me along for ride

Enjoying backyard deer
(not really two sprayed dog)
groundhogs, squirrels
feral cats, coyotes
cardinals, blue jays
in our 1-block red-brick dead-end
last house on left
multi-racialed neighbored existence

Appreciate lack of other people
of worrying were my footsteps too loud
my frequent “Fuck!”s unwelcome
my Bohenianism bothersome
my weed too heavy

Here makes 16-yeared wife happy
with her too-large dog,
her garden, her art, her office,
her happier husband,
her pride

Home’s where the rent isn’t
and the dog is

~ ~ ~

The person
I want to be with
wants to be with me

Sez she likes me
cuz I’m old, crusty, and rusted
sweet talker she

Cat on lap
dog on floor
wife in heart

~ ~ ~

run by the white rich
for the rich white

We can fix this criminal inequality
with reason
or blood


maybe not finished, she sez

Wednesday, November 24th, 2021

Lady’s new poem (maybe not finished she sez):

And this morning I am the uterus supporting a placenta attached to a castle in the ether in which sets the nodding crown consternating jewels of tildes and asterisks and beating itself with willow branches.
I am ground talking about itself. I used to think I was grown but I was ground up into this fecund habitat like a good virgin burger.
I can’t complain for the dog and the cat shoot over the cultivated hills like two minnows or the commentary of passing clouds and Liberty runs through the garden, Queen of Nature. Grandma sheds golden coruscations through the mirror’s plasma like the insight of a sparkling veil. Grandpa’s thunder rumbles in the distance.
The Goddess is in the poison ivy again; she so loves her garden for isn’t it bedecking of her feet on the plush flock of moss, her taut arm curling its oval finger to smell the hibiscus’s hymn? Her nose is Mona Lisa. Her mouth is Uma Thurman. Her partner documents the copious comings and goings of seasonal crops.


2nd third of poem tag

Saturday, November 20th, 2021

Here’s the 2nd third (11.11-20) of my side of poem-tag with poet / playwright / professor Mary E. Weems . . . each day we use the other’s last poem to start our new one.

2021.11.11 – Welcome on in
2021.11.12 – There’s good
2021.11.14 – Moonlight is sunlight reflected
2021.11.14 – Mom put us in a perp line
2021.11.15 – My super power?
2021.11.15 – I run on guilt, angst, stress
2021.11.16 – Creek got no paddle
2021.11.17 – Pondering the ineffable
2021.11.17 – In dentist chair
2021.11.18 – Rain comes for all
2021.11.18 – Back in Babylon
2021.11.18 – Norml
2021.11.19 – From Pappy
2021.11.20 – The yellow brick road

~ ~ ~

Welcome on in
we keep moonlight lit
topic wide
nothing off limit
(cept greed and disrespect)
we talk in pause
clip claws
toke time
know then as now
now as future
(and future past)
no known
except this and that are true
or not
or true and knot

Moon’s up there
in the dark
above the clouds
above the rain
sound soothing
wet weaving

~ ~ ~

There’s good
there’s bad
there’s worse

Sound of train and rooster
and laughing children
lighten my day

Looking out window
bending back to ease pain
I see squirrel run electric wire

Humans piss upstream
run down
drink the water

~ ~ ~

Moonlight is sunlight reflected
so why don’t night vampires burn?

Got loon dust in my green cheese.

We’re off to the woods
gonna steal some gingerbread
from the wicked witch

~ ~ ~

Mom put us in a perp line
5 yr old sister 9 yr me straight and stiff
in front of the refrigerator

“We won’t be going on the picnic
until whoever stole the cupcake confesses”
she glared, She-Hulk angry

I stood firm, cool, innocent
sis squirmed
after 10 minutes of stare
mom told me to go outside

When I came back in
my crying sister had confessed
and we were heading out

I felt triumphant
the cupcake I’d stolen even more delicious

~ ~ ~

My super power?
I can choose every time
the wrong or slowest line

~ ~ ~

I run on guilt, angst, stress
until I toke
sit in sun, soft breeze

~ ~ ~

Creek got no paddle
less pot than piss
dark street I amble
stain that with this

Is shows stark tone
not nice in aim
more broken home
balanced on blame

What’s that roil
I see in me
mind meat spoil
rotting evilly

Bad or good
fight within
depends which food
you feed em

Dog got good heart
unless food appears
or new dogpiss perfume
alluringly leers

Nature v nuture
freeform or code
create the future
or carry pre-load?

~ ~ ~

Pondering the ineffable . . .

Do titmice have nipples?
Is a gift a manifested if?

If time is relative
where are its in-laws?

Does now start now
or do we wait for later?

If there’s no beginning, no end
what are we doing here?

Since no normal’s the new normal
I now drive an ambiance

Welcome to love em or lingam

~ ~ ~

In dentist chair
paid pain today
for happier tomorrow

~ ~ ~

Rain comes for all
rain leaves for none
life goes on

~ ~ ~

Back in Babylon
Mammon’s road
stuff way

~ ~ ~

An almost setting on dishwasher
National Org Reform Marijuana Laws

~ ~ ~

From Pappy
honesty and endurance

from Mom
love and kindness

from both

at the bottom of the poverty well

~ ~ ~

The yellow brick road
at the murder site in Oz
begins in a red-yellow spiral

We know the yellow goes
to brainless men
heartless cowards
opium poppies
and flying monkey poo

We know yellow brings
lying rulers
flim flammed young maams
and death by hydration
in a goth wet t-shirt competition

All this
for a pair of tacky shoes
worn on ugly feet
in hopes of returning home
to what bored you into leaving
in the first place

I wonder where the red brick goes?


poem tag, my side, first 10 days of 30

Monday, November 15th, 2021

Poet/playwright/professor Mary E. Weems and I are playing 30-poem email tag . . . she sent poem Nov 1st, I used it as jump-off for mine, she uses mine as jump-off for her next day’s.

Here are my first ten days in November . . .

(the 3 astericked lowku slipped in on their own during morning dogwalk, aren’t Mary’s fault).

*2021.11.1 – If I sit in the dark
2021.11.1 – Mom, dad, bro 1, bro 2, maybe sis
2021.11.2 – Politician infested waters
*2021.11.3 – Follow the money
2021.11.3 – In parked car in cold
*2021.11.4 – Frost white on clover green
2021.11.4 – There you go
2021.11.5 – First sip of coffee
2021.11.6 – We make stories of fears
2021.11.7 – We come wet
2021.11.8 – Last time I felt safe
2021.11.9 – We creep from dark
2021.11.10 – Pain is your friend

~ ~ ~

If I sit in the dark
still, quiet, eyes closed
trouble can’t see me

~ ~ ~

Mom, dad, bro 1, bro 2, maybe sis
so many dead, burned, buried
and that’s not counting the cats

or the eventual dog

Oldest friend still living
snuck in 50 years ago 376 miles away
now 2,129 miles off

donno if that’s progress or escape

But they’re all with me
dead, alive
inside and out

now and never forever

This here and gone makes me me
for my only her —
wife, partner-in-crime, friend

in yes and no of if and when

~ ~ ~

Politician infested waters
I enter anyway
cast my vote


Here comes snow again
cold ice wind blow
another run for sun


Freight train
low heavy slow rumble
pulling night


what a waste
of grace and space


Power corrupts
the corrupt seek power
we choose our Gods

till finally

Cold room
hot bath

~ ~ ~

Follow the money
follow the power
follow the assholes

~ ~ ~

In parked car in cold
sun toasty through warm glass

The road do get rocky
the vehicle creaky
the body tired
the mind weary
the soul cranky
the map fades
the route lost

In other words
business as usual

As rock rolls on
one continues the show
with nary a me or you in the know

~ ~ ~

Frost white on clover green
this dogwalk morning
the table turns

~ ~ ~

There you go
yet . . .
here you are still
(and your shadow beat you to it)

You can’t step out of the picture
of reference
and expectation
(the father and mother of suffering
sez long gone Buddha)

You can only shed your leave
if you shed the going too

~ ~ ~

First sip of coffee
ahhh, there may be a god
second sip
oh yes, here’s land to trod

Wait . . . it’s covered in ice
and cold of snow
slick with lies
and the 1%’s no

Trapped in wraps of power and sex
plus plots and knots of loss
of cultural hex
and white skin gloss

~ ~ ~

We make stories of fears

Freight train pulls heavy
through valley of night
moan and wail

Sparkle frosts dead leaves
breath hangs in air
Persephone’s back in hell

I make my noise
nobody listens
life goes on

~ ~ ~

We come wet
go worry loss
face frost
walk pain
ignore cost

surly worm
seeking bird
for burial

referral absurd
basic bet
untied knot

where gain?

weary work awakin’

~ ~ ~

Last time I felt safe
I was 5
half asleep in backseat
of 1940’s car
on 1951 highway
drone of primitive rubber
running crude concrete
and rattle wreck of entropy
lullaby sublime
parents dark shape in front
me safe behind
no worry
no time
no trouble mind

~ ~ ~

We creep from dark
sneaking peeks for sabertooths
mastodons, dire wolves
to huddle round the tribal fire
chanting myths and misses
want and need
how much blood we’re willing to grieve
for the laughing light before us
the hard cold teeth behind
as we pound bone
blow flute
glancing back for the fiery eyes
and dripping drool
of life’s school

~ ~ ~

Pain is your friend
lets you know you’re alive
still stumbling down Entropy Lane
with the rest of us halt and lost and lame
every day longer
every year shorter
every blister bigger
every gain subdued
as we bounce in bursts of grasp and sorrow
groping toward compost
brief season
a few tree rings
and back to ground we go
minerals and manure
to be mined
by many
a fool


19 day word run . . .

Sunday, October 31st, 2021

19 day word run . . .

2021.10.14 – For the moment
2021.10.15 – Thought I was done with Trump
2021.10.16 – Rain
2021.10.19 – Lifes with Wifes
2021.10.20 – Old bones
2021.10.22 – I drink slow coffee
2021.10.28 – Black sinners
2021.10.29 – We were wrong when we said wrong
2021.10.30 – The lizard people
2021.10.31 – Rain on roof

~ ~ ~

For the moment
coffee sipped
toke taken
face to sun
redorangeyellow photon glow
through bloodflesh lids
time slows
reality repents
all is one in one soft flow
sun the charger
me battery
entropy forgotten

As seasons go
I be gone
hanging by my heels

~ ~ ~

Thought I was done with Trump
but he won’t go down the drain
so gotta keep flushing

~ ~ ~

what a lovely sound
until you have to walk the dog

~ ~ ~

Lifes with Wifes

She lies
sez she’s ready for bed
hour later still scrolling

Past wife
do things her way
or pay

I know it’s old
but I been told
happy wife happy life

My second wife’s my first love
a friend’s once-wife my second
my first wife my third

I’m unworthy of each

~ ~ ~

Old bones
ache, break
make for long day

We got birth
we got death
rest is guess

Want and wend
duty and desire
seldom same

How I got
from there to here
I will never know

Seeking happy life
in unhappy world
suggestions accepted

~ ~ ~

I drink slow coffee
for fast brain
waiting for sun

~ ~ ~

Black sinners
go straight to heaven
cuz done did hell on earth

~ ~ ~

We were wrong when we said wrong
wrong on wrong
so right

Rich fucks
are killing the planet
we lick their crumbs

It’s time
to do deed
deed do

~ ~ ~

The lizard people
feed from top
lick the bottom

~ ~ ~

Rain on roof
massages brain
eases pain


sidewalk wordz

Tuesday, October 26th, 2021

In the crosswalk of our 1-block, red-brick, dead-end street, artist unknown.


a dozen days, 7 shorties

Tuesday, October 12th, 2021

a dozen days, 7 shorties

2021.10.1 – Wife’s working
2021.10.2 – The end of times
2021.10.2 – Good coffee
2021.10.2 – Caffeine
2021.10.5 – Sittin’ in dark
2021.10.10 – After false fire alarm
2021.10.12 – Life and time

~ ~ ~

Wife’s working
roofers are working
I sit in sun

~ ~ ~

The end of times
is just beginning
welcome to the future

~ ~ ~

Good coffee
extra face slap
from inside

~ ~ ~

and cannabis
holy trinity

~ ~ ~

Sittin’ in dark
rain fallin’
life livin’

The world out there
and the world way out there
whirl within

Faint rooster crow
distant train wail
hope rises

~ ~ ~

After false fire alarm
waiting in dark

~ ~ ~

Life and time
a one-way dead-end street

The outside of the backside
it lingers and it grows

Tribal fire’s slight warmth
temporary light against the night

Window haze hiding city
sirens seeping through the woods

Programming on Television Earth
cold souvenir of reality

Wet whispers in the dark
hunger creeping from the heart

Sometimes you hit the mainline
sometimes you don’t

It’s the maybes that get you
they suck you from your song


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