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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 )

Alfie betta, the large orange snail, and Sucker

August 18th, 2020

Fish Story

Went down to the pet store for waterplants, a snail companion, and replacement neon tetras for our tank.

On the way to checkout, we passed a wall of small, clear containers, each containing one betta – which pretty much filled the entire area, leaving them no room to swim. Several floated belly up. I don’t think they were fed, so they stayed, trapped, unmoving, staring out at their human captors until they died from hunger.

It broke my heart, reminded me of my prison days, so I asked Lady to pick one (would have tried to save more, but they’re fighting fish and don’t play well with others).

She chose a gorgeous, primitive, red creature, all silky and strange.

Back home, we released it in our tank, and it stayed still, in one spot, traumatized, for the rest of the day.

Next day it swam into the plants and hid.

After awhile, it peeked out, a wee more each day, until finally each time it saw me walk by, it dashed to the glass and did a little waggle dance of maybe happiness, maybe expectation, maybe both.

I knew it danced mostly for food because usually it rose to the top to feed after greeting me, but sometimes it stayed below, level with my face, and wiggled its front fins as it flowed back and forth in seeming joy, very much like a happy puppy.

Lady suggested we name it Alpha (for Alpha Betta), and I counteroffered Alfie, after the Michael Caine film, which is ironic because Caine’s Alfie was total lack of love and joy, while our’s oozed both.

The snail we got the same day as Alfie slimed a different path. We’d chosen a medium-sized black snail to make sure it was too big for our snail-crunching loach named Sucker to eat. It was supposed to keep our large orange snail company, which we’d named Speedy because he literally zoomed around the tank.

Lady mentioned they might mate, and we’d have all these baby snails for Sucker to eat. As I turned off the aquarium light that night, I noticed the snails were kissing, and thought “How sweet, babies on the way.”

Next morning the black shell was empty, and Speedy so gorged with snail flesh he couldn’t quite fit in his shell. So much for sweetness.

Which leaves us with Sucker, a leopard loach we’d initially bought to control our small snail infestation.

I was sitting zoned in my chair, stoned, lost in a book, when I heard a thud. I looked over and saw a large green feather from a cat toy flopping on the floor, going thump-thump-leap, thump-thump-leap, and my brain froze, simply could not process what I was seeing because we don’t have any battery operated cat toys, and for sure no flopping green feathers.

Lady finally broke through my confusion by saying, “It’s Sucker.”

Somehow Sucker had gotten out of the water, climbed 3 inches to the plastic top, squeezed through an opening, wriggled to the front, and fell four feet to the floor, landing atop a green feather as long as he was, which stuck perfectly to his wet body, so I saw a 6″ green flopping feather which impossibly looked alive.

I got up, scooped him from the floor, pulled the feather off, and as I turned to put him back in the tank, he twisted around and sank his fangs deep into my palm. Amazing amount of pain, immediate blood flow. I pulled his snail-crunching teeth out of me and dropped him in the water, wondering how the heck he’d gotten out since there was no wet trail on top of the tank – perhaps he’d teleported through the glass like those rogue electrons in quantum tunneling.

Since then, Sucker and I watch each other, he having a taste for my blood and wanting more, and me – a Pisces – wondering if I’ve been infected with mutant fish slime since I started taking 90 minute baths daily.

Speedy died six months later.

Sucker, always dreaming more me, followed.

But Alfie’s still here, waiting, watching, puppy dancing whenever I walk by.

So lovely to be liked… by a fish.


me as veteran fighting our own government

August 12th, 2020

Just spent hours online and on the fone trying to get registered as veteran for home loan guarantee… around and around we went, finally reduced to submitting a question and hoping for an answer. I was discharged in 1968, and they seem to think no one exists before 1985.

Most likely will go down to the Federal Bldg Monday and set off their metal detectors with my hip / shoulders / neck metal.

3rd foto 1963, 2nd 1965, 1st 1966, 4th foto 1974


In the Temple of the Echo

August 5th, 2020

In The Temple of the Echo — my 58th feature past 56 months on Medusa’s Kitchen, thanks to the generosity of publisher/editor Kathy Kieth, who has been posting a new poetry feature by a plethora of poets national and international daily for the past 15 years.

as usual, 10 fotos, 9 poems:

1973 – Junky Luv
2005 – In the Temple of the Echo
2014 – Inner Animal
2015 – I’m for Falling
2015 – Kundalini Wheelie
2017 – Is Happens
2019 – Island of Lost Souls
2020 – Tempus Fuckit
2020 – Social Isolation


yesterday’s poems

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

~ ~ ~


sick flux (16 chump Trumps)

July 30th, 2020

sick flux
aka Trump Virus
aka pedarest rapist racist liar cheat thief


4 from 1995

July 22nd, 2020

Only wrote 8 poems in 1995, but the final 4 were quite nice

1995.4 — Promise Land
1995.5 — Fertile Lies
1995.8 — Fungu Stew
1995.8 — Lots Overlapping

~ ~ ~

Promise Land

Greyhound bound
To Tupperware City
Light like liquid Zen
Wars time, tatters tight
As tight asses tie
Meat neat man to kine, kino
Contempt of course
Playing Plato’s barn

Blue bloods
Stabilize fish at 7
Mime the ma’am
Bamboo cathedrals
In wondrous disarray
Just outside real
Where the fat
Flee frantic
Fleece feed the poor

Competing EXIT signs
Dance specific disease
Rude crude
Plus tax
Bouncing Betty’s
Slouching Bethlehem belly
Slips on guilt
& splinters.

~ ~ ~

Fertile Lies

Small particles of truth lace love’s lies

Peeping one-eyed cat’s seafood stores
Mount used two-love carnivore rides
Cast past sated loss

Self to self slip service schemes for the day
Emasculation Mama stiff with semen
Screams dreams porta piss shit machine
Messaged me to mine

Bile regenerative truth du jour:
loving spoonful’s pearl jam
nirvana to my hole

~ ~ ~

Fungu Stew

Old piano roll’s wrong:
Slime can’t slide.
Hot crotch coffee time’s
Limited clearance
For the effluent affluent,
The halfway whores,
The herd nerd cud kulchur,
And the old ass versus mass.

Psycho servitudes feed the fever,
Fodder optional.
Prime apes ape pre ape,
Mom’s ashes my dust.
People getting fat.
Luxury cushioned
Nurture negating nature.
Easy pickings.
Easy meat.
Easy feeding easy street.

Women leak.
Men bleed.
My country ’tis of greed,
Cleveland cop corruptus.
Onion nation bent on killing shame.
Sodom insane.

~ ~ ~

Lots Overlapping

Seems to me a lot of people
are sleeping with a lot of people
under various rules and regulations
while I deal in shadow
(for not all place bound in time)

I think it’s neat sniffing sheep in heat
though not my style
I’m more rock n roll cool cruel lean scene
with lots overlapping

I’m the high in Ohio
Fractals friend
Mom made whether
Dad’s leaks and squeaks
(which is white of me)
Proof positive ant’s scant
leather lash shadow due

I fear neither name
nor knowledge
for magic round bounds
joyous in between
high noon weed easy
stone throw from sanity

Step outside the lines
Stable tables
Video yesteryear roarshock inkblot
new age pap
mammaries for stars

Be one
Be nothing
Bananas brown Asian to African
Albinos weep white
dark, as Africa used to be


anne sexton – live or die die die die die

July 21st, 2020

They wouldn’t let me go into the Cole Eye Clinic with Lady for her horrendous traumatic massive eye needle shot today, so I sat on a side street for 2.5 hours with nothing to read but Anne Sexton’s Live or Die (poems 1962-66).

Instead of Live or Die it should be titled LET ME DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE… she killed herself 8 years later, believe Cleveland was her last reading.

Good writing, but I felt nothing for her sadnesses nor these poems.

Anne Sexton (November 9, 1928 – October 4, 1974) was an American poet known for her highly personal, confessional verse. She won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1967 for her book Live or Die. Her poetry details her long battle with depression, suicidal tendencies, and intimate details from her private life, including relationships with her husband and children, whom it was later alleged she physically and sexually assaulted.” – Wikipedia


fresh words, cheap

July 20th, 2020

4 most recent poems

2020.7.7 – Darwin’s Revenge
2020.7.16 – Plague
2020.7.19 – The Mullbelly Be
2020.7.20 – Meat Beat

Darwin’s Revenge

Trump’s in trouble
you can’t rape the virus
you can’t bully the virus
you can’t cheat the virus
you can’t buy off the virus
you can’t lie away the virus
so he’s way outside his skill set

~ ~ ~


The dead and their others
lie corpseless in coffins
confined by ideals
the corporates offer
their wages of win
and sages of sour
too often for gains
which piss away hours
and heart’s comfort steals
for irregular options
from menapaused mothers
in sauces of sin

High ho high ho
it’s off to the aquarium we go
we’ll hook some meat
to cook and eat
and then
most hurridly go

Evil can evil
good can good
some is teaching
some is blood

So I’m done

Time to toke
and piss
& bed

~ ~ ~

The Mullbelly Be

This soup we swim
of gospel and weasel
is a thick and weary brine

I got through today
as far as I know hurting no one
plus pleased the wife and cat

I endure
I continue
I try to earn my keep

~ ~ ~

Meat Beat

So many dances this rock roll
there’s the Sisyphus
the Rat Race
the Tortoised Hare
the ReRun
the Karmic Loop-d-Loop
the Follow the Leader
running around the real
wheely fast
and of course the ever present
Let’s Whine Again Like We Did Last Whimper

Guess we do the Do It Again
until we Get It Right

Never enough this almost done


last month’s ego

July 17th, 2020

My 57th monthly feature on Medusa’s Kitchen was posted yesterday, and I haven’t blogged last month’s yet.

Gone from blogging daily to 1-3 times per month.

Don’t care much anymore… maybe my ego’s not quite as needy.

Of course they’re 4,469 posts since July 2006, so it’s not as if it matters.

But i’ll be posting more – some of the hundreds of poems and thousands of fotos lying around.

So, here’s last month’s 56th feature – 10 fotos, 9 poems/songs… 8 with music by Peter Ball, 1 with music from Billy Clarksville:


brain phartz

June 4th, 2020

brain phart…

Stopped riding my bicycle months ago. Thought it was due to low tire presssure, so I hand pumped em up, but was puzzled cuz they were nowhere near low enough. But I remembered when I tried to slow down for the intersection — oh yes, NO BRAKES. Interesting round trip.

tech phart…

Been building my 100-year 500-song Amazon music shuffle list for past 15 months (am up to 477 songs, with another 463 I’d added but deleted). Tried to play it this morning and it highlights the PLAY button and then goes into NeverEverLand. Works on our Alexa speaker but not on my laptop, yet will let me play Lady’s lists, or anything else – just not mine. No-tech no-geek me finally figured it out. Had asked Alexa speaker to add a song and it lit up like it was trying, but never told me it was added. When I looked at my list, song was there. Once I deleted the non-announced song, things worked fine. Hoorah for small victories for the Luddites.

Here are more fotos of the TrumpVirus.


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