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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 )

6 foto collages by Lady

November 6th, 2019

Foto colages Lady made in Croatia, 2007, turning me
into famous people – with original fotos.

Nehru & Gandhi

Willie Nelson & Waylon Jennings


Marcel Duchamp


Richard Nixon & Elvis


Rufus Thomas, Bill Haley, Alice Cooper, Flo & Eddie, Tiny Tim, Paul Williams, Meat Beat Manifesto, Alex Patterson

October 25th, 2019

My October feature on Medusa’s Kitchen – 1 long poem written with Lady, 1 haiku-ish, 10 fotos.

“Smith sends us his ode to his interview career, full of his usual bump and grind and look-backs into the past—rosy and not-so-rosy—with the help of his fine Lady. Thanks, Smith and Lady; you two kids keep ‘em coming! (And thanks for the pre-Halloween visions of yourself, Steven! Spooooky!)” – Kathy Kieth, editor/publisher Medusa’s Kitchen/Rattlesnake Press.

My adventures with Rufus Thomas, Bill Haley, Alice Cooper, Flo & Eddie of The Turtles, Tiny Tim, Paul Williams, Jack Dangers & Meat Beat Manifesto, and Alex Patterson of Orb – 1964-1997


online tap water quality check by zipcode

October 24th, 2019

Cleveland tap water quality test results for the Tremont neighborhood per the (Environmental Working Group) website.

Bromodichloromethane exceeds the standard by 125 times
(cancer causing)

Chloroform exceeds the standard by 30 times
(cancer causing)

Chromium (hexavalent) exceeds the standard by 5.1 times
(cancer causing)

Dibromochloromethane exceeds the standard by 36 times
(cancer causing)

Dichloroacetic acid exceeds the standard by 12 times
(cancer causing)

Nitrate exceeds the standard by 2.5 times
(cancer causing) *

Nitrate & nitrite exceed the standard by 7.3 times
(cancer causing) *

Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs) exceed the standard by 157 times
(cancer causing)

Trichloroacetic acid exceed the standard by 11 times
(cancer causing)

Go here and type in your zipcode to find your neighborhood’s ratings

* don’t know why they have Nitrate and Nitrate & Nitrite as 2 catagories


Lady’s latest – Rage

October 23rd, 2019


We’ve titillated ourselves with our absolutism
as contrary as a self-mutilating Texas Chainsaw Massacre
creep zapping and eating his own scalp skin, fingers in the chili
It’s all of us, it’s some of us, it’s raw, raw, raw.

It’s enough when the lint and the dimes in the pockets
yield no dividends, no fountain of generous obliviousness,
it’s enough when the water is yellow and smells funny,
when your parents did not have enough money to fix you
and you do not have enough money to have kids to fix
and kids are in the prison of disregard – and in prisons
it’s enough to flip the burger
of a mind to something that can crank, crank this
into better shape, please, that mind burger. Eat it with
some red leaf lettuce, raw onions, local cheese. Fuck
the pink slime. Fuck the Russians, fuck my hate I want
to mash it with a morter and pestle.
I want to unfuck this fuckedness with big fat fists,
hope the saying of it is a cauterization and catharsis,
hope hope hope.

– Lady, 10.20.2019


66 Basho talked to me

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)


Lady’s latest

October 18th, 2019

A few shots of Lady’s latest art piece… some in process, some done.

Zazzy Sadie, 2019, Lady, 26″ x 30″ x 6″

Octopus, lips, labia are air-dried clay, blues and greens are copper corrosion.  Title chosen by on-line random-number generator.

She did this atop an 1997 failed piece of mine. She’s taken 5 of my long dead pieces, torn stuff off, added a bunch more, going directions and giving dimensions I’d never thought of.


storming heaven

October 4th, 2019


Smith – 9 poems, 10 fotos, Medusa’s Kitchen

September 28th, 2019

“A big thank-you this morning to Smith from Cleveland (Steven B. Smith) for his musical, mythical land of poetry and his eye-popping visuals. “Cool Cat Copacetic”, for sure!.” – Kathy Kieth, editor/publisher of Medusa’s Kitchen/Rattlesnake Press.

1st foto below waaaay too large to show but I like the distortion… correct sized foto beneath it.



Smith reading 2019-02-19 at the Art On Madison gallery

September 24th, 2019

Seven month old fone video of my Art on Madison reading 2.19.2019, with guest appearance by Lady, hosted by John Burroughs.

Video volume is inconsistent due to ceiling heater cutting on and off, plus my soft speaking voice, and lack of a microfone – but it gives you a feel for the rhythm of the words. I had to use headfones to listen.

Friends have mentioned the best parts are Lady reading from the memoir at the end of her set, and me ending with mom’s death around the 40 minute mark.

Introduction by John Burroughs — 0 to 3:12
me reciting — 3:13 to 14:35
Lady reading — 14:36 to 27:13
me reading — 27:14 45:53
Q & A — 46:54 51:56

Watching it, there are moments of magic, but I need to be way less laid-back, and to add volume and texture to my vocal delivery… compensate for having part of my voice box removed in the early oughts.

But the words themselves are right fine. And the audience generous.

The two books read from are —

Where Never Was Already Is, 2018, Crisis Chronicles Press, 324 pages 244 poems 29 illustrations, $15

and my memoir

Stations of the Lost & Found – a True Tale of Armed Robbery, Stolen Cars, Outsider Art, Mutant Poetry, Underground Publishing, Robbing the Cradle, and Leaving the Country by Smith & Lady, 2012, The City Poetry, 344 pages, $20


Lost (x 4 x) Found

September 18th, 2019

Lost lost sorta-lost lost.
Cards for Medicare, SSN, debit, and credit.
Days pass for some, weeks for others.
Weary worried worn and wan.
And then
found found found found.

Last month hospital asked to see my new Medicare card. Wasn’t in my wallet so they said bring it next time.

Came home, looked everywhere. Nada.

Decided to bicycle to west 79th and get a replacement card, so looked up their hours and find they’re not there any more… have to go downtown, to the BIG Building, where my shoulders, hip, and neck will set off their metal detectors, me hoping they won’t shoot me. Of course I’m old, white, and male, so I’d probably be alright.

Today I get an email reminding me to bring my Medicare card next time.

So I search harder. Take the bin I keep wallet and keys in with years of odds, ends, notes, collage pieces, bills, and look through each piece, getting rid of a lot of trash and finding 9 laundry quarters, but no card.

Then I take everything off the bookshelf by my chair, again to no avail.

Look behind a large broken assemblage leaning against the bin’s bookcase and see a card face down on the floor – think aha, there it is, but it’s my SSN card I didn’t even know I was missing, the very card I’d need if I have to go downtown.

I give up, take a bath, mull… figure card could have fallen with the SSN card and slipped beneath the bookshelf, so I get dressed and take everything off the shelves, the first being a small collage and a book it rests on – I set them on the work table, then take everything out of the bookcase, turn it upside down – no card, and no card on each book I replace. I give up, again.

Wife comes home, tells me her bankcard is lost beneath the car seat for the past week, and she can’t fine her credit card past 4 days.

I get up to go down to the car and notice the collage and book I’d put on the table. I start to put them back, then out of curiosity pick up the collage to see what the name of the book is – and there between the two is my Medicare card.

I retrieve her bank card from beneath the driver’s seat, then clean out the entire car to be sure her muissing credit card isn’t there somewhere. She comes down to help and mentions the last time she used it was 4 days ago at a local restaurant, so she calls them, and viola – they have the card.

4 for 4. How lucky can we be?


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