My Top 10 Poems
from 1964 - 2003

these may not be my 10 best poems
but they are my favorites to read
- steven b. smith

Confessions of a Conservative

Let others munch spare frogslegs and things
Or their mother's tidbits so fine.
Not me.
I prefer wee bumblebee wings
With a pipe of blueberry wine.
I've no desire for porcupine stew
Aunts coated in chocolate yea thick
Fried crocodile
Ala flayed caribou
Or some other chef's table trick.
A simple table whenever I dine.
Not mine all these modern cuisines.
I'm quite satisfied with blueberry wine
And old fashioned bumblebee wings.

end    poetry    agent of chaos

The Corporate Mean

The promised land of milk and honey
Hides the men of scars and shame
Who came they say to slay their dragon
Yet slayed to stay the same

Sleep creeps like Jason's wool
Down shelf enchanted eyes
Devolved from Mammon's muse
These self selected wise
Inside their phantom rooms
In fairy tale castles
Devoid of viable dooms
As integrated assholes
They sway
Illusion's lies

end    poetry    agent of chaos

The Bisque Buddha

What good this dusty truth I hold in hand
To gain immoral ground in other's land?

What use the pure of heart when acts of need
In escalating schemes the living seed?

Truths change naught though they scurry so
While new lies easily sought hurry low

Themes rhyming jism to rhythm within
All going nowhere in wisdom or whim.

If truth to be told takes who, how, and when
Why the eraser at truth's other end?

Why all the viewpoints and let's make amends
When no truth's all truth and all truth's a sin?

For all gain's no gain less all gain as well
(a story told truly too often to sell).

end    poetry    agent of chaos

Past Lies and Poverty

Old wonders shrink, grow tame in time
The new fear hangs on
In quiet desperation, quit of desire
Like the shadow of a crowded
Culture in which each
Declare their innocence
In straight unfocused silence

It is there
The smell of unwashed
Dishes smug in the stench of our
Unclean shame
Like a salesman's underbreath
Fishy, stale
The deep teal, the tiled resonance

Of hungers on top of hungers

end    poetry    agent of chaos

Now Zen

It aint age.
It ain't sex.
It ain't race, religion, height,
    gender, color, class or learning.

It's path, progress and position.
The road not not taken.
Be here now.
Hear now
    o eyes unseeing
    o ears unearned.

We're all perfect potential
    cept maybe republicans, lawyers,
    the true organized crime called police
    the true whores called priests.

You can walk on water IF water wants.
Just ask.
Walk willing.
There ain't no dark night's ungentle light.
Ain't nothing outside but lies.
But even lie true ain't for you.
Walk within.
Don't need no god.
No catholic pimp pushing blood feast.
My lie's mine.
Walk my own walk.
Fuck the talk.

Grasshoppers gone wrong become ants.
Bad ants cry uncle, cry wolf, cry baby.
Goats goad sacrifice to sun.
Ritual requires repetition, release.
Nothing stays river's run
    but drought's dry dirt
    (and river still runs).

Rub your ears together.
Start a fire.
Flesh alarm.
Let gone go.
Lock lip.


end    poetry    agent of chaos

Night Fragment

As has been said
The night weighs upon the city
In tired, fat insolence. Rat scurry.
Old papers flap down empty streets.
It is an ugly season. Full.
Day slouches in, in shameless anonymity
Devoid of great chained excuses of being
A voided has been of god, notion and country.
Unfocused without, we hunt worms within
To bait further cold excretion of reason, rationale.
Refuse refusing our naked nothing.
Strip steal by night.

end    poetry    agent of chaos

Suicide Note

Poor naked ape, melancholy Dane
Dying the silent, sinking orange
I offer my praise to mad Ophelia's black mass.
Receiving Laertes' pain poisoned harangue
I'll soon join that fortunate lass
Morpheusly oblivious of pain
spacer gif(Camus' first question of philosophy re
spacer gifweaves Thane Hamlet's "or not to be,"
spacer gifbrings Kant's "progressive unification of
spacer gifsense manifold" to termination: total
spacer gifpsychic expiration. Hence our sole
spacer gifexistential goal becomes fervently wishing
spacer gifgood death's black ghoul to sensually become
spacer gifas one with our whole)
Where God assumes skull Yorick's reign
Stay yet awhile Horatio, give lie to my name.

end    poetry    agent of chaos

Alone This Train

I look to pain to gain
Sleep devoid of sheep
And master's muster walk
Or talk of tinkers' conforming will

Alone this train
I see you born
To breed
To die
Infected meat
To teach to cheat
Your fly from famine
Shallow matter
Decayed in safety's slumber

You briefcased fellows
Bellow farts to follow
Hollow smells
Of high topped fashion
Passion fish not flesh
But flounder

Hurried waters sleek in sinning
Shower lies and cry forgetting
Licking compulsion's flesh

This land is long, and lost in shadow
Her sweets succinctly sour

end    poetry    agent of chaos


Freud comes tonight
To mock our mere
Reflected lives'
Refracted fear,
Shelf dependents
Miming mirror
Of every man and action.

In abstinence
Such sibilance
Through undue trade
And undulance
Calls forth
In outlawed ambulance
Emotional transaction.

These scars we horde
Until they're heard
To bargain bare
A binding word,
The players paid
And pompous lured
To daily dead transgression.

Nipples rise
Through lemon dust
Raw, red
And real in sapient lust,
Emasculant tongues
Court and musk
Mother's moist application.

end    poetry    agent of chaos

Marriage Proposal

December of 68 I was lying on LSD on my bed downtown Baltimore.
Walls, floor, ceiling, doors all painted flat black.
Metallic mobiles and assorted assemblages hung from the ceiling
turning at will in low green and blue light.
My future wife walked in and sat so she could see me in the mirror.
So and so just got married she said.
That's nice.
Watch her reflection watching me.
So and somebody else also married.
More silence.
Watch her reflection evaluate my reflection's reflection.
Even through the LSD I could see she wasn't talking what she was saying
so asked.
I just want to know what's going to happen she screams
stalking into the living room.
I lie there amid my hallucinations and resentfully realize
I'm too weak not to marry her.
Another's strong needs always overrode my indifferent apprenticeship.
20 minutes later she skulks back to the bedroom.
OK I snap.
OK what? she snaps back.
We'll get married.
Six months I finalize
feeling sure the artist within will wither once reduced to marriage,
suburban boxes, the upperclass hypocrisy rampant in her family and friends.
We had a rich wedding in a high Episcopal-cum-Catholic cathedral.
Reception held of course at the country club.
None of my freak friends came.
The day of the wedding
I put all the trash left from moving in the middle of the floor
smoked the last of my grass
took off all my clothes
and slowly danced naked about the trash
sprinkling it with my box of monosodium glutamate
and chanting unknown chants of sorrow.

2 poems from the 1960s: Confessions of a Conservative,  Night Fragment
3 poems from the 1970s: The Corporate Mean,  Past Lies and Poverty,  Suicide Note
2 poems from the 1980s: Foreplay,  Marriage Proposal
1 poem from the 1990s: Alone This Train
2 poems from the 2000s: Now Zen,  The Bisque Buddha

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