Modern poetry collection by the contemporary Cleveland poet Steven B. Smith
Smith - contemporary poet

Reading Room #1
11 poems

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

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

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

Thee of Heart

One too many elses
Tenders mourning's lady

Maybe love not lost
But lust's hiatus
Leaves us lean in longing
Unsure of morning's sun

end    poetry

Autumn Leaves

Leave me not in love and truth
Leaves me not at all

Leave my loss its soft misuse
Leaves my foreskin small

Leave my lost belief in youth
Leaves my use in thrall

Leave my use in used abuse
Leaves me moist of all

end    poetry

Unknown Nipple

Your nipple
Though we've yet to meet
Must surely seek to touch
My tongue's erectile tissue
Which seeks south to nether musk
Past inward looking navel
Which wise in eastern ways
When rocked in western rhythm
Knows what in maya may
Be only sleek illusion
Wonders reaped and sown
In peaks before the valley
Down treasure's traveled road
Where promise wraps forgiven
Its penis premised trap
Where truth in life is hidden
And minor deaths enact
Their furtive nightly burden
When joy it should be danced
And future fears forgiven
Like past purveyed by chance

Your eyes so solemn watching
Your lips promised pursuit
Your soul silent searching
Your heart no kindness fused
To form for wanting giving
To life its lift and shine
My love it spurts in wanting
Your flesh your spirit wine
Within your skin whenever
Blessings cross my brow
Profane in sacred wanting
Pure light enough for now
But o o unknown nipple
O mind of supple bliss
O soul unsullied, simple
On me bestow your kiss

end    poetry

Damaged Good

The doubting vessel
Strong, unbroken
Sours water, ruins wine

The damaged vessel
Holds its token
Service, beauty, duty, time

The one excuses
The other uses
Which in fact the finer find

The better bitter
The lesser greater
Truth is action, action prime

end    poetry


The gods died.
But for the fish
We brought them back.
Returned mortality
To the horse's eyes,
Gods to antique brass.
My voice raised
In bell and chime,
Laughter light on lip.

end    poetry

Original Cinema

Small signs of logic pool to larger sockets,
Sprocket rules of flow.

Autumn snap cracks cross
Yes no boundary, now then grime
And the even Steven myth.

Add in
   Coffee rotation
   Bee pollen white crystal
   Hotel Babylon
   One million years TV
   Suburban life halfsounds
   Fungus eyes
   Hotdogs with blood and pus
   Artists of perpetual perception
   Fat bottom womyn in glass bottom boats
   Nature and man gone wrong
And this war of little mist
And reefer sticks
The two soul sham
Of wham baam action ma'am
(long way virgin slim to glass ceiling fan).

This bad boy business nuzzles
Nose near own navel lint
Bug belly blood in amber
Waves of shame
Dinosaur dreg dynamo hum
Blood rough ready rumble
Reflecting clone,
Trade in tiny tins.

Liberty's filthy whore Profit
Loss enough for now.

Whethered Would

Old uneasy cockroach coexistence
Exilic, yet extant
Contingencies of space and time

end    poetry

Zen Over Zero

Dog week later in kitchen pouring
Coffee into my veins with a dull cup
A daze of morals and Moses
Whines and Rosicrucians
It's raining cats and gods
And I am a fine unman

· Excerpts from Smith's interview with Mark Weber
·A smattering of Visitor Comments
· Free Times Magazine Article
· Poetry reading room #2
·Check out Artcrimes


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