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

reading room #14

draft past

people like us respond to things all over the place. see some of my books here and you'd think i'm a genius - others you'd assume i drool and move my lips when i read.

as for the oneupsmanship, it's not something i mean to do - it's that other's stories remind me of my own . . . and . . . i've lead a rather different life. there're a million reasons why i shouldn't be here, and only the luck of the angels says i am. most folk look back to the best times in their lives. i've had best times in all 6 decades. same for the next.

i've a knack for not seeing and doing what others do, while doing and seeing what others don't. and for running into others with similar knacks - which leads to even more interesting loops.

told my boss i had a checkered past. she laughed and said 'smith, you have a checkered present'.
most would say of my life you can't get here from there.

i talk with reality, and it replies.

i talk to my 3 or more selves inside, and we all answer - and pretty much get along these days.

i do things like roll my car in my driveway.
or leave the road at 100 mph and fly thru the air upside down on my first motorcycle ride.
or run right by my own getaway car.

i've run from the cops 7 times, got away 6.

bought a thousand dollars of chemicals to sell, and did it all ourselves.

slapped myself back twice from mainline overdose.

after cleveland public theatre performance art festival, black dude with an eye patch at next urinal asked if i wanted to buy some grass and we ended up in the projects until 3 a.m. smoking crack... as i walked back to my car i shook my head in disbelief of where i was and what i'd done.

hitchhiked from annapolis maryland to spokane washington in 50 hours - then got back in a free airforce bomber ride where i lay in the back freezing staring down at the country below thru the rear gun bubble.

accidentally nudged a loud angry middle aged black man in a business suit as we got off the bus and he started stabbing at my stomach with an ice-pick - i broke out laughing which really infuriated him. he chased me over a block with that ice pick.

clevelandmetronews asked me to name a thrilling moment and my response was to laugh and say way too many - tho finally chose hanging in the air a mile above the earth.

it's not thrilling, but last night came home to 3 fone msgs from a german reporter who wants to write about the dmoma exhibit and technology.

i seem to encourage things to do as they will around me - be it reality, mechanical or electrical devices, animals, whatever - they know i don't mind.

there's the 33 blurbs/newsbits/reviews on my website from the past 21 years - my penchant for attracting attention from press, people.

programmer at BP told me they frequently sat around at lunch and told smith stories - like the night i drunkenly leapt into the air to tear down a mobile, told the astonished crowd it was bad art.

summer of 66 leave in san francisco - had a nude greek girl crying in my bed in the ymca ... she'd never been naked in front of a stranger - so i covered her, dried her tears and took her home unviolated.

next night 2 oriental girls wanted to take me to a nichiren shoshu zen meeting so i went to suburban house living room turned into temple with incense and gohonzon shrine where they gave me a chant and small shrine to take with me. lost the shrine. still say the chant.

following night this gorgeous black lady found out i'd been looking to try marijuana ever since i read on the road. she tried to lure me up to her room with some - but i was afraid to go for unknown reason, so we lingered over 3 a.m. coffee in a diner. finally she said 'you know, don't you' - i just looked at her in silence because i had no idea what she was talking about. she told me she was a he, in fact a rather famous he cuz he was in a documentary. so no grass and no black ass. crude but trued.

set off an alarm clock in the u s naval academy chapel. unknown to me, billy graham was guest speaker. everyone was forced to march to chapel every sunday and everyone always slept thru so in a mood of community service i set an alarm clock for 20 minutes into the service and wrote "the yellow phantom strikes again" in black magic marker on the face. boy did they pop up all around the chapel - it was mass jack-in-the-box. billy graham paused a short beat, then continued as if nothing happened. cool dude.

it's funny - my life is so much more interesting than i am as a person. i don't do badly in electronic text or in stories of lost lore, but usually in person i'm quiet and not interesting company. it's all inside my head. my outside got no chrome.

my my. didn't mean to carry on quite so, but it feeds on itself. figure when i'm older, more feeble, i can sit at the computer and lie about all my old days ways. pretend i've renounced old evils and then go on for thousands of pages in great detail about said evils - make em pay for it up front with cash monies.

o well. it's wednesday. in my 10th month of work. in 2 days it's friday. in 6-8 months it'll be permanent weekend. they will let my ego go, or i'll call down a plague of locoweed upon them & burn their number.

let my ego go - or is that leggo my ego. at least i don't drive a hugo, tho my ego is huge-o. and i do play calypso.  daylight come and me wanna go home.

                                                    - emailed response to mad poet inquiry - 04.13.2005

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How I Met My Ex

My best friend at the Naval Academy was a self-made degenerate who was dating a shelf-made Catholic. She's the lady who was to blind-date me with my unfortunate future. After graduation they got married, and she constantly semi-quietly chaffed at his sins, especially his alcohol-filled friendship with drug-infested me.

One weekend while she was visiting her parents to celebrate her pregnancy, he went down to Baltimore's infamous Block to see Blaze Starr strip. During her act, Blaze came up to him and had him powder her big bare breasts with two large powder puffs.

Afterward, he picked his wife up at the train station and on the long trip back to the naval base told her of the breasts and the powder puffs and she flipped - starts screaming the car is filled with powder unclean, to let her out. He does, calms her down, gets her back to base and treatment.

Over the next few weeks she sinks slowly into insanity. Refuses to eat anything because it is poisoned. Won't clean because it's filthy beyond soap and water. Eventually they lock her away awhile until her blooming pregnancy catches her attention enough to qualify her as sort of sane. He broke off our relationship because she believed I was the evil in his life, and he tried to spare her what he could. The last I heard, she was a careful and loving mother, but not much of a wife - and he was set in sadness.

This is the woman who decided my future ex and I were made for each other.

My wife to be was also unstable. Not really her fault, it ran in the family. Her sister was being treated for schizophrenia, and her father was a daughter molesting madman. Tried to smash my face in with his fists the night we told him we would marry. Her grandmother was a vicious sharp tongued backstabbing member of the once rich who kept forgetting the once, although she did still own a second home on the Cape next to the Kennedy's. Her mother at least was a good person, though crippled with arthritis, disappointment and alcohol. Grandma had disinherited them all because her daughter had to marry a common farm boy - who in order to support his new family, had to shelve his dream of singing opera, and become instead a rather prosperous maker of partials, false teeth and bridges for others.

06.08.2003 on events 1966-1968

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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.

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Back in Black in White Film Noir

I once thought I was the good guy, the hero in white. But in truth few of us are heroes,
and black is more wearable than white. White shows the soul's stain.

My first six months in jail, I was in the tiers.

A tier there is five two man cells and a shower, all enclosed in bars. Each night, we'd be locked in our cells, each morning let out to wander the 10 by 70 foot communal area. Our tier had Ringo. He claimed they couldn't legally get him for murder because the dude he beat to death was still alive when he walked away. Ringo was big, black, brutal, and did not like me. Not because I was white, but because I wouldn't get out of his way when he walked. And he walked all day, in this continuous oval, with a short detour each loop around me. He was working towards hurting me, and said so. He scared the shit out of me. But I scared me more because I couldn't give in. When I'm that afraid, I seem to go out of my way to piss off what I'm afraid of even more - and what I was afraid of was bigger, stronger, faster, meaner, an admitted fatal fighter. I felt ill.

Then the odd backhand of salvation.

I smuggled one too many letters out of prison. Unfortunately this letter described a psycho guard. The warden called me down. Showed me the letter. Said smuggling is 18 months. Wondered if I had anything to say about my charges against the guard (who of course like everyone else in jail on both sides of the bars had a cliche name - Sarge). I said what I'd written was not only true, I hadn't even scratched the surface of his verbal and physical abuse of visiting wives. Warden told Sarge to return me to my cell, and for me to think about 18 months and we'd finish tomorrow. I go to my cage and I worry. I worry about tomorrow. I worry about Sarge's retaliation. I worry about the 18 months. I worry about my wife who's sleeping with an ex-con who's not me. And I really worry about Ringo.

Next day, the warden casually tells me I'm moving downstairs to the dorm, and he's making me head cook. No mention of the letter, or Sarge, or the 18 months. The one thing every prisoner wanted was a job that got you to the dorm with its one locked gate, its radio, TV, eating what you wanted when you wanted where you wanted. And of all the jobs, cook is cockerel's walk. Switching so quickly from such certain sorrow to overwhelming wealth fucks your mind, sends too many simultaneous threads in way too many directions, yet I instantly flash - I'm free from Ringo.

All that for this tit for tat.

One of the dorm trustees ratted Ringo, who in punishment was in a locked cell in a locked tier 3 floors up. We're watching TV, and in he walks - taller, stronger, larger than any of us. Rat was Woody Allen's size. Ringo says "you ratted me out." Rat says no. Ringo repeats "you ratted me out." (He really did rat Ringo, and we knew it. He also ratted my letter). Rat tries to explain but Ringo hits him hard, knocking him to the concrete floor, then stomps 5 times on his head with his work boot. With each stomp, Rat's head bangs against the concrete and bounces up to meet the down coming boot which smacks his head even harder into the concrete as Ringo says (one word per stomp): "you. . shouldn't. . have. . done. . that." None of us moved, or spoke, not once. Ringo turned and looked at us to see if he had a problem, decided he didn't, left. Rat got up, stemming the blood, his head already swelled to thrice its size.

That's when I knew I was not the me I thought was me, the me I needed to be.
It's not my only lesson, but it is the one that worked.

Had I said or done something, two things would have happened. I'd be dead, or broken ... or ... the others would have rallied, and we would have stopped him. But had that second happy Hollywood scene occurred, at some time, at some place, Ringo would have found me, and hurt me. A lot. I know now I did the right thing for me, but it did cost me my mirror mirror on the wall who's the hero here of all view of myself.

Love the can do.
Hate the do do.

4.7.03 on 33 years ago

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[1992 letter - published in SplitCity, 1993]

1 nonmember, 1992

dear aggregate flux

in summation:
last june with my usual impeccable timing
i quit my extremely well paying job of 7 years
and left for europe with almost no money
at the peak of the touri$t sea$on
(i hit amsterdam on the 4th of july).
too soon moneyless but rich in adventure
i returned to find work, found factors working against me

      my moustache and head were shaved while my beard was
      shaggy, amish and long. . .

      jobs are traditionally slim during summer months. . .

      i wore black running shoes and a torn worn sports coat
      to my first few job interviews. . .

      jobs are traditionally slim during recessions. . .

      i was arrogantly interviewing my prospective employers
      instead of groveling like a good scum. . .

      jobs are traditionally slim during election years. . .

      british petroleum had just released 1,500 employees,
      many with my particular skills. . .

      i told 2 agencies hawking my flesh they were lying & rude
      & i didn't appreciate it (neither apparently did they). . .

      british petroleum (my previous 7 yr employer) fucked up
      most of what i had turned over to them & blamed me. . .

i was without a paycheck for four months.
no drugs. no money. no job. no woman.
no new films for my 900 title film collection.
survived awhile thanks to selling 3 pieces of art
for $500 - and finding another $500 in nickels, pennies,
dimes and quarters on my floor.
sold 300 paperbacks for $50. pawned 3 artbooks to an
art dealer art friend for $100 for art supplies.
mom bought food, cable-tv and electricity
with her social security check.
ate a lot of chicken beans and placenta helper.
bill collectors memorized my number, woke us
at 8 in the morning, again at night, & all the in between.
society bank threatened foreclosure.
visa canceled my credit card.
i began worrying at night when i should have been
i borrowed $350 to forestall foreclosure proceedings,
grew some hair, trimmed some beard,
charged 2 dress jackets, 3 pairs of slacks
1 pair of wingtipped shoes
on my sears card,
became polite and urbane during interviews,
and had a job within 3 weeks . . . . at $26/hr.
now in my 3rd week of work i get my 1st 2-week paycheck
and can begin buying off my creditors
(right now owe $3800 current and overdues).
in 6 weeks i'll be even and start saving.
poverty has been good to me - i'd forgotten how not having money
wears one in this society, even unrepentant x-hippies.
had too much money for too long.
bad for my mutanthood.

appeared in SplitCity 1993

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Re K. Michael Benz´s letter (7.31): If I
were Mr Benz, I would not be so quick to
align United Way with President-pretend
George W. Bush. In truth, Bush does not
represent all the people, particularly those
with less than six-figure salaries.

He is only in office because he was willing
to lie, cheat, steal and use his toadies on the
U.S. Supreme Court to effect a coup. And even
with all that, he still had to rely on his
brother to cook the Florida election books by
disenfranchising black voters.

Bush is a man without ethics, without honor,
without truth. Sadly, he is the perfect
pre$ident for corporate America.

This appeared in the Cleveland Free Times 8.14.2002 in response to
Mr Benz´s letter in which he stated Bush represents "all the people".

Mr Benz is the President and CEO of United Way Services, Cleveland.

The main thrust of Benz´s letter was that the United Way is apolitical,
and that their Board Chairman (Alex Machaskee, president and publisher
of The Plain Dealer) did not trade United Way´s hosting of Bush´s
political speech for an invitation to a White House dinner - although
he does admit that they did host the speech and Machaskee does have
his invitation to the White House. I gather ´apolitical´ must mean
something different to Mr Benz than it does to Daniel Webster.

On the bright side - I waited 56 years to write my first letter
to an editor, and it was printed.

On the dark side, last week´s repeat of Florida´s surrealist voting
rituals brings to mind the phrase "the same old same old"; or as
Pete Townsend put it: welcome to the new boss, same as the old boss.

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First Freefall
8 September 2002

Many would say I've been in accelerated freefall for years - not that they'd be wrong.

I could not believe how high we were. I looked out and figured we had to be at the 14,000 foot jumping point; my altimeter said 6, so on and up and up we went. Jumpmaster saw me looking and, misconstruing my mood, asked how it felt being this high. Told her I'd always liked being high. Got a small smile.

My worry was how I'd react. I knew I would jump, but didn't know if it would be from desire, or from fear of shame. Fortunately there was so much to do instruction-wise, my thoughts were solely on not fucking up.

You step sideways into a 120 mph windstorm that literally tears you away. One second you're clutching the airplane then immediately much faster than your brain can compute you're elsewhere where you know no up or down, just mindless movement. You're going 100+ mph straight ahead and 100+ mph straight down - it rather overwhelms both mind and body, but it is such absolute fun.

From 14,000 to 5,000 where you pull the ripcord takes 55 seconds... that's 112 mph straight down.

Once you pull the cord, you look up and wait 5 seconds to see which canopy opening you have - from perfect (1 of 15), to not so bad (3 more options), to disastrous (your last 11). Mine was textbook perfect, so I didn't have to do a lot of things I'd rather not - like jettisoning my chute. Oddly, there was never any feeling of fear, or danger, just initial chaos and confusion which changed to a Zen peaceful playfulness once the chute opened.

The opening was incredible - the chute grabs you at 110 mph and jerks you into this long dreamy forever slow motion, like a really big bungie cord - all the noise of the air's rush ceases as you hang in sudden silence a mile above the earth. Alone, motionless - the ground below moving, not you (unless you turn, and then lying on your side far above the earth, you wonder why you don't fall out of the sky).

The last mile down is easy street as you glide and turn above the various greens below, Amish fields, farms, water ponds gleaming beautiful, serene.

The landing was soft, easy, one slow step from sky to earth. As soon as you're down, all you can think of is going back up. . . higher. . . longer. . . maybe finding a way to stay.

One customer awhile ago became entangled in her chute lines so couldn't jettison it to pull her reserve... she landed in a swamp, did little more than crack a few bones.

Ever no, never know.
Sometimes bless is yes

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Cleveland Prospect

Middle aged black man tried to ice-pick my stomach this afternoon
one block off Public Square at Ontario & Prospect.
"How do you want your prospect today sire, medium or serious damage?"
The bus had almost missed him in the rain
so he loudly abused the driver all the way to town.
I got off behind him and accidentally nudged his heel.
He snarled: Next time you step on my heel I'll hurt you.
Me: Why don't you shut the fuck up?
He: What did you say?
Excuse me sir, I said why don't you shut the fuck up.
A lot of sputtering (this is a man in a business suit)
muttering about shutting me up when suddenly
he's stabbing at my stomach with an ice-pick
well used, with a red handle, he'd taken from his briefcase.
I can't help myself as I automatically out dance his thrusts
(I was after all on the fencing team at Annapolis)
I laugh and say "you're something else".
This infuriates him more so he shoves his briefcase at his daughter
who's been trying to tug him away and starts slashing at me.
I was wrong.
I should have apologized when I nudged his heel
or at least kept silent when he snapped.
What I did was dance backwards across the street and call out
"You're one sick fuck, old boy"
heavy on the boy
and run down Ontario street, he & his ice-pick chasing me.
The man's going to explode with hate
and I fuel him further.
If I were black, I'd hate white.
Though he was an equal opportunity hater - the driver was black.
I've got to slow my tongue, fasten my brain
walk with compassion, cause less stress, not more.
I am happy. I should share.

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SSN or Else

Lost my social security card 30-40 years ago. Never bothered to replace it.
What for? It's just a piece of paper, not even a real card. What good is it?
Who knows? Who cares?

The DMV do.

My small purple pickup's 28 day temporary tag has 3 days to run. I didn't get the
truck's title until yesterday because the salesman forgot to send in the paperwork.

Today I take the title, the E-Check Clean Exhaust certificate, my driver's license, and
proof of insurance to the License Bureau to get my tags. Walk into the empty Bureau
and am served immediately. Lady says I brought everything I needed - until she looks
at my driver's license.

When I had it renewed last time, I took the option of not showing my social security
number on it - to thwart identity theft.

She says no SSN, no license plates.

I say no problem. Fish out my pay stub. Show her my SSN.

Shakes her head. Pay stubs don't count. Shows me the HUGE sign on the wall which in BIG
letters spells out what documents are 'officially viable' - things like hunting licenses,
letters from the Bureau of Indian Affairs, all manner of official shit I've never shown much
but contempt for, unless it made good collage material.

My only choice seems to be applying for a new social security card, which means I'd need
a copy of my birth certificate, which is a whole other problem. Somehow I don't see this
coming together before Sunday when I become vehicular outlaw.

Then near bottom I see salvation: U.S. Service Discharge Papers.

How, you ask, could I, who can't find yesterday's news, find 36 year old discharge papers?

I'd gathered my November 30, 1960 County of Spokane Juvenile Court summons (for stealing
13 cars), my April 3, 1968 Honorable Navy Discharge papers (honorable because they didn't
want the bad publicity court marshalling me for smoking marijuana would bring) , and my May
1975 Decree of Divorce all in one place - because I was going to collage them into my website,
until I realized that wouldn't be very smart.

Come home. Walk over to my collage stash. Pick up discharge papers.

Take them back tomorrow, along with my Ohio unemployment benefits letter which also displays
my SSN, and get my plates with 2 days to spare.

For once my artistic side saved my scatterbrained ass.

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Piss on Earth, Good Wealth to All

xmas morning paper 2004.12.25
(in this case, the cleveland pain dealer, but newspaper / city / county / country
time period / planet / universe / galaxy don't make no difference) . . .

gangs protesting the reinstatement of the death penalty
shot to death 22 adults and 6 children.

killing the innocent to keep the guilty alive.
what an amazing concept.
why didn't the i.r.a. or the nazis or the israelis
or the palestinians or the ku klux klan or the christians
or the c.e.o.s of the cigarette/pharmaceutical companies
or george w bush think of that?

birds for war
migratory bird population in kashmir has increased
from 25,000 in 1992 to around 400,000 today
the poachers who were killing them off are now afraid to hunt
in the india/pakastani war zone because they get shot by both sides.
the birds were initially disturbed by recurring gunfire and explosions,
but now are used to it and barely move during battles.

even blood caked cloud has slivered lining.

proud poppas
more than 24,000,000 american children live in fatherless homes
a number 300% higher than in 1960.
75% of these will experience poverty before age 11.
72% of adolescent murderers and 70% of long term prison inmates
grew up with no fathers.

fatherless kids fathering fatherless kids fathering fatherless kids
f f k f f k ...

speak english
the 'sh' sound has 19 american spellings
including 'ss' in issue
'sc' in crescendo
'ch' in chute
'ce' in ocean
't' in negotiate
. . .
rain rein reign poor pour pore
four forty rough ruffian hark hearken speak speech tear tear lead lead read read
refuse refuse
from which in 1968 i made "ref use re fusing our naked nothing".

poor mouths
latrell sprewell (whom i'm told is a basketball player)
making $14,600,000 this year, demanded they extend his salary
because "i've got my family to feed"
then got suspended for yelling a sexual vulgarity at a female fan

. . . a week after signing a 6 year $84 million contract extension
zach randolph, evidently another basketball player,
missed his team's flight

guess they aren't paying these guys enough to be
polite, professional, or prompt.

bizarro cartoon panel
mary says to the 3 wise men kneeling in the manger before
her, joseph & baby jesus
"and remember, the main point of this whole thing is to promote shopping."

we need to put the x back in xmas

today's horrorscope
pisces (feb.19-march 20) * * * *
stay close to home and family.
others adore being around you.
when you venture out or visit an older relative or boss
you might be greeted with flak.
why bother?
be where you are cared about.
tonight: say thank you to a loved one.

that's a 4-star day? give me a break.
hate to see a 1-star day.
thank the godless it's a thin paper day, otherwise i'd still be moaning.

speaking of which
i'm reading michael moore's "stupid white men" so the news from this end isn't going to improve.
i'm a news person, read widely and deeply,
so thot i knew most of the bush theft of the 2001 presidency
but i had no idea how much deeper, earlier, cynical, pervasive, & open it was.
for moore to be able to say such things in print
and not be sued in court
is proof enough of their dastardly deeds,
though moore documents it all anyway.
i can neither understand nor condone the silence of the press since 2000.
good lap dogs.

piss on earth, good wealth to all
artcrimes smith

Go thee, and suffer less
The Church of Not Quite So Much Pain & Suffering


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Smith 2005
9 March 1946 / Wallace Idaho / 6' 3" / 177

farm boy cow milker chicken/rabbit/hog waste remover
hod carrier

paper boy
car thief
electronics technician
USNA midshipman
life insurance salesman

armed robber
prison cook
graphic arts salesman
avant-garde theatre manager
bethlehem steel extraman
college graduate
newspaper film/music critic
women's shoe salesman
computer operator
drug dealer
carnival laborer
church janitor

programmer analyst
condo owner

near dead
european traveler

agent of chaos

end    top    poetry    agent of chaos Smith interviw 10 February 2005

Oh Poet, what is beauty?

The harmonium of the seven senses when energy and form become more than sum
and strike the ageless chords we carry within.

Beauty may be thing, idea, act, sacrifice, thought, occurrence, non-occurrence - or none of the above.
Halfway to Hawaii one night wedged into the crook of a big gun on the nuclear cruiser U.S.N. Long Beach,
I beheld wild beauty in the rage of near hurricane sea storm, gale wind louder than man,
bow leaping to lightning sky to crash back to wet black over and over and over again.

It soothed the soul.

Next night, same boat, same sea, in the unsame night we hissed along, I watched flying fish leap
into the air, the smooth dark water below rippling in phosphorescent green where they left the sea,
drops of green dotting their path as they dripped thru the air with the greatest of ease.

It too soothed the soul.

2 beauties - one large, awesome, exhilarating . . . one slow and gentle.
Both magic beauty without calling magic beauty within.

Care to share the inspiration towards self-realization?

Fear of God after reading way too much Old Testament way too young.
Been looking within looking without ever since.
To some avail, but no success.
I'm pretty sure there's an escape clause somewhere in the fine print,
so I have to keep trying.

Share a thought

Saw rabbits dance, once. In the woods. In the night. In moon light.
A courting dance, the lady rabbit standing still,
the male bounding about in slow, unsteady circle.
Until a 2nd male rabbit came along
and the 2 guys mock fight, feint, rabbit ruckus -
and the lady leaves.
After awhile the guys notice she's gone,
stop, look at each other, leave.
All 3 different directions.

From 2 . . . to 3 . . . to 2 + 1 . . . to 2 . . . to 3 1s.

Share a passion.

Truth, justice, and what I was lead to believe was once the American way.
But never really was. Is. Or likely will be.

Share a truth

Do as you would be done.
If we all would help a little, it would help a lot.

Share a poem

I Ain't Got No White Boy Blues

Pain from one end to the other
Plagued by a black cloud of druthers
It's the "I Ain't Got No White Boy Blues"

Though I got no honey for spreading
And there ain't no money attending
Yet I ain't got no White Boy Blues

For I've roof over rising
A warm bed abiding
Friends fond and affirming
And a past that's worth hiding
So I can't get no White Boy Blues

Possessions don't taunt me
Though lessons they've taught me
Like inner, not outer be
And better to let be
The quicker to be free
The taught me do teach me
I ain't got no White Boy Blues

Yes, it's a sadness I'm lacking
Or, life's licking I'm liking
But that's why I got those
"I Ain't Got No White Boy Blues"

Think nature, what would you be? Why?

Wind. Air. Evaporated water. Light. Sunlight on water.
I would be light. I would flow.
I would rise and fall. I would shimmer.
Reflect. Refract.
I would be both particle and wave.

Great books (titles, stories others should read, you feel)

Books to me come when needed.

At 17 starting my road alone, it was Jack Kerouac's On The Road.

21 in need of new road, along came Aldous Huxley's The Door of Perception,
and like Alice, down the rabbit hole I went - willingly.

Kafka's The Hunger Artist weighs on me more than any other short story,
and The Castle & The Trial should be read to prepare one for life on asylum earth.

Love science fiction - it helped give my mind soul heart eyes wings when young in flesh.
I read anything by Philip K Dick -
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep is a good one,
as is Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said.
Great titles, weird mind.

Dashiell Hammett's The Maltese Falcon & The Glass Key.

read every Stephen King, enjoy most.

But the fundamental underlying double helix forming my focus since 1968
is Zen and quantum mechanics, and I've volumes galore on each.
Titles don't matter cuz you find what you need when you need.

Great one = Zen Bones, Zen Flesh, the early sources of Tau & Zen.

The Universal Myths - Heroes, Gods, Tricksters and Others
The Trickster - A Study in American Indian Mythology . . .
both have moments + are great sources for poems.

Krishnamurti . . . Gurdjieff . . . Carlos Casteneda . . . Ouspensky -
you know, the normal flaky hippie dippy stuff.

All time fave rave is Lao Tzu's
Tao Te Ching: The Book Of The Meaning Of Life.

Recently read some on the Gnostics who believe hell is this life on earth and
that the real hero in the Garden of Eden was the snake who was just trying to help.

Now reading The Collapse of Chaos - Discovering Simplicity in a Complex World.
Not that it's doing me any good. but being an agent of chaos, I feel it's my duty.

Great food (whatever turns you on or elicits a passion)

Food pretty much bores me. I'd use batteries if I could.
Tho a good dark black cup of coffee still excites me.

***A most thrilling moment….

Hanging in the sky a mile above the earth in total silence, total isolation,
feeling no movement, hearing no sound cuz you move in the wind with the wind,
watching the good green Amish earth move slowly below, ponds, lakes twinkling
in sunlight, green fields & foliage rolling & roiling in the breeze.

It's odd how much out you can hold within.

***In an unreal world, Cleveland gains when it loses…???

An activist poet performance artist like Daniel Thompson
because dead and gone, he's safe - alive, he's an activist.
Dead, he's generic product - alive, he's bad breath.

*Part native American Indian?

Who knows?
I bled to death in 1990 and they filled me up with others' blood.
So I could be partly anything, if blood is blueprint.
I'm mongrel, mostly mutant.
Not nearly nominally normal.

I do believe all things - mechanical, plant, animal, mineral - have spirit.
A spirit which deserves respect and consideration.
Life is better when it's collaboration.

Unless it's the collaboration our government has had these past 200 years
with what's left of the native American.
Talk about blood . . .

reading room 15

10 top poems | 10 top collages | 10 top illustrations | 10 top fotos

agent of chaos | collage | what's new | guest artists | guest poets

e mail smith at smithcrimes @-sign yahoo dot com

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