Modern poetry collection by contemporary Cleveland poet Steven B. Smith
reading room 19 Polypnesian I-Land Unease since discovering throat cancer from 38 yrs intensive marijuana smoking
soap op pop - 12.6.05 / worship her - 12.11.05 cancer email 1 - 11.30.05 / cancer email 2 - 12.6.05 / cancer email 3 - 12.12.05 private eye smokey grey - 12.11.05 / 59 years in a dead mom's bed - 9.20.2005 campbell's instant poem - 7.17.2005 / my first armed robbery - 1989 / my dinner with myself - 1986 parts unknown - 1.24.06 / lady grey - 4.27.2006 revised 1.26.2006
Soap Op Pop
(events from May thru November 2005)
The time between time
Seven moon gone
Gave seven moon notice
Write Lab Rats I-IX
Lady poet follows me home
Lady stalked by psycho Sam
Lady poet moves in
Lady poet suggests we move to Europe
Lady poet agrees to be wife to be next August
Lady poet agrees to be wife to be this January
Polyp doc cuts my voice box
Polypnesian I-land unease
You on couch
Cat on floor
We're the Bohemian Normal Rockwells
And I'll eat your beaver while we wait
this is NOT my vagina. is my voice box with cancer from 38 yrs of marijuana smoking
squamous cancer on voice box
cancer removed from voice box
cancer email 1 - 11.30.2005
voice box polyps surgically removed this morning. already voice is stronger. no pain, no discomfort.
bad news = doc 99.9% sure polyps are cancerous. go in monday to talk with him. have to wait 2-6 weeks i'm guessing for biopsy results. there's a chance the cancer is non-malignant. he's recommending radiation treatments - don't know frequency, number or cost, but being self pay perhaps i can get them at half price - as i did today's surgery ($2,400 for 20 minutes).
my plan remains the same. since Lady declined my offer to let her back out, we're still marrying in january. i'm staying with the same sell all and flee to europe with my love scenario. whether for a short or long time, i'll continue our planned artistic path of poetry / fiction & non-fiction novels / short stories / performance art / publishing / readings & recitations. that life calls to both of us, and we will follow. a longer safer tedious life here would not be worth a shorter poetic life with Lady across the seas.
so must wait for further data to assess. can't foresee anything changing our europe emigration tho. will of course keep you abreast (and a thigh).
looks like my drug past has caught up with me. we'll continue smoking what we have but won't buy any more. should help the budget anyway.
can't say yea or nay or the maybes in between because don't have enough data to analyze. may have more monday. may have to wait for the biopsy to return - tho Lady's impression is they want to start radiation right away. and whatever the final plot script, it may include benign or malignant but fixable with many years left over . . . or anything in between.
to me all that matters is Lady. being with her is the highest point of my life, the best portion of my life. a year with her would be worth more than 100 years without her. my sole sorrow is the sadness this has put in Lady's eyes. she finally finds the love she seeks and it's got an unreadable shelf life expiration date. the wait for hard data will be hard on her. to me, this is just another story to find a humorous punch line to share with others - except of course for what this is doing to her.
on many levels, no one - including myself - expected me to reach 50 . . . and in 3 months i'll be 60. i've created poems and paintings and publications that stand on their own. . . i've had a life far more interesting and underground than any one i know of. life has been magnificently good to me. i've been unnaturally lucky throughout. and now i have true love from a true woman true friend true companion true collaborator true partner. so no matter whatever happens, i feel blessed.
and bottom line, i think this is but a blip. good chance i'll outlast Lady and all the rest of you. i'm lucky, healthy, ornery and hardy. and if i don't, maybe we can finally get the market values of my art up to reason.... nothing helps an artist/poet's rep like dying.
this is the best i can do without more data. be back when i know more.
until then, thanks for all the fish.
and the marijuana.
go thee, and suffer less
the church of not quite so much pain & suffering
the irreverend steven b. smith & his beloved Lady presiding
01 - i have throat cancer from smoking marijuana heavily for 38 years
02 - it has not spread
03 - i'll need 40 radiation treatments over 8 weeks
04 - + monthly checks for awhile to be sure
05 - is both treatable and survivable
i'll call today to set up the treatments and find out what they'll cost since they'll give me a 'self-pay' break since i've no insurance or job.
so - looks like i'm too stubborn to die. plus i now have Lady as a living goal.
odd - had this all happened before Lady (unlikely since i would not have had my throat checked out), i would have welcomed it . .. always felt death was the next big adventure. now, ain't no way i'm going to die. got too much Lady to live for.
i have a theory - i've been becoming a better human being for awhile now . . . i think when you do enough stuff right for long enough, they give you a Lady - and once you have a Lady, you really want to do more good.
last night she said "we'll play with silver... we'll play with gold ... then we'll play with silver again." sounds like a fair summation of our love. the lady oozes poetry.
radiation doc said
01 - if he had to have cancer, my cancer is what he'd want
02 - this cancer does not spread
03 - 40 radiation treatments at $90 a treatment 5 days a week for 8 weeks + side bills
04 - total cost of cure = approximately $5,000 (+ $2,500 surgery + $1,000 doc visits / cat scan = $8,500)
05 - almost no side-effects due to small radiation area + my extreme good health and mental/physical shape
06 - laryngeal cancer is the 1st type of cancer ever treated with radiation over 100 yrs ago . . . also first type of cancer ever cured.
no more daily smoking grass (tho i will smoke periodically for special occasions like guests, parties, alternate tuesdays, etc).
for bad news, this is as good as it can get. i will be around to watch the amazing Lady become the even more amazing Lady she is to be.
You know, I had an idea about you and I doing a poem together.
I guess we just did,
you being more poem than me,
I being the poemstigator.
You are in a poetetic mood tonight.
Did you get lucky or something?
Two Christs with one cross,
Drug-Mart can't beat that!
Do you think Christ would
Be appalled we are not Jews
Is Yahweh jealous
because he's a water walker,
water walkers don't differentiate
or size of visa monkey
to water walker,
you walk water, or work dirt.
but would Saint Paul be appalled?
is that like the boxing and wrestling weigh-ins?
I mean, after all, religion is a contact sport.
specially in irate Iraq.
I say potato
You say cucumber
I say to ye
to make a cross
you need some lumber
not sum sport loss
there's no free
Would St. Peter be pestered by St. Paul being appalled?
or Paul appalled, pester Peter's pecker?
or pick a piper
for Jacob's ladder?
or lick Lester
his dick his disaster
no matter cum after?
Speaking of contact sports, did I tell you I bought The Passion dvd for
from Drug-Mart? It was used but aren't we all?
you purchase your passion partial off
perhaps paradise pales
the mad poet & artcrimes smith
a.k.a. Steven B. Smith & Kevin Eberhardt 7.17.2005
In late 69, my crime partner to be fell in lust with my wife.
He had just published one of my short stories and my first
article in two of his magazines, and now wished to pubicize
my wife. I and my depression were thinking of letting him.
So was she and hers. I had recently been fired, was deeply
in debt, indifferent, artistically frustrated, immature, and
unwillingly married. I had been ignoring her because I did
not want her.
One night during our cheap wine patrols, my partner to be
started flirting with my future ex-wife in front of me, and
she responded. I being a hippie bohemian believed in freedom
of choice, but got jealous anyway and tried to compete. She
bloomed beneath our dueling affections and rose in wine and
smoke and slowly shed her clothes down to bra and panties.
We three went to bed when the wine ran out, and they touched
too much while I faked sleep.
The next night at Burger King, he talked to me of robbery
while I thought of breaking his fingers so he couldn't touch
her again. His ad agency was failing, and he was about to
lose his type setting machines which were going to print my
future genius. I gave him theoretical advice. Simple problem
solving. You can't do this, you might try that. Burger Kings
are bad, big box office movies aren't.
Within the week he showed up with two hand guns. Big ones.
For the robbery.
I had not thought our conversation serious, but went along
anyway. It was something to do, and I was depressed and
bored and in deep debt, reduced to writing whining Rod McKuen
prosery. Since we were going to rob with guns, he figured we
should fire them first. We did. Nasty gut wrenching noise.
I took it back after he took out the clip, and the gun discharged,
the bullet just missing my foot. Good omen.
After he left, she said he'd been here yesterday. He'd talked
awhile. Took her hand and led her into the bedroom. Unbuttoned
her robe and caressed her breasts. He wants more, but she
doesn't. The interest of another and their furtive touching
has satisfied her as far as I know. I know she wants and loves
me, that is why she tells me. I would rather be an artist.
Hippie me, I'm free of this possession package the suburbans
wrap around their female property. I don't own her. What
she needs to fuel her future is her business, weighed on her
karmic balance, not mine. I don't want her, yet hate his want
and her response. I know I ignore her, but she should run to
more than him.
I write in my journal:
"29 January, 1970 - Thursday 12:19 PM about 55 degrees heavily
overcast occasional short showers. Me, I'm tired. Mainly from
lack of sleep, but partially from beginning fear - fear that says
we're going to go through with it tonight. I want to, and I don't
Since I'm a freak, I slick my long hair back, wear a white shirt
with a narrow black tie and Glidden Durkee safety glasses as a
disguise. As we were leaving, his wife calls. She's crying, asking
if I know where her husband is. She had been drinking and seeing
the snake of truth, knowing something's wrong, but not the gun or
breasts. She talked for ninety minutes and cramped our scheduled
crime spree. As I calmed her, I saw her husband's hand on my
I chose the 7-Eleven in my boss's neighborhood because they were
all rich and bastards. We walked into the store and hesitated, not
really believing we'd do it. We wandered around waiting for the
customer to leave. My partner and potential wife-fucker bought a
20 cent pack of cigars, and as he paid, I tried to pull the gun out of
my pocket. It got stuck on the gun sight. I finally got it out and
pointed at the clerk and coolly said "Leave it open" just as he closed
the cash drawer. He reopened it and handed me all the money.
64 fucking dollars.
It wasn't enough. I didn't know then they hid all the big bills under
the drawer, but I knew there had to be more money, so I demanded
his wallet. As he handed it to me I said "No, that's yours. I can't
take this" and handed it back. Told him to lie down on the floor, and
we ran out just as more customers rolled in. Scared, we cut through
the alley and up the hill. It was raining and he was in front of me as
I slipped and fell face down in the mud, my gun in front of me. It
went off and I missed him. So far, that made two of us I'd missed.
We bought some more cheap wine and went back and flirted with
We did it one more time. We got caught.
Steven B. Smith
written in 1989 and forgotten . . . re-found 1.15.2006.
The night before the night before Xmas, I was at the Dragon Inn or Out.
Same old odor: Tsingtoa beer, egg roll, pork fried rice (it always makes my
foreskin tingle) when
! ! C ! R ! A ! S ! H ! !
someone threw 2 rocks through
the dragon painted picture window, one rock breaking bar booze bottle.
I was alone. Only customer. Back to front window. Manager/waitress and
cook in kitchen. They rush out shout WHAT HAPPENED at me thinking me
did it because me only me there. I ponder. Point. They run out.
Across the street a drunken cop walks wrapped around a woman, the two
stumbling towards her place. Middle-aged manager Chinese woman calls him
over in broken English, says "Someone broke window". Cop weaves, mumbles
"Wha? Who? Inside?" "Yes, inside. Someone broke window inside".
Cop touches gun, squints through window at me standing watching. Starts to
come in. I realize I am only one within. I am large. Standing. Male. Cop is
drunk. Has gun. Thinks PERPETRATOR is within where I alone linger.
The last two months flash before my lies - the Cleveland Police beating me up
and breaking my rib; the pumpkin from the overpass smashing my car lights;
falling down after completing the Art Behind Bars installation and breaking
both elbows and both wrists; my loft stairs collapsing thrice; smashing my
1977 blue Saab into the foreign woman's Cougar car . . . etc. I can see me
being shot, and I find my innocence amusing: "SELF MADE DEGENERATE
SHOT BY DRUNKEN KOP WHILE POSING AS CONSUMER" says imaginary
Pain Dealer headline.
I immediately sit at table. Write with beer. Become CUSTOMER. See, me
safe, me drink beer, me spend MONEY - ME CUSTOMER ! ! Cop comes in.
Walks by me back to bowels of kitchen. Feel safe. Cop emerges from bowels.
Sees me. ! PULLS GUN ! Chinese lady grabs his arm yelling NO NO NOT HIM,
HE CUSTOMER. I smile. Raise both palms outward and shake my head no in
gentle reinforcement, ready to run.
Cop asks for description. Start to tell I only one out front back to front when
I realize ain't no way I'm going to draw his drunken attention to me, and drink
my beer instead. He watches with Pavlovian saliva and says "I tell you what I'm
going to do. I'm going to the bar next door and check things out. If I'm not
back in 5 minutes, call the Cleveland P.D.".
He leaves. Owner comes in. Screams at woman. Calls the Cleveland Police.
Yells at them. They hang up on him. He calls back. Screams louder. They
hang up again. Drunk cop comes back without lost lady, saying "There's no
one fitting the description next door, so there's nothing I can do ... it's not
my beat anyway". While I'm wondering what description he's talking about,
he wanders back to the bowels. Owner yells DON'T LET HIM GO BACK
THERE WHAT'S WRONG WITH HIM IS HE CRAZY ? ? Woman leads cop
back front. Owner screams in cop face ARE YOU CRAZY?
Cop leaves. Owner verbally abuses employees awhile, then stares at me - me
thinking he suspects me because here I am all alone and writing like mad in a
wonderful socio-psychological experiment.
Well I got a little lady
Maybe she a shady grey
But when I lap her lapidary
She the only way
She make me sweet begonia
She jolly up my jam
She make me sweat petunia
She amp my is with am
I want to be her front door man
O lady let me light your darkness
Won't you lead me late to sin
Let wicked lie be my harness
And my whip lip on lip
written 4.7.2005 revised 1.26.2006 - wrote this as a love poem to Lady (Mary)Jane marijuana
before Lady - but now I'm cutting back my relationship with grass, I find the poem fits my wife
Lady Kafka aka Lady K aka Lady Grey aka Lady nee Lady Virginia Walker