Modern poetry collection by contemporary Cleveland poets Lady & Steven B Smith
Smith - contemporary poet
reading room 31
Lady & Smith's London Railway Pub poetry reading
Two Olde farts & A Chick - 23 August 2007

lady tramp

we read with Beat-inspired London poet Jazzman John Clarke under the banner
Two Olde Farts & A Chick
John is 59, Lady 34, and I'm 61, so I thought that a fair title.
here's Lady's and my poems last night.

MY LUSTING RIBS - JANUARY AT THE BEACH - OUR BEST MEMORY - WHEN EYES WERE TERRIFYING
Bye Buy - Alone This Train - Marriage Proposal



MY LUSTING RIBS

I always got this thrill--
the idea of being Olive Oyl,
tied to a railroad track by Bluto

My pale skin, my
pulsing pulsing pulsing
So frail, so prone
a limp bird just waiting
for Popeye to rescue me

But Ohhhhhhh, Popeye,
an ache filled with thrill

Rescue equally exciting
as to succumb to consumption,
the train cracking rack of
ribs on the track

- Lady

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JANUARY AT THE BEACH

The dipole logic of seagulls
aligned at Edgewater

spectator birds
by the vacated
lifeguard chair

If I throw particles of bread
into the buffet of wind,
I'm let into their
January moment

They hover,
suspended birdornaments,
me at the center
of their xyz,

white belly hung birds
with individual mouths and
idiot eyes

From their throats,
a raucous thriving misery

- Lady

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OUR BEST MEMORY

I had this dream I wrote the best poem
and in the dream I woke up and wrote something
not quite as good and then I Really woke up
and now I cannot remember the poem.

If I am a careful listener, I can tell you
something new. If I came to this New I would be
a new person. You All have the record of what
I've done against which I am compared. But a
new Person is Free to affect speech and ideas.

We expect something New but we have to come back
to the Same Room. We expect reincarnations of
our friends in other circles, other chances,
but it is used up, our best memory.

Everything is stale compared to our best memory.
I remember the best peach each time I eat a
peach. Sometimes against what I expect I am
pleasantly startled, but I have to watch the Now.

I'm always unknitting and reknitting these but
the thread remembers. If I say what is on my
mind I am not contrived in this context. This
was all given to me in a dream.

- Lady

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WHEN EYES WERE TERRIFYING

To see, I disregard
the ever present bridge
of my nose, or it drives me
to mental vertigo and
permanent cross-eyedness

If I unfocus, let still, hairs,
or maybe creatures, float into view
jelly monsters in a fuzzy picture

Vision's a recurring thought,
a whim of ticklish accounting in
my slippery mental mudslide

Were I to amputate and dissect my eye,
would it be some onion yellow
roughage layer rubber ribbage,
isolate pages from the knife?

My horror is gone
with the daily application
of drops and lenses

But I remember when

eyes

were terrifying.

- Lady

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Bye Buy

The Man keeps knocking
Down my front door
Wants to sell me some
Sorta social spore
Says grits & groceries
Ainít enough
In the modern life
You need much more stuff
Made me want to crow
And flap my thing
Chase the hole
Outside wedding ring
So I cut my hair
De-furred my face
Gave the Man a chance
To show a better place
Where the air was clear
The water free
The fair folk there
Accepting me
But when they pursed my lips
To kiss an ugly place
The Man above unzipped below
I said sorry sir I gotta go
Get out of my face
You can keep your fairs
Your free fatted Fraus
The lure of your lair
Is lacking in now
Iíll take the stair
Itís quicker somehow
Cleaner too
Thanks to no you
You can unstab my back
Cuz youíll need your knife
Rat back to the pack
That leads your life
Itís hit the road Jack
Be ass & back
Or tap tap taps brutal bell
I bye buyís black burden
I lay down your load
You ainít no at
For this gone cat
As for is
Youíre due your due
You can go to Hell
Be your own fondue
Drink dropping lake
Eat rising grape
Work rolling rock returning
Dirt burning

- Steven B. Smith

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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
You 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

- Steven B. Smith

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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.
Silence.
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.
When?
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.

- Steven B. Smith

this was my marriage proposal to my 1st wife, back in 1968,
which was 4 years before my real, current wife was born.
1st wife and i divorced when my current wife was 3.

reading room 1

blog - Walking on Thin Ice, the adventures of Smith & Lady
the City Poetry - Lady's online zine

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