' Modern American Poetry Collection by Cleveland Poet Smith - Contemporary Poems
Modern poetry collection by the contemporary Cleveland poet Steven B. Smith
Smith - contemporary poet

reading room #7
14 titles added 6.17.2003

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).

A treatise on The Bisque Buddha:
Emancipation of Consciousness and Buddhist's Philosophy in Steven B. Smith's Poetry
by Manoranjan Das - April 1, 2003

end    poetry

Dear Occupants, Accidents & Occidentals

Just yesterday it was yesterday
Now it's already today

Confuse not mercy with weakness
Confuse weakness not with an upset liver
And confuse not an upset liver with love
It is the shape of the silence
Which defines the sound
Like winter rubbing against summer
Each refines the other

Only certain curtains can be drawn
The rest must be endured
The souring sermons
The centered self serving
The lion den Christians in Coliseum stands
Twixt ape and angel wandering
Torn between the knowledge
And the need

Do I worship the moon or sun
Or yet the blooded one?
I bloat and smell
Decay in age
The focus runs

I was wondering If it would be possible for you to give me a bit of insight into your views about Christianity as I've selected you as one of my art influences? - Vikki

end    poetry

Almost Persuaded

I've been told too many truths for justice
Or torment in limbic loin
To look for form or function in future satin

I crow denial thrice
Return to green for growing
And look to lust for life in logic's other loggerjam

end    poetry

Fertile Lies

Small particles of truth lace love's lies

Peeping one-eyed cat's seafood stores
Mount used two love carnivore rides
Cast past sated loss

Self to self slip service schemes for the day
Emasculation Mama stiff with semen
Screams dreams porta piss shit machine
Message me to mine

Bile regenerative truth du jour:
 loving spoonful's
 pearl jam
 to my hole

end    poetry

Marilyn Monroe 1926-1962

Yon black crow hunched against
The yellow asphalt line somewhere
On route 36 interstate north
Is but a breath of my fancy
An inevitable pigment of my integration
One final fiction
Old crow's dead
Died gestalt
Motherless mind sewage
Black cold magpie
Could be raven
Platinum yellow ozling
Mother Mary mud pie
Young mudded girl
Inflected in random pools
Of rainbow auto oil
On yellow lined highways
The dead black crow
Hunched against 36

end    poetry

National Debt

Huddled beneath behind
Green metal stalls
The tile encrusted
Yellow, he sews an
Empty money bag
To his crotch, watches
His reflection mirrored
In regimented urinals
   five six seven
Decaying down the wall
Cradling his existence
Fraying five to seven
In staid erotic fear
Small spider woven
Through uninforming ears
Tired of heaven he sews
His money to his crotch
He huddles

end    poetry

Self Portrait

I am an alcoholic and a
    drugoholic and a
    bookoholic and a
 (I use laser beams)

I drink it if I got it and I
  smoke it 'til it's gone

end    poetry

Pilgrim's Progress
(on turning fifty 3/9/96)

The shy knees say on turning fifty
windows open onto sacred soil
closing patterns past

The dark destiny dread
once deemed admission, lacks Darwinian loss
leaks likes lukewarm like drifter drafted

Old fuses, fixed with shiny premise
shift shape, sometimes seep sleeping
spring sprung into dawn

My fallen rose rising
my no no zone climbing
I sing, pondering coffin's cost

end    poetry

Wrinkles in Time

Quantum mechanics experience
Principles of physical cosmology

Black holes and time
Warp the conscious universe

Einstein's eigenstates
Out race the knowing tree

Part in whole
Modern physical therapy

Optical axis
Gambling gamete gaming spree

end    poetry

Nulvoid 1

You can eat your cake and have it too
You just got to save your shit

end    poetry

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

end    poetry

Nulvoid 2

Who knows where the dildo goes
The shadows do

end    poetry

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

end    poetry

psychologically gestalt


reading room #8
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