—Poems and Photos by Smith
THE FIRST POET
The beat of blood
the flick of flame
the slap of feet
the circled tribe around the fire
in dancing shadow
demons dungeon dark
held by heat of heart
how Fox buried egg in day
how Coyote stole
and broke it
scrambling dusk and dawn
I worked my ass off and now my pants won't fit.
Kissed so much behind my lips are starting to stick.
This working class hero bit's just another bag of it.
I'd eat the rich, but their taste is so bad. I'd serve
the poor, but too many already have. I'd play with myself
but I'm not all here. So I ask God, is She still there?
Reason drips in dropped disguise red through white
through blues departing in the night, the never right
hype the Man, his chicken stripe, and his doo doo do.
We worship Amway, Scientology too. As long as it's
Brand Named we play the fool, pay first born foreskin,
a nipple or two. So break out your dead deal dust due.
Ghosts of gone before host our yet to be. No
flowers for the finished, no hour for their song.
Ground zero works in theory only when you're wrong.
Weren't for Monk, I'd catch Coltrane. Weren't for TV
I'd have a brain. Heart and soul sold for junk. If I'm
the rat, best step back cuz I'm not the one gonna jump.
8-ball boogie gets you every time. Tried to fax the
factors in, they made me stand in line. Try to share
my truth with them, they stamp my life a lie.
8-ball boogie, get you every time.
(hear as song at
STATUS REPORT 175
Walk stone steps forever
you cut a groove
Sit on wood often enough
it smooths in ass shine
Drip water on rock over centuries
it wears a hole
Irritate an oyster with sand
it covers it in pearl
Sometimes you need
to stay outside the lines
If I still knew
all I've known
I'd no a lot more.
Or maybe yes.
Had past lessons earned
a corner I'd have turned.
Or at least have a better guess.
I plot and plow
to get through now
And all with which I'm blessed.
But red is not blue
all is not none
zero is not score.
Life is still very often a mess.
STATUS REPORT 170
Blood orange cream seeps up sky
as night creeps off dark pause
I wait for an honest coffee
to salvage my soul without prayer
Unsure if need of known
is after effect or cause
The light leaks in
burning moths for flavor
There’s a walking bag on the telly
filled with talking meat
calorie counting down to defeat
repeat . . . repeat . . . repeat . . .
We return belly to button, button to beast
add some new jism, raise with old yeast
throw here for now, round then for there
wear where naked clothes on King hang bare
so belly in bold shows its sad sag sink
despite philosopher's ink
return the belly to jolly of jelly
to rose when ready when ruddy on rise
better we sit and turn to the telly
than sally forth for destruction of lies
We sink in eat and weight of gain
play hunter gatherer game
where if it moves, kill it to eat
else if green grown, cook it with meat
we eat the trees, we eat the land
we eat ourselves out of hand
Our bellies bloat and gloat at glands
we roam like locusts over sand
we eat the air, we eat the seas
we beat the land until it bleeds
You know it ain't too wise to this way bow
cuz Mother Earth new path will plow
food will shrink, water unwet
unnatural flow will be upset
so we can help - or - eat and go
flame out fast, live day slow
Calorie accounting courting feet
or fast-talking minced-meat sweet jelly weep?
It’s out there, gonna happen
we can help, we can hurt
sit and yelp, or get to work
(recitation with music at
STATUS REPORT 158
Break a leg, they said
so I did.
Wouldn't recommend it.
~ ~ ~
STATUS REPORT 24
"You are still alive,
it's not too late."
~ ~ ~
STATUS REPORT 21
Running after nothing
trying to catch the ring.
Many, many thanks to Smith (Steven B. Smith) for his poems and pix today, sharing his unique voice and his rocking sense of rhythm and rhyme, all the way from Cleveland (on the southern shore of Lake Erie), home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame—hence the Rock and Roll Capital of the World!
In our area, please note that the newest issue of the online journal, convergence, is viewable at www.convergence-journal.com/spring16/. Cynthia Linville is one of the editors. Cynthia also writes that she has finished up Patricia Hickerson’s posthumous poetry collection, Outcry, which is about to be released from R.L. Crow Publications. Release parties are scheduled for May 12 at Luna’s; May 22 at Mosaic of Voices (Avid Reader); and May 30 at Sac. Poetry Center. (More about those readings later.) Rattlesnake Press published Pat's first chapbook, Dawn and Dirty, in 2011. She was a fine poet—another rock 'n roller—and a great friend, and we all miss her. Congratulations to Bill Gainer and R.L. Crow for making more of her poetry available to the world!