Happiness is a cat
slow stepping on a plush blanket
to dance the cat dance of press press paw paw
purr so pure it’s heard across the room
in step purr sway
step purr sway
tail slow wave
eye squeeze tight
narrowing in pleasure
of slow pad pad left
slow pad pad right
claws low nick
CREATURES FROM THE DEEP
We're creatures from the deep
trying to remember how to get back home.
Remember when sun was legend,
nothing more than whisper in the dark?
Down where sound was mute and muddied
and what little light absorbed by stone?
From there to here there rides a chasm
with no Charon to the other side.
Too much light in lostness,
no shadow span to spawn relief.
We yearn for soft relief of oftness
where the west moon eats.
We're creatures from the deep
trying to remember how to get back home.
I once rode the cinquain slow train from town to town
to sling as few words possible for gain.
Being fastest quip in town, in two-tongue silver
I mowed them down with metaphor galore.
My sly sounds and clever cuts and quick slice to the
Id grid made no one butter, got no grits.
Cut ups, put downs, just sounds fed from fear or folly,
foul feature far from formless foe, worthless.
Never a where to go, a want to be, a way
to see fair a free and easy future.
So words of scold in old I let go, their sorrow
sent and said in some hot blood red of err.
Someone's always faster, meaner, so go slow, nice,
it throws them off, perverts their pace, wins race.
Better yet, don't compete to feed the seed of need
in heat of hate that self relates in each.
I said I’ll make the decisions
because I’m old and male
and she said no
I said yes, says so in the Old Testicle,
and you don’t want to upset the Old Testicle
because it’s Big and Hairy
and she said don’t piss me off
I gasped, you’ve just offended the Sacred Scrotum
and she made the decision
ZEN OVER ZERO
Dog week later in mourning kitchen pouring
Coffee into my veins with a dull cup
A daze of morals and Moses
Whines and Rosicrucians
It’s raining cats and gods
And I am a fine unman
HOLY MARTIN LUTHER, BATMAN ! ! !
(quotes by Martin Luther, 1483-1546, father of the Protestantreligion)
You dear asses. You poisonous loudmouth. You are jugglers of imaginary sins. I would not smell the foul odor of your name. You are a bungling magpie, croaking loudly. All you say is sealed with the devil's own dirt. Snot-nose! My soul, like Ezekiel's, is nauseated at eating your bread covered with human dung. Do you know what this means? You are a little pious prancer. You have a perverted spirit that thinks only of murdering the conscience. You should rightly be called lawyers for asses. If you are furious, you can do something in your pants and hang it around your necks—that would be a musk apple and pacem for such gentle saints. You condemned the holy gospel and replaced it with the teaching of the dragon from hell. You reek of nothing but Lucian, and you breathe out on me the vast drunken folly of Epicurus. You vulgar boor, blockhead, and lout, you ass to cap all asses, screaming your heehaws. You are spiritual scarecrows and monk calves. I am tired of the pestilent voice of your sirens. Your Hellishness. You are one of those bloody and deceitful people who affect modesty in words and appearance, but who meanwhile breathe out threats and blood. Your home, once the holiest of all, has become the most licentious den of thieves, the most shameless of all brothels, the kingdom of sin, death, and hell. It is so bad that even Antichrist himself, if he should come, could think of nothing to add to its wickedness. You have set out to rub your scabby, scurvy head against honor. We should not only refuse to obey you, but consider you insane or criminals. I think that all the devils have at once entered into you. Take care, you evil and wrathful spirits. God may ordain that in swallowing you may choke to death. What else can one say here, except that these ideas originate in your own wanton concoctions, or in a drunken dream? A seven-year-old child, indeed, a silly fool, can figure it out on his fingers—although you, stupid ass, cannot understand anything. I am tired of the pestilent voice of your sirens. You are ignorant, stupid, godless blasphemers. You pant after the garlic and melons of Egypt and have already long suffered from perverted tastes. Phooey on you, you servant of idols! I must stop: I can no longer rummage in your blasphemous, hellish devil's filth and stench.
The Man keeps knocking
Down my front door
Wants to sell me some
Sorta social spore
Says grits & groceries
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
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
I’ll take the stair
It’s quicker somehow
Thanks to no you
You can unstab my back
Cuz you’ll need your knife
Rat back to the pack
That leads your life
It’s hit the road Jack
Be ass & back
Or tap tap taps brutal bell
I bye buy’s black burden
I lay down your load
You ain’t no at
For this gone cat
As for is
You’re due your due
You can go to Hell
Be your own fondue
Drink dropping lake
Eat rising grape
Work rolling rock returning
2 versions, 1 recitation, 1 performance: music by Peter Ball, word&voices by Smith:
SISYPHUS IN THE LAND OF SORROW
No longer waiting for my cream rise to top
nor my rock to not unroll
cuz that boat will never sail
in fact wasn't even made
and its flag don't fly
its tank is empty
its tires flat
and engine froze
no happy after fame and fortune
cuz unhappy race is base of game
no matter which rung you on
unless you let go
and fuck fame
and of course
sip the coffee and toke the smoke
How to be better?
There’s anger in my ego
Ego in my need
Thanks to Smith (Steven B. Smith) for his lively poetry and visuals today! He writes: "My upcoming book of poetry from Crisis Chronicles Press is to be titled Where Never Was Already Is and may contain all of the 245 poems that have appeared (or in the case of Jan & Feb 2018, will appear) in Medusa's Kitchen out in California, where publisher/editor Kathy Kieth posts a plethora of poets and artists every day of the year, and has done for years. This all started when I met D.R. Wagner at Dianne Borsenik's 2015 Beat Cleveland reading and he published my 'found' Ferlinghetti poem that I took from underlined passages in a used copy of the 1960 novel, Her."
Smith's Ferlinghetti poem was posted in Medusa’s Kitchen shortly thereafter (see medusaskitchen.blogspot.com/2015/10/maid-of-mist.html), and here it is again:
LIKE A FAR NOTE IN A BLUE BOTTLE
(words by Lawrence Ferlinghetti, edit by chance and Smith)
I was bearing a white phallus through the wood of the world,
I was looking for a place to plunge it,
corresponding almost exactly to reality,
Like an extra in a grade B movie,
I was looking for the main character of my life,
strayed onto the stage by mistake,
I had somewhere dropped the key that explained the action,
ran off through the streets of the world,
a small eternity passed,
I returned and returned.
a scene I had already painted
the paint had now grown wet again
a melting mirror
suspended in silence
a waiting hush.
exiled me to spend the rest of my life picking
recurrent delusionmounted on the beast of myself,
one pollywog willing to lose its tail
in a cracked shaving mirror under a bare bulb
the streets of the earth
an anonymous receptacle into which I could pour myself
classic columns holding up nothing.
made of real American pigeon feathers,
pocket watches hung from trees
crowds of black berets and herds of sandals
combing their hair with Grecian lyres.
in and out of reality.
one huge landscape of flesh,
innermost swinger beyond the self,
squeezed from a tube,
like the tiny tail of a swallowed goldfish,
like a far note in a blue bottle
white as the bleached skull of a cow.
made of mascara,
the green leprosy of moss
a round egg in a square world,
my pinball machine registers tilt
Many thanks, Steven B., and congrats on your upcoming book!
Today is the first of a two-part workshop, Speak Your Work, by Atim Udoffia on presenting your writings to audiences. It will meet at Sac. Poetry Center, 6pm. Cost is $125; email firstname.lastname@example.org/. And The Other Voice will meet in Davis at the Unitarian Universalist Church, featuring Bill Gainer and Kevin Jones (plus open mic). Scroll down to the blue column (under the green column at the right) for info about this and other upcoming poetry events in our area—and note that more may be added at the last minute.
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