—Steven B. Smith and Wendy Shaffer
The fog moves soft on forgotten waters
no sun breaks on the stretched canvas of years
While shadows give birth in tidal pools,
the flickering guppy fins of new thought
From earth through bone and flesh to birth
EAT OR DIE
life eats light to survive
or eats what's eaten light
Your yes means another's no
your stay says something goes
So eat until you're eaten
o ye burp of dirt
driving fast through sunshine
I have coffee
I have weed
I have wife
Life is good
running ragged edge
My life is like a book
which is cool
but it's not always
the one I want to be reading
danger quiet creeping
me happy ignorance
—Lady, Cleveland, OH
I'm sure I've heard this poem before
June, where were you
when Ward came home?
It is your time again.
You were chopping delicately
saying Yes, dear
and your lips were so gothic
I imagine you with
on the chocolate line
instead of that fatty
or with the Beatles in
strings of pearls coughed up from
or in some Edward Gorey Story
Or in some place where
they would worship
build temples to them
and the American Dream
and you and Lucy
could go to some other Jazz club
cuz Ricky is so
or maybe you just sit in a back
room on chintz cushions
reading Ayn Rand
in Black Frame Glasses
which are back in style again
like noire, nukes, and intellectualism
and you would be in black
with black on black shadows
and the pearls
I can imagine a lot of things for you
and it is much better than just
JESUS CAME BACK
He was sick of all the shit–
the pyramid scheme where
144,000 angels cashed in
He’s down here,
with me, on Earth.
God closed up the
Jesus cooked me dinner,
the last fish
in our frying pan.
He performs minor
miracles in our bed
and it is all for me.
I had this fish,
of secretive eye and diaphanous fin.
He'd lazily brush me,
then slight quick eyelid flip
to deep inside hook heartworm hurt.
He was in shallow waters
where all grew warm quickly
from the light of the sun
and he'd grown large—
belly-up bubble burst
in its generosity.
I had this toad
of jeweled eye and scaly bubble.
I picked him up to admire his pattern,
for I am an admirer of minutia.
He'd piss pool poison in my hand.
He was a Classical/Medieval Studies scholastic toad.
He had difficulty
croaking out the hundred or so conjugations
I was ready for him
with the tutelage of my kiss.
I just wanted the texture of his bumps
and the sting of his salt on my tongue.
NUMBER 1 SON
I ain't no artist so I can't paint a
I ain't no poet so no poetry
I ain't no writer so can't write a
story and therefore can't write
anything in this book.
Wow! Smith (Steven B. Smith) has been counting, and he says that this visit to the Kitchen makes it five full years for him (60 months, 62 features)! He has chosen to share today’s post with Lady, plus his father, and collaborator Wendy Shaffer. As he puts it: wife… father… friend. Many thanks to him for those fine years of poetry with his intriguing visuals—and to his adept co-posters today for sharing their work!
Tonight at 8pm, Poetry Night via Zoom will present a reading with Linda Collins, Mike Owens, Rick Rayburn, and Mary Eichbauer. To participate, visit ucdavisdss.zoom.us/my/andyojones at 8 PM, or a few minutes before that if you wish to chat with the host and the other attendees. Find the Facebook event page for this reading here: www.facebook.com/events/741355666726558/.
Photos in this column can be enlarged by
clicking on them once, then clicking on the x
in the top right corner to come back to Medusa.
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the snakes of Medusa are always hungry—
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