Friday, March 24, 2017

Up, As in Barking

—Poems and Visuals by Smith
Cleveland, OH


My bark is worse than my bite
although once my bite was worse than my bark
back when I was but burgeoning bark on tree
but it was a dogwood tree
so I was bark bark
and became known as Bark Bark Smith
and little dogs pissed on me.

It was a good life
warm and wet
before I matured into tendril stock
which warps and weaves
in woof woof wonder
which is why
I'm now known as
Bark Bark Woof Woof Smith
the One Who Never Whimpers.

 Dark Matter


As has been said
The night weighs upon the city
In tired, fat insolence.  Rats scurry.
Old papers flap down empty streets.
It is an ugly season. Full.
Day slouches in, in shameless anonymity
Devoid of great chained excuses of being
Avoided has been of god, notion and country.
Unfocused without, we hunt worms within
To bait further cold excretion of reason, rationale.
Refuse refusing our naked nothing.
Strip steal by night.

 HB vs. JC


There's something wrong with this world
I mean I wash the dishes
and more dirty dishes appear
I clean cat box of clayed shit and clumped piss
and more's magically there
every day I defecate
yet defecate the next
dedicated to re-release I guess
I eat in morning noon evening in-between
again and again
I drink water piss it out drink it in
again and again
in never ending script
get up
run the rat wheel
walk the rat wheel
sit the rat wheel
be the rat wheel
resolve to better
fall to fail
it gets cold I put on sweater
it gets hot I put on sweat
is there a seek in cycle
or learning in loop
something actually done
or are they just waiting for me to see the light
already seen in previous scene
done played
is this but screen test
or something real
I mean what's the deal?

 Break of Dawn


O listen now thou mad, thou meek
Receive and mourn these words oblique
Hear me—for I, Lucifer, speak

God’s impotent envy me from heaven hurled
Manwards toward this god-forsaken world
Where you in reward were Eden expelled
And I, once majestic, upon my belly felled

So I reigned in hell in favor a god
Forever, until upon me science trod
Then even from hell was I disbelieved
And from formal evil my duty relieved

Now no heaven holds atomic aplomb
Nor profits in neutered gamma ray tomb
Knowing crucified wish is unworkable womb.



We fish with human face
such depths of want
and need
heart drums beat
to pulse blood hope
in womb warm wonder

Lying lizard in the sun
in spring full breadth
of coiled light
our brain bridged push
mute witness
for those who died
in black and white
before elective gray



The promised land of milk and honey
Hides the men of scars and shame
Who came they say to slay their dragon
Yet slayed to stay the same

Sleep creeps like Jason’s wool
Down shelf enchanted eyes
Devolved from Mammon’s muse
These self-selected wise
Inside their phantom rooms
In fairy tale castles
Devoid of viable dooms
As integrated assholes
They sway
Illusion’s lies



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

 Blue Note Smith


You know I love my coffee
and I do sing me some blues
but I ain't got no ennui
cuz I done paid my dues

I toured with Loose Lips Lemon
who wailed way down home blues
one back bar and shack at a time
when he wasn't in detention

We played late with Bawdy Betty
and Sweet Lip Louie Lime
and Floozy the Fair and her Fountain Fine
as well as with Radical Rhyme

We'd low moan our way way down the jetty
high wail it back up the line
tapping tomorrow for yesterday's wine
whatever our setting or clime

I beat Fad Fauxbert playing bad aces
and Red Rogue's own shadow mime
man we'd wail in the strangest of places
do us a couple lines

Always drinking moonshine lightning
playing both black and white
play right through the fumble and frightening
to thump that back beat just right

Man would we move making the show glow
mount music to rise the high tight
making them dance both for the so slow
as well as the fast coming fight

Drinking toking snorting too
swing n sway n play right through
thumping pumping out heat beat
making sure you're moving feet

Hump and bump and blowing blues
bringing joy of song sound through
wailing high through cloudy sky
to lessen lie of daily why

Let that sweat roll down your chest
your mess of hair all falling round
Memphis blues beat often best
to funk the junk with southern sound

Oomph the truth with cry of life
strut the stuff of story time
boot the boogie through your strife
rock in ready reeling rhyme

Dance and play your sins away
growling guttural swaying say
inner music outward bound
whip to wonder music loud

So dip your double dipsy doodle
fly your full fuel freaking flag
do the funky punky poodle
prance in pure your pagan pride

To hear a bit of werewolf blues, 2014, words by Peter Ball (1949-2015) and music by Smith (word & voice), go to

Today’s LittleNip:

There lies a sorrow beneath this yellow
odor which rises on two legs and mocks
what little man remains behind.  Shallow
selfish greed of love and lover's talk
of trust in self made shadows mere shadow
of hallowed spell disguised by holy frock.

Varied the means of divination, certain
though time and dark demons conspire, despair
by this hand shall never rend the curtain
nor set wraiths cull delusions of lone fear.
What is, is, beyond lamenting, Canaan
isolation.  Love and love alone stands bare.


Many thanks to Smith (Steven B. Smith) for today’s tasty poems and visuals! Don’t forget that Keynote Poets Honor Barbara Smith tonight, 7:15pm at Stellar Studios in Sacramento. 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.



 Celebrate Poetry!
—Photo by Smith

Photos in this column can be enlarged by clicking on them once,
then click on the X in the top right corner to come back
to Medusa.