Friday, July 21, 2017


—Poems and Photos by Smith, Clevelend, OH


Sun's up
I'm not
Air's crisp
Mind's knot
Body aches
Money's thin
Life's a scrape to make the end
Raise foot
Forward plop
Get through slop
Cherish cherry on the top



First pre-dawn sip of coffee
followed by first toke of day
and finally, faintly, from afar
I hear Doctor Frankenstein's mad cackle:

"He's alive. HE'S ALIVE!!!!"



Walked a mile to the country school
white wood, two rooms
grades 1 through 4 left room
5 through 8 right
the husband wife teachers
living in the cottage on the grounds
each day I listen to my 5th grade lessons
then 6th, then 7th, then 8th
end of year they close the school
skip 2 of us in the 5th to 7th
the third, her mom said no
did not want her young daughter
in class with older boys with cars
and condoms
which I later understood

Walked a mile other way to country church
white wood, two rooms
youngsters in front
adults in back
preacher weekday carpenter
his family a good chunk of the congregation
one day in front room
sitting behind my 14-year-old girlfriend
who's teaching the kids parables
I run my 13-year-old hand
up her leg
under her skirt
into her panties
to a bit of wetness beyond
where I pause in silence
as she continues her sermon



How do genes know how to dream
the unsown seed?

How to lead unknown need
to shaft and shape and shade
make this red
abrade that black
fade from bone to shale?

And just how did Jonah circumvent
the belly of the whale?

 Venn Sutra


You say "that's just a fairy tale,
life's not like that"
but I don't think you're reading right,
because they're regular PhDs of life design;
they'll teach you to tell the troll
"don't eat me, eat my brother, he's bigger,"
that poor fathers sell young daughters
to beasts for sleepovers,
if you're hungry there's always
a granny in the woodpile
with little red riding dessert soon after,
or tired weary human and lame
a little bear burglary's okay,
and mutilating mice is fine,
but remember a frog asking for a kiss
is worth more as a freak than a Prince,
and what exactly is Ms. White doing
with Sneaky Sleazy and the seven's semen?
so yeah, soap operas and fairy tales,
fairy tales and soap operas,
just the thing to set kids right
let them know knives are for backs
stuff is for steal
and truth is to lie for
nothing down
except the duck, the goose, the gander



Lonely OPEN sign blinking
in warm unwelcome
long past closing time
in deserted dark
even the flies asleep
as spiders walk their empty webs
in search of jerk and quiver

 Pond Pastiche


water is sneaky. also patient, and insidious.
it'll beat against you for thousands of years
in big waves
until it smooths you down
or breaks you apart.
or it'll lie still in quiet pools,
and insidiously work
on the weakest




and moving.

and then when water does slowly sneak
inside, and lies in wait,
it can FREEZE and EXPAND with


(so water is sneaky,

while SOUND is slippery
(and sneaky)

SOUND slip slides off every flat surface

SOUND double or triple slip slides..

skips from here
to there

(so you think what came from there
came from here.)

SOUND plays tag with yr ears
and lies
a lot.

plus, in destructive force, SOUND


wears away

    —with Lady K.



Whatcha gonna do when your oughts run round?
Whatcha gonna do when your thoughts dip down?
Whatcha gonna do when your heart ticks tight?
Whatcha gonna do when it's not all right?

It's not the fall but the getting up.
It's not the fail but the making up.
It's not the fault of the other folk
If you’re the butt of some cosmic joke

Ring around the rosie, pocket full of money
Running rusty time has gotten all sort of musty
Government not trusty, all our air gone dusty
If we don't break through we're gonna all fall down

Forget the outer, it's the inner view.
Regret's your master unless you renew.
They say yesterday gone ‘round the bend
But tomorrow chance to make amend.

It's here and now, this not that
No matter what jump-started this act.
Work in to out till sparkle clean
Then start fixing this social machine.

Run around the rotten, good time forgotten
Government still plottin’ bad air for our coffin
Stealing from our pockets much much too often
It ain’t so swell at the bottom of this well

Mary had a little lamb
Turned into a piece of ham
Doesn’t matter what I am
It's all because of Big Bang bam
All because of Big Bang bam
Thank you Mister Man

(to hear with music by Peter Ball, word & voice by Smith, go to


Today’s LittleNip:


The carpet stairs are worn
and old in ways unknown
some creak, some groan
yet up or down
they hold their own


—Medusa, with thanks to Smith (Steven B. Smith) for today’s Fine Friday Fare!

 Celebrate poetry, and don’t forget that 
The Other Voice will feature Vincent Kobelt and 
Charles Halsted (plus open mic) in Davis tonight at
the Unitarian Universalist Church library, 7:30pm. 
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.

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.