Friday, November 24, 2017

My Voice Raised in Bell & Chime

—Poems and Photos by Smith, Cleveland, OH


Your ghosts do not own me,
nor carry cry of Christmas coming.

I will take my lump of coal with pleasure,
burn in sin to warm my heart.

My step will be my own,
I will not walk in borrowed shoes.

But I respect your walk of way,
though not your push of Prophet.



The first sip of hot black savior coffee
unsweetened in dark before dawn
slides from lip to throat
to blood to brain to mind
to move me to the coming day's
old sorrows, borrowed rituals,
its forever fog of the familiar
masked handcuffs of the gone
wading new waters with old tides
and altered sandbars with rip sides
of do again the done before
do again the done before
do again do again
do again
the done before



News depresses me
with its shallow anger and hate
but what gets me more
is doing our laundry
at the Soap Opera Laundromat
having to hear Drew Carey
call contestants down
to The Price is Right stage
where they bounce
and jiggle
and squeal
and wiggle and squirt
in greed of need
and want to flaunt
something for nothing
in quarter-hour fame
before the shame
of being same
all small and normal

 Sad Ugly


Me big
Me want
Me take
Me smart too
Probably get away with it 

Take Receipt


Everything depends
On who and what and where and when
It never ends
Cuz everything depends
On why and high and low and then
It's worse than Zen
This never end
If I'm awake it's now
And constant daily harrow
Toiling morn to morrow
To somehow slip the sorrow
Trying to round the bend
Ahead of time's outrageous arrow
Which never mends
Which never ends
Which always depends
On what reality recommends
Or the trends tend
Eye gloss ago
It's now and how and when and then
Again and again and again


Poor naked ape, melancholy Dane
Dying the silent, sinking orange
I offer my praise to mad Ophelia's black mass
Receiving Laertes' pain-poisoned harangue
I'll soon join that fortunate lass
Morpheusly oblivious of pain
   (Camus' first question of philosophy re-
    weaves Thane Hamlet's “or not to be”
    brings Kant's “progressive unification of
    sense manifold” to termination: total
    psychic expiration. Hence our sole
    existential goal becomes fervently wishing
    good death's black ghoul to sensually become
    as one with our whole)
Where God assumes skull Yorick's reign
Stay yet awhile Horatio and give lie to my name

 Less Than Zero


The gods died.
But for the fish
We brought them back.
Returned mortality
To the horse’s eyes,
Gods to antique brass.
My voice raised
In bell and chime
Laughter light on lip.

 Lava Lamp


We're shipping empty boxes
one for every gland
and you can lend a hand
o damn this grand ellipsis
of foxes guarding pen
we have so little order
losing lesser larder
so we spin 'n grin it
the suitboys putting non cents in
we really have to slip this is.

A food for every hunger.
A heart for every need.
A hug for every sadness.
This is plead to seed.

We really have to slip
the suitboys putting non cents in
instead we spin 'n grin it
losing lesser larder
in our lack of order
the foxes guard the chicken pen
there is no grand ellipsis
we need to lend a hand
one for every gland
or else we're shipping empty boxes again.

A hug for every sadness
A heart for every plead.
A food for every hunger
This is need to seed.

(To hear the recitation, with music by Peter Ball, word & voices by Smith, go to


Today’s LittleNIp:


I cut the cockroach off at the watering hole
Sent his brown-backed soul
To that great black crack in the sky
May God have more compassion than I


—Medusa, with many thanks to Smith (Steven B. Smith) for today’s post-Thanksgiving feast of poems and photos!

 Pilgrim's Progress
—Photo by Smith
Celebrate poetry!

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