Friday, April 20, 2018

Entropy's Rain

Art 101
—Poems and Visuals by Smith, Cleveland, OH


The people we call Cheyenne, Crow, Sioux say instead
the Painted Arrow, the Little Black Eagle, the Brother People,
all three working walking the four ways
of the many spokes of the medicine wheel,
a one-size life-size steering wheel for all,
its living flame larger truth in water,
cloud, flight, sacred smoke,
sundanced day,
moondanced night.

Circle your water rocks on the ground
quartered east, west, north, south
each to their own master,
and follow until you see your reflection
in the mirror of your river
self to self selfless,
at last honest

Walk wheel,
work heal.

 Old Comb by Lady K


Wife church shops
spiritual smorgasbord
dips 'n sips in serve

Shaker one day
American Orthodox
Buddha in between

Seeks coven
sisters of mushroom
to brighten light

Today's UU
hymns drifting sift air
candle lit care

Not think alike
hive-hood from above
but walk together

Next? Holy Rollers?
Snake handlers? Kundalini?
Speaking tongues?

Or quiet sage
holy in hermitude
somewhere down the line

Spirit accretes
drips within absolving sin
suns rise in her eyes



The Garden of Eden's
now desert and blame
thorns in the roll
bugs in the hay
sweaty the skin
in down dirty game
but oh
so sweet is the sin

 Green-Eyed Lady


Who do you blame
Eve, Adam, or the snake?

I know the snake had a grudge with God
and fomented unrest
in the land of ease and plenty

But Eve was certainly complicit
taking that bite
then smoozing Adam to eat

Yet Adam was dumb, weak,
or pussy-whipped to follow,
allowing good and evil

But the villain was God

He/She/It made Lucifer
and when Lucifer protested being #2
(why would anyone accept second?)
God cast him to belly hell

He/She/It made the tree
of the knowledge of good and evil

created man and woman with dirt
and stolen body parts

made Eve and Adam defective,
too weak to follow orders

Or else He/She/It
made them too well
so they thought for themselves

What God is so insecure
He/She/It would fear their knowing
right from wrong?

If You can't stand the heat
get out of the kitchen

We should hire Snake Lucifer
to sue He/She/It for malfeasance,
bad design,
and lack of faith in Its own creation

Got to break this God cycle
of guilt from above
sin from below

 East of Sun, West of Moon


Everything eats something
and is in turn by something eaten.

Fish eats snail,
bird eats fish.

So where's fair?

What makes this death okay,
that death not?

Seems mostly the Rule-Makers exclaiming
eating is fine, being eaten ain't.

As long as they're the eaters.

History written by winners
while the vanquished dead rot.

The do as I play say
from eater to eaten.

So, what's for dinner?

 Reality's Piano


I fight rhyme
in climb for stars
so far as I am able
in this unstable mime
of time and space
in place of other
under nights gone
to long day's decay
in way and why

why lie?

I rise from sleep refreshed
and unmesh shadow
of shallow new to study old
in mold of morrow
sorrow the price we pay
to stray upon its

sticky wicket

I bubble broil as troubled toil
roils rest
to best this earthly route
with shout of mirth to make rebirth
worth the walk about

in and out

Angry Bird


In Bezier train station waiting for Barcelona
an Arab showed me a xerox
of his 2 children who were hungry.

Not believing
I gave him a couple Francs anyway
because it was cheap
and better to be taken
than too hard of heart.

Hour later I watched him
hand the xerox to another man
who eventually showed me his starving kids.

It was their job.

Punch in
show folk fake hunger for a shift
punch out.

Professional liars.

Just like the young men
walking the Moroccan beach
with trays of cookies
all handmade by their mother named Fatimah.

Half-dozen young men
same time same tray same cookies
handmade by same Fatima
who must have had one big rumpled bed
and a heck of a kitchen.

I wrote their act in a small notebook
I carried in my back pocket for poetry.

Down the line
boarding Barcelona subway
man bumped me sideways
as door tried to close
between my back and pack
hitting and retracting
with each bump
he pushing me back into the door
in counter bounce
while he looked up to read the route
which must have been wrong
because he left.

Watching him and his friend walk away
I flashed "Pickpocket"
felt my empty back pocket
and laughed.

My money was in my front pocket
so he'd taken my poetry notebook instead.

Perhaps not a total loss for them
since my notes on the Bezier station scam
might give them some new wrongs.

I wonder what they thought of my poems.

 The Red and Black


Hello Big Fingers Brown, I'm Blind Money Davis
heard you been singing some blues
about how I spouted a shout-out at Buddy's
before I done paid enough dues

Well Daddy No Know your psych slip's been showing
like Stinky Eye Thompkin’s down patch
that dude do showed you harmonica blowing
his wife helped you scratching that itch   

There’s blues in the brambles
Blues in the byway
Blues in the city too
Strange ramble and amble and gambling damsel
I do pay my dues when I do

Well you didn't do well with Boney Foot Hopkins
nor Lippy Jeff Bailey back home
guess for Foot there simply weren't enough napkins
and Bailey you did in alone

Was I you I'd be watching my waywords my friend
best remember Washboard Blue Jim
he couldn't remember his own chord in the end
and his chance of recovery's slim

Oh there’s blues in the bramble
Blues in the byway
Blues in the city too
Though gamble and amble and rambling damsel
I do pay my dues when I do

I beat Sleepy Paul Skinny with fret board phrasing
played better than Big Yella When
I certainly handle harmonic stage phrasing
way cooler than 3-Finger Lem

So back off a bit, you bitter bad blues boy
before we're set up for a tiff
I'm not trying or lying here just to be coy
just hoping to soften sad if

For there’s blues in the bramble
Blues in the byway
Blues in the city too
Though amble and gamble and rambling damsel
I do pay my dues when I do

(For music/mix/recording by Peter Ball and word&voice by Smith, 2014, go to

 X-ray Green

Today’s LittleNip:


As I lie reading

Tao Te Ching drops in bathtub
I soak in Tao juice


Many thanks to Smith (Steven B. Smith) for today’s mighty fine poems and pix! Steven has a new book out from Crisis Chronicles Press entitled,
Where Never Was Already Is, which includes 244 poems—all of which have been posted in Medusa’s Kitchen. The book is 324 pages long, a big book at 6”X9”, and at $15, that’s 6¢ per poem, with 29 collages tossed in for free! Available now at Get ‘em while they last!

Tonight at 6pm, the third of Sac. Poetry Center’s NaPoWriMo generative workshops takes place at 25th & R Sts., Sacramento. Also this evening in Davis, The Other Voice Poetry Series will be all open-mic, a fundraising event for the Interfaith Rotating Winter Shelter of Davis, and will also include a book sale. That’s at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Davis library on Patwin Road. Scroll down to the blue column (under the green column at the right) for info about these and other upcoming poetry events in our area—and note that more may be added at the last minute.


Smith and his new book
 Celebrate poetry—and new books!

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
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