Friday, September 21, 2018

Used Ego for Rent

—Poems and Visuals by Smith, Cleveland, OH


I hear stupid's too stupid
to know it's stupid
and I see stupid in the mirror sometimes
and wonder if I'm too stupid
to see him more often

 R We Not Men


Meatbag walking meatbag talking
meatbag grabbing what they will

Spermworm musing slick wet stalking
spirit shackled stone

Gotta eat, gotta sleep
clear that bone juice from inside

Mind delaying flesh composting
I am meat looking for mouth

 Blue Light Special


I've eaten avocado in Oaxaca
looking at the tree it grew on

we've tasted honey from our own hive

raised on a farm, I helped grow veggies
while eating my animal friends in between
wandering from one apple tree to another

milked the cow
made the butter
gathered the eggs

helped bale the hay
that fed the cow
that made the milk

as a boy long long longing ago
stole raspberries, ears of corn, peas, tomatoes
from our garden

dug up potatoes, sliced them thin
cooked them over field fire

bought coffee from Zapotec couple
which we helped pick

purchased vanilla beans as well
which were growing on vines
wrapped around their coffee tree trunks
high in the mountains overlooking clouds
above unseen roar of river far far below

cinnamon bark too

ate bananas harvested
by poking sharp stick into tree base
tree bowing due damage and weight of fruit

they machete off the banana bunches
then slice the trunk obliquely
so tree regrows

watched wife drink French wine
from a closed winery
they opened just for her
grapes grown in fields below our village
in the south of France

plopped Ohio blueberries and blackberries
from bush to mouth

Idaho panhandle huckleberries too

we stole a cauliflower
from a Croatian field
on the shore of the Adriatic
bicycled home
cooked and ate it immediately
it was divine

tried to eat sour orange
from a tree in Arizona
had to spit it out

got sick eating almond off French tree
maybe they have to be roasted first

bought weed, black hash, opium
for 15 months from mountain men
above Oaxaca
chronic grass $30 quarter pound
black hash and opium $2 a gram

they were an old gay couple
who couldn't return to the U.S.
since they were wanted for draft dodging
so each month they and their rat dog
came down the Sierra Madre
for social security checks
with our monthly stash

the February and March weed was extra strong
both years

we've fed our ears poetry directly from friends
in London, Krakow, Oaxaca
but the best still comes from Cleveland

and today's our weekly site management
for an Amish farm share program
where folk pre-pay
for a weekly surprise box
of veggies and occasional fruits
picked that morning or the night before
which we pass out in front of a local Library

It is good to know the face of your fuel



Time and weather
wind and wave
smooth the stone
shine the glass
rewarp woof
reweave past
otherwise we'd crash
from weight of wrong
going fast

 Time Lock


There's many mouse a-missing
in the cheese plot down the street
and hungry hyenas hissing
at a serious lack of meat

Now it's frou-frou and baskets
trinkets passed around
the rich blowing gaskets
raising small dicks proud

It's greed and mean atop the heap
too meek the weak down here
frogs reheated in dreamless sleep
under 1,000 cults of fear

Though out-gunned and run by lessers
we outnumber them
yet even though we're not the aggressor
we get all the blame

They lie and cheat and steal from us
outright kill us too
time to kick em off the bus
lock em in a zoo

Make em *sit* and *beg* and *stay*
then *roll over play dead*
pick up piss and shit each day
if they want to be fed

Self defense?
Our life or theirs?
Sort of makes sense
if one wants to play fair

Eat the rich, they taste like chicken
but wash your hands before finger lickin'



We look through shadow
for sample of sun
for night is short-sight light
since apple was won
or lost
at dawn of good and evil

With eye for lie we live in blindness
sacrifice flesh for burn of righteousness



Raucous crows
telling me what to do
in language I don't understand



Dead poets sing tall towers
of empty icing,
of love without helping,
love without caring,
love without sacrifice,
love without being there,
of loving land more than people,
people more than person,
strangers more than family,
of women who wait without complaint
while men fight wars,
drink wine,

This is not poetry,
this is not love.

This is masturbation,
this is licking one's self in the mirror.

Love is changing diapers,
love is getting up before dawn and going to work,
love is not eating the last piece of pie,
love is looking, watching, sharing,

Love is not thumping chest,
love is not beating brow,
love is not patriarchy,
love is not lies.

Their poet love is empty love,
self love,
love of sound and whistle
minus meaning.

Love is dirty,
love is work.

Love is worth it
when you're worthy.

As is poetry.

 Time Lock

Today’s LittleNip:


Used ego for rent,


Thanks, Smith (Steven B. Smith) for today’s poems and visuals! The best does indeed come from Cleveland—and Northern California, of course….

Tonight in Davis, 7:30pm, The Other Voice features Patricia Wentzel, Gary Kruse plus open mic. That’s at the Unitarian Universalist Church library, 27074 Patwin Rd., Davis. 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.


—Visual 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.