Friday, June 21, 2019

Gotta Try

Glass Darkly
—Poems and Visuals by Smith, Cleveland, OH


Awaiting dawn

distant rumble of train on track
going somewhere slow

low growl of jet invisible above

click of cooling heater
clacking like mechanical mouse on clock

faint burble of fish tank filter

wife's sleep breath on couch

cat soft purr in lap

faint Sunday morning traffic
3 floors below

neighbor's baby waking murmur

wind as water, water as wine
now as then of time

 New Day's Draught


I don't choose
I just chance
I plays the fool
I dance the dance
I get in line
and shut my face
learn to lie
with trace of grace
I don't advance
won't fail too bad
not too happy
not too sad
just sort of grey
and out of focus
not much play
a lot of locusts
won't get far
but near is dear
over par
under fear
I know my place
accept my role
no win of race
hide in hole
I stay way small
fake my face
avoid it all
and truth efface
for lie is law
and rat is race



Scrub some dirt from tub
add unknown city tap water
ease in unclean flesh
lose a bit of filth
accrue some
get out
dry semi-clean
go get more dirt

Rinse Repeat Unrinse

 Dancing Bug


may they rot in Hell
forever on hold.

The eyes
cannot be sated
by belly.

Empty in
is never filled
by food without.

Lap cat
making milk on my belly

Mushroom mama
she smiles in-between
the colors I can't see.

We disagree
I give in
happy wife, happy life.

May your night strand
never hear the cover band

Moon dark
insects silent
reality lurks.

Going back
to where we were before
hoping it hasn't been taken away.



Frog water
creeping up my neck
gnat of need

Got pain
where's gain?

Cold wind
kissed water
hard line



Tangerine Dream
is the sound inside the machine
rolling along
waiting for the monkey wrench.

I'm driving fast
into the fog
grey concrete
grey sky
new silver used
with an underhint of blue.

They claim the universe is expanding.
Into what?

It's said the earth is carried
on the back of a cosmic turtle
and that turtle's on another
and it's turtles all the way down
down to what?
What are they on?

What's God on?
Can I have some?

 Lava Lamp Lump


Standing crooked on hard slope
two mile up Sierra Madre
with wife and Zapotec couple
above the clouds
reaching for red coffee beans
over my head
leaving green to ripen
my arms aching
I smell vanilla vine
wrapped around the trunk
watch pineapple grow from the ground
grin at two lizards copulating on a stump
roar of river far below
in the valley beneath the clouds
my body hurt from work
so tired I almost fall off trail
but spirit happy
knowing weeks from now
after dehusking
after drying
after roasting
after grinding
after boiling
I'll be sitting on roof

staring through trees
holding a hot cup
drinking these beans
with the mountain and the clouds
and the green and the mist
and the pineapple vanilla lizards
seasoning my shadow

 Pleasure Dome


The glass is full
don't make no difference
whether half-empty
life's a long long drink of water
no matter what goes down
how it's parched
what comes up
is life of life at half the price
and twice the speed of light

 Rainbow Room

Today’s LittleNip:

Looking into
abused animal eyes—
ache of autumn

Kill or be killed
eat or eaten—

We keep going
don't know why
gotta try


 Realms of Gold


Our thanks and welcome back to Smith (Steven B. Smith) for helping us celebrate the Summer Solstice, due to hit California (Citrus Heights) this morning at 8:54a.m.

Tonight in Davis, The Other Voice presents Lauren Frausto plus open mic at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Davis, 7:30pm. Or if you’re in the mood for a road trip to Grass Valley, there will be a a line-up of well-known poets reading tonight to benefit the Squaw Valley Community of Writers, beginning at 7pm. (Tickets/info: 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.

Donald Anderson and Nikki Quismondo Anderson of Stockton began publishing
Poets’ Espresso in 2005; in 2010 it acquired the longer name of Poets’ Espresso Review. It is now a subscription-based, tri-annual zine that includes poetry and visuals. For info about subscribing or submitting, see and/or

—Medusa, celebrating the shortest night of the year!—A midsummer’s night dream….

 A reveller jumps in the air after climbing up on one 
of the stones forming Stonehenge, as crowds gather 
before sunrise to mark the summer solstice in 2005.  
—Anonymous Photo

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