Thursday, December 16, 2021

As Rock Rolls On

—Poetry and Visuals by Smith (Steven B. Smith), Cleveland, OH

Mom put us in a perp line
5-yr-old sister 9-yr me straight and stiff
in front of the refrigerator

"We won't be going on the picnic
until whoever stole the cupcake confesses"
she glared, She-Hulk angry

I stood firm, cool, innocent
sis squirmed
after 10 minutes of stare
mom told me to go outside

When I came back in
my crying sister had confessed
and we were heading out

I felt triumphant
the cupcake I'd stolen even more delicious
We creep from dark
sneeking peeks for sabertooths
mastadons, dire wolves
to huddle round the tribal fire
chanting myths and misses
want and need
how much blood we're willing to grieve
for the laughing light before us
the hard cold teeth behind
as we pound bone
blow flute
glancing back for the fiery eyes
and dripping drool
of life's school
The Journey

From Pappy
honesty and endurance

from Mom
love and kindness

from both

at the bottom of the poverty well
One Fish
Last time I felt safe
I was 5
half-asleep in backseat
of 1940's car
on 1951 highway
drone of primitive rubber
running crude concrete
and rattle wreck of entropy
lullaby sublime
parents dark shape in front
me safe behind
no worry
no time
no trouble mind
Shadow of the Yeti

Mom, dad, bro 1, bro 2, maybe sis
so many dead, burned, buried
and that's not counting the cats

or the eventual dog

Oldest friend still living
snuck in 50 years ago 376 miles away
now 2,129 miles off

donno if that's progress or escape

But they’re all with me
dead, alive
inside and out

now and never forever

This here and gone makes me me
for my only her—
wife, partner-in-crime, friend

in yes and no of if and when

There you go
yet . . .
here you are still
(and your shadow beat you to it)

You can't step out of the picture
of reference
and expectation
(the father and mother of suffering
sez long-gone Buddha)

You can only shed your leave
if you shed the going too
 Tired Track

In parked car in cold
sun toasty through warm glass

The road do get rocky
the vehicle creaky
the body tired
the mind weary
the soul cranky
the map fades
the route lost

In other words
business as usual

As rock rolls on
one continues the show
with nary a me or you in the know
Quantum Imposition

Politician-infested waters
I enter anyway
cast my vote


Here comes snow again
cold ice wind blow
another run for sun


Freight train
low heavy slow rumble
pulling night


what a waste
of grace and space


Power corrupts
the corrupt seek power
we choose our Gods

till finally

Cold room
hot bath
Quantum State

Today’s LittleNip:

If I sit in the dark
still, quiet, eyes closed
trouble can't see me



Smith writes to us of family today; maybe he’s been touched by the holidays! Our gratitude to him for more of his fine poetry and artwork, kicking our holidays up a notch as we rumble-tumble into another year.

•••Tonight (12/16), 7-9pm: Poetry Night in Davis presents a fundraiser for Yolo Food Bank, as Lucas Frerichs and Andy Jones read two holiday classics (“A Child’s Christmas in Wales” by Dylan Thomas (1952) and “A Visit from St. Nicholas”—also known as “The Night Before Christmas”—by Clement Clarke Moore). Open mic will follow (4 min. or 2 items, and if you play on your flute, you can read for 5 min.). John Natsoulas Gallery, 521 1st St., Davis. Host: Andy Davis. Info:{"event_action_history"%3A[{"mechanism"%3A"your_upcoming_events_unit"%2C"surface"%3A"bookmark"}]%2C"ref_notif_type"%3Anull}/.




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(the father and mother of suffering
sez long-gone Buddha)