Modern poetry collection by contemporary Cleveland poets Lady & Steven B Smith Smith
Smith - contemporary poet
reading room 25
both sides now
Lady & Steven B. Smith

smith smith smith smith smith smith

rabbit run - 1997 / dust mite god - 4.25.2006 / dog food - 4.26.2006 /
lady k - 4.28.2006 / npr - 4.29.2006 / beautiful lie - 5.2.2006 / dog food - 5.3.2006 /
Notepad Excavation & Harvest - 5.3.2006 / car thief - 5.7.2006
Rabbit Run

There’s a cult of African ants
who construct arched hives

But only when populous enough

Until then,
they specialize in false starts

When enough exist

not enough workers
or enough pushers
or enough grasshopper guards

but simply enough ants

Mass mind kicks in
and arches arch

Pre-mind arches arch up and over
till over

Mass-Mind inserts keystone

Why do more ant units = keystone logic?

What evolutionary advantage accrue arched ants?

No Ant Popes?
No Arch Ant Conservatives?
No SubCult MassMind McDonald franchise?
(tho believe too late for latter prevention)

Ant politicians must be one happy critter:
For once it IS quantity
NOT quality

The Texas rabbits I understand
They reach critical population density
They develop nervous disorder
They die
Make room for daddy

Which are we?

Mass Mind in bloom of blossom?
Or rabbit run?

                   Steven B. Smith – excerpt from Endless Letter 1997

end    top    poetry    agent of chaos

Dust Mite God

You mentioned the dust here you've been cleaning up smells of marijuana.

Remember our little fantasy? All the dust mites are eating marijuana smoke and getting high so we have all the dust mites in this condo getting stoned out of their minds and then we have all the dust mite eaters getting stoned because they're eating the stoned dust mites and then you have whatever eats the dust mite eaters and then eventually the circle keeps getting bigger cuz the dust mites are just here inside the stonearium but the things that eat the dust mites are in a bigger circle and the things that eat the dust mite eaters are inside the building and outside the building so all these things are getting stoned eating stoned prey and eventually it gets up to the spiders. The spiders are eating all this chained stone of command so we have a whole neighborhood of stoned spiders and I don't even want to start talking about the birds. So what's going to happen is this has been going on for a little over 20 years now. Spiders around here gotta marijuana jones by now. So when we leave and new people move in here, there's going to be absolutely no marijuana and the dust mites are gonna freak out. and one night all these dust mites are going to coalesce into this greater form so they can be seen and heard, this pendulous visible form and it's going to writhe up over the sleeping new owners and wake them and say Please, we need marijuana and it's going to terrorize them and they're gonna move out and this place will become haunted. It will become one of these ghost sites, the marijuana wanna. So actually it's my duty to smoke because I have this whole ecosystem, from the dust mites up to the spiders depending on me for their daily high. It would be immoral of me to stop smoking, as much as I would like to. You know what? Those dust mites worship me as a god.

                   Lady / steve collab - 4.25.2006

end    top    poetry    agent of chaos

Dog Food

The news channel
shows a man with a
mummified baby, a
family inheritance
and I think it's not that
this man is strange, it's
that we have broken our
minds on sad planet

We eat, work, we do not think
We're dogooding dogooders
with good families and
priviledged purses oh yes

Cops chase poor ppl on TV
the poor wabbit, limpeyed x,
dead duck distraction
in Exxon oil
How many more dead ducks
until we're fucked?
(Trix are for kids)

I will tiptoe tightrope over
the shrinking reservoir, my
sunset shocked cochineal libido
the narrowed conceits
the haphapzard haps
verses hapless classes

He runs off to join the
intellectual circuits

                   Lady - 4.26.2006

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Lady K

If Eve hadn't given Adam that apple,
I wouldn't be smoking today.
Even so,
I tried to serve Sky God,
but I was drawn to that old Debbil Weed.
I became a happy pappy,
papa puff daddy,
gadfly to gladly,
nouveau bohemian in old school crowd.
Sir Laugh-a-Lot of Pot-a-Lot
to Queen MaryJane
Lady Day to Lady K
Kafka to a kiss

                   Lady / Steven B. Smith - 4.28.2006

end    top    poetry    agent of chaos


Beware the culture of the polygraph
the broadcast of weekly esoterica
for the same brain planners

Snob culture is not culture at all
the lilt of the listless
the life course pablum peckers
the dope scope extrapolation gabbers

Case droppers, mind boppers
Framed framers framing the names
oh totally truthful broadcasts,
these cherry-picked facts

We remember, stumbling, clutching
our lost tickets until they start a new case
in time's sliced haste

                   Lady - 4.29.2006

end    top    poetry    agent of chaos


We were moving from
Michigan to Las Vegas
a rental truck -
filled it up
and it had a governor on it
and I couldn't get it over 50 miles an hour
really frustrated me
and I got it going down this long hill
and got it going 60, 65 miles an hour
because of the hill--gravity--
and I suddenly realized I lost control
of the truck
it was swaying back and forth
got to the point I was aiming it down the hill
not driving it
I was really scared--
My parents' entire possessions
I was going to spread them all over the highway
and at one point my brother woke up
stuck his head up, looked around,
said, oh boy,
and went back to sleep.
I just barely held it together
until gravity slowed us down at the bottom
and after that I didn't mind
the 50 mile an hour governor

At the end of the trip there was a beautiful lie
we came over the mountains at night
looked out over the valley
and there's this gorgeous lit jewel
in the middle of the desert--
this Las Vegas--

It was a total lie
It's not beautiful
It's not a jewel

                   Lady / Steven B. Smith - 5.2.2006

end    top    poetry    agent of chaos

Dog Food

The news channel
shows a man with a
mummified baby, a
family inheritance
and I think it's not that
this man is strange, it's
that we have broken our
minds on sad planet

We eat, work, we do not think
We're dogooding dogooders
with good families and
priviledged purses oh yes

I'm running off to join the
intellectual circuits

I will tiptoe tightrope over
the shrinking reservoir, my
sunset shocked cochineal libido
the narrowed conceits
the haphapzard haps
verses hapless classes

Cops chase poor ppl on TV
the poor wabbit, limpeyed x,
dead duck distraction
in Exxon oil
How many more dead ducks
until we're fucked?

                   Lady - 5.3.2006

end    top    poetry    agent of chaos

Notepad Excavation & Harvest 5.3.2006

Is it ever
Fur enough?
Far enough?
For enough?
Fair enough?
Fast enough?

The way is gained by loss
after loss
after loss
and then
ahhh . . . the Way

We are our own trial
Each our own evidence

Why is death the hunger of the living?
Why do cops kill honor?
Priests murder morality?
Politicians plunder public trust?

Do not kill your enemy:
The dead can be abandoned
While the wounded slow with care

I am agent for the Lost Whisper Tribe

Nothing is free
Pain is the life
Indifference death

We’re all wrestling our own octopus

It began in ambiguity

Do as you would be done

Typo negative Sky God Lady crackers

Fight fuck feed
Fun fairness family
The F words
Financial folios
Freaks friends

Babble on Babylon

Blind gift exchange swap & steal
No blessed ambition but
Fish fingered children eating their pets

She adds sugar, cream, top to her latte, and we
Go, low calm hum of sun, shadows, notes within

Insect rustle of poet
Paper in pre-read
Ritual – other voice

Tried to limber myself enough to lick myself . . .
The limber lost limber lust
Look ma, no hands
Goodtime trap

I never go looking for bones
They come to me
Reality’s been good to me that way

Finger fucking leads to little finger folk

It’s the mix down get down boogie
As I U-turn from green to red

I find this life hard enough
I don’t want to deal with anything afterward
In the cemetery I watched a squirrel climb
a chain link fence with a muffin in his mouth

I wonder how many elves there are
Probably a lot
They’re randy little bastards

Me heap white son with big fore lobe

Old black man walks by me sitting
Public Square smoking joint
Smells good
Hand him joint
We smoke in silence
Walks on

Vanity – thy breasts are legion

I was born in a small place
And I am a far from it

Generica America - going back to the resolution

I carry foreskin
Through skin
To after skin

I’ve got the longest short term memory gap in town.

Asked Lang how he was
& he said 'Terrible' so I said
"ooo, what's wrong, tell mama"
and he said
'Fuck mama!'

                 Steven B. Smith - 5.3.2006

end    top    poetry    agent of chaos

Car Thief

They all had to have the keys in them.
We couldn't take them without the keys.

I always said I stole 13 cars
when I was 13
But I recently counted backwards
turns out I was 14
which means I was one less
year innocent, one less year
having an excuse

I rolled the first one

First one was a little
Simca with a cotton top
I'd stolen from a church parking lot

We had a pregnant
chihuahua in the back seat
I was going too fast
I lost control and
was heading for the Spokane River
so I jerked the wheel
the golf course
and rolled it upsidedown
its cloth top--
I was so tall my head touched the top--
and nobody was hurt
we just left the car there
had torn a good divot in the golf course
left it there
and walked home

Two weeks later
the chihuahua gave birth successfully


One car was in this
open garage attached to a ranch house
and the owner was sitting in front of
the picture window, watching TV
so my friend got behind the wheel,
got it in neutral
and I pushed it down the driveway
and somehow the guy noticed

came out started yelling at us

so I hop in the back seat

the guy goes back inside

my partner can't get the car started

the guy comes back out with a rifle
and starts shooting at his own car
which really livens things up

I jump up and down in the back seat
telling him to Get going!
he's trying to get it started
and the guy's still shooting at us
finally gets it started
and we TAKE OFF

and after everything calms down--
we're away--
I realize there's dozens of packages
of breakfast rolls
in the back seat

so I eat the icing off all of them
I mean if I'm taking the car
I might as well eat all the icing, right?

And the guy was shooting at his
own fucking car

Much later, after we were caught
and the cops were talking to us
they said it looked like a pig
had been back there

So that's that


One car was like a 57 Chevy station wagon
and I actually got it up to 120 miles an hour--
this was like in 1960-

and very early in the morning
I'm driving the car in what
turns out to be a military base

so I'm on this military base
and the MPs stop me--
in the stolen car-

I'm 14 years old
and they're asking for a driver's license
and the second MP says,
What's a rifle doing in the back seat?
and I say, Shit! That's Dad's!
He's going hunting this morning!
I've GOT to get the car back!

and they let me go.


The other one,
I don't remember what type of car it was,
I stole it
I was by myself
and I had a bunch of stolen
shoplifted 45's in it
and for some reason I decided I wanted to see
what wine tasted like

so I went into the grocery store
and shoplifted a half-gallon of red wine--
14 years old of course--
I got caught
They called my father
the manager and my father saw how scared
I was

and they all decided that my father
would take me home and take
care of me

they didn't realize I was scared
because I had a stolen car outside
with stolen 45's and I was afraid
they'd find out


I served 9 days in
juvenile detention
read a lot of John Carter's
Mars science fiction books
The judge decided, since
I was getting A's and B's and
my parents love me and I
loved my parents that it
had to be the older kid's fault--
he was 17--
so they made him join the Army
and they gave me a year probation

but the sad part of all this
I was really afraid of what my father
was going to do to me
and he said to me, I could do this or that
but I'm going to trust you

And that was almost the
worst punishment

I don't remember any
of the other cars

                   Lady / Steven B. Smith - 5.7.2006

reading room 26 - the Lady/Steve collabs

Lady assemblages & photographs - gallery 1

Lady fotos & assemblages - gallery 2

selected Lady poems 2005 - 2006

selected older Lady poems


10 top poems | 10 top collages | 10 top illustrations | 10 top fotos

agent of chaos | collage | what's new | guest artists | guest poets

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