from by s. b. smith & kathy ireland smith

Friday, August 11, 2006

then now & the inn between

here’s then to understand now:

1987, my younger brother cat blows his brains all over his unpaid pickup truck bed - dies 30 yrs old.

dad pappy smith pines away for his work partner stone mason son & dies 18 months later in 1989 - 66 yrs old.

mom mother dwarf moves in with me in 1990.  15 years pass. mom fails, spends 9 months bouncing between intensive care units and rehabs.  comes home, dies one week later holding my hand listening to leonard cohen - she’s 79.  i write 9 special short dead mom pieces, happily sitting alone in my neon dark for 2 months.  go down to borders book store to read them.

kathy, whom i’ve known for 2 years in our various poetry circles, asks to come along.  she doesn’t go home.  month later moves in.  week after that, we decide to sell my studio loft condo, dispose all my possessions, and move to europe.

5 months later, we marry.

5 months after that we leave the u.s.a.

kathy is 5 foot 5 inches tall, 33 years old.  i’m 6 foot 3 and 60. we’re both poets, assemblage artists, have web sites.

she’s the first lady i’ve found as crazy as i. we don’t know where we’re going, but both have interesting beens.  we’ve neither time table nor destination for our journey - our destination is us.  current plan is house sit for some tv journalists in london for 3 weeks, spend a week in amsterdam looking at the keinholz assemblages and smoking hashish, 3 months in prague, 3 more in spain.  and then ? ? ?

any and all of this could change due to whom and what, whenever. we were to start off with 10 days camping up in grassington with the european annual rainbow gathering, but after joty screwed us by not bringing our promised tent and sleeping bags, we near froze to death one night in the sheep shit - walked back down the mountain next dawn and found small village bed & breakfast in burley-in-wharfedale (run by sarah and malcolm - the upstairs downstairs … it is a special, marvelous place, and they are truly good people - you need a b&b, call them!).  we wandered about the various villages and the ilkley moor and had a magic time.

so tho we plan, we do not always proceed - it all depends on what happens, whom we meet.  primary goal is to grow, to find audiences for our poetry, find places and means to create.  may never return to the united corp-o-rat states of amerika, may go back in 2 years when the condo funds vanish.  who knows (only The Shadow do).

that’s the simple back story for our new blog readers.  most of this may be found in reading rooms #16-27 at

from the book of heroic failures by stephen pile:

after severe flooding in jeddah in february 1979, the arab news gave the following bulletin - “we regret we are unable to to give you the weather.  we rely on the on weather reports from the airport, which is closed because of the weather. whether we are able to give you the weather tomorrow depends on the weather.”

more whether tomorrow.