Monday, October 12, 2009

NEO Poet Field Guide

Full name: Kathy Ireland Smith a.k.a. 'Lady'

Age: Mid thirty-ish, startled

Habitat: Tremont, recovering in a womb/nest. Smith's art, thrift store lazy boy & flowery sofa covered in Mexican blankets. I yearn for the novelty of other countries but I really don't want to be anywhere else but here, now. I miss the place Smith lost, his old place down the street. I'm trying to recreate it here. This building we live in's got a creative vibe. Heavy metal musicians practice in the basement. It's a good place for insanity. There's continuous traffic noise from Scrapyard Commons and the freeway, and it feels like a kind of reassurance that civilized activity goes on, though I don't know how we're maintaining it. I want to ride on the highway for the heck of it like I used to, a midnight orange streetlight innocent anticipating wow around Dead Man's Curve.

Range: Looking at the rug in Mac's Backs basement, the hi & bye in passing at Lix & Kix, Lawn Poet Society at the Brandt, the storage room at the Literary Cafe.

Diet: Poetry? Local, authentic. I look for revelation, manna from God. Or raw awful truth– what's really inside your head, not what you aspire to. Though Mark Ireland recently asked me if truth and beauty were at odds with each other and I said no.
Steve Smith saved my life with truth & wisdom & kindness & vision. “Work rolling rock, returning, dirt burning.” Other authors: anything I include in is a lesson for myself, something I want to preserve for myself. It takes a long time, effort for me to develop an ear for someone–only now have I started to appreciate Daniel Thompson.

I like Coen Brothers movies for the dialogue. I like stupid comedies. I really liked the movie Sunlight for pure beauty and a kind of rarified sci-fi gestalt. Sci-fi was my original love but a lot of it seems immature now. Bladerunner used to be my favorite movie.

I watch a movie every day. I don't have passion for them anymore, though. Since writing a book with Smith, watching movies doesn't satisfy, and poetry doesn't satisfy. I want to do something big. Working with Smith was the best thing I ever did, the most satisfying, and I hunger for an experience like that again. I feel like the promise of revelation will come via creating my own work rather than passively reading or watching someone else's work. Other work does fertilize my mulch pile, but my ego wants my truths to emerge a priori, sui generis.

Distinguishing Markings: The City Poetry Zine (, Criminal by Smith & Lady (unpublished), sometimes anthologies by Bree. My poetry sometimes appears in Wendy Shaffer's blog, House of Cats (, and Jesus Crisis has posted some of my poems in his online library ( My blog contains some of my raw output.'s got some older stuff.

Predators: Painful, pain! Zen Buddhas. Beautiful women who take my breath away with their power when I try to look in their eyes. Real people. Young, intelligent people. Upright people. People with opinions. Judges and Empaths.

Prey: The casual casualties of my inability to hold it together, like you got to juggle balls to be with people, you gotta have some anti-gravity, and I just don't got that, bootstraps require too much tension. My goal is to be calm, I'm learning how to unbind the braid I hold in mind. I feel prima donna pain and shame, complicit but well-meaning, I want no ugly feelings but they're there. I want to be faithful to truth yet leave so many errors hanging.


Childhood was a discount store, the ice cream stand
or Headlands Beach. We were as real as a Polaroid,
in our feathered hair & blue jeans. My stick arms
freckled down to my large hands. Your skin as gold as
your smoky living room. We were the beautiful
12 year olds, each other's context, our words were boys.

Contact info:


Anonymous said...

I so was hoping they would pick you.. :-)))))

Glad you are in now..



smith said...

well said.


The poet doesn't invent. He listens. ~Jean Cocteau