Tuesday 9 January 2024

Five Poems by dan smith


The Ram Inn


your name in lights

flashing a welcome smile

behind the eight-ball of sex,

velvet art & trompe l’oeil

faux swimming pools-


night clerks like a cross

between Lurch & Tom Waits

shamble & shuffle

rant & rave Re:

the fake sincerity of architecture

& work on their thesis:

The Transactional Analysis

of the Illicit Underground Basis

of Capitalism as Exemplified

by Doctor Benway for Economics

of American Literature 101

at the Community College

endowed anonymously

by the biggest players

in the porn industry

while Ray Bremser

haunts the hallways pistol in hand

& any lip reader can see

he is snarling “ this is a stickup “

& Bob Kaufman runs bleeding

thru the lobby mouthing a manifesto

about the fools gold of crowded

sardine cans­-


Maxwell Bodenheim

& his old lady have commandeered

the bridal suite & are cruising

the neighbourhood

looking for death reenactors-


oh, Ram Inn we love

your creamy noodle rooms festooned

Welcome Steroid Users

Weight Room Open 24-7

pop machines on every floor

& a private emergency clinic

is located directly across the road

group rates available

for bankers, mortgage brokers, politicians,

swingers & combinations thereof-


oh, eclectic electric Ram Inn

your poetry drips into our minds

like a Rorschach stain IV which coalesces

in a red   white  &  blue transcendent

crescendo that sounds something

like love something that though disfigured

might pass for love as empires decline

& night offers the back of its bloody hand

to day again.



Antonin Artaud Throws Down at the Lame-o Poetry Reading                   


Pain? You don’t know anything about pain

you fucking assholes

and he gives everyone the jesters gesture:

the finger.

Up yours you tight-ass pricks.

Get out   get out and live

look to apprehend your mind

when   it   isn’t looking

when it isn’t drowning in masturbatory drivel

look in the cruel theatre of blood and shit

where the scripts are eaten raw

and the sets are blank walls

chasing down infinity.

I know that I am real   flesh in pain

but what the fuck are you?

An audience surrounded by an invisible fence

that you project toward the stage.

I seek the unity of my being

the complete control of uninterrupted thought.

This isn’t entertainment you fucking shits.

He hurls two jello filled mannequins into the audience

and tries to mount a right angle triangle.

He fails and starts beating a gong.

Bleating sheep enter stage left.

A space ship made from cardboard duct taped together

slowly drops from the ceiling and a blob thing


gets out and begins a tirade in a muffled strangled

speech of nonsense syllables  kkkaaaa zekzekkez waknamfrak.

Antonin stabs the blob repeatedly till it lies still

in a pool of red jello .

An old man in a white robe carrying a cross 3 times his size

with a tarot card on the top surface begins to climb

an inclined plane and when he gets to the top

he slides back down. He continues to do this till the end of the performance.

Four actors enter from the right wearing huge mask heads

six times normal size: they are Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot

and Vlad the Impaler. They begin to shout and scream

at each other. Each in a crude form of their own language.

They start to struggle with one another and a figure strolls

to the center of the stage carrying a chair. He vaguely

resembles the Marquis de Sade. He sits down opens up

his coat and takes out a two foot phallus which he

begins to stroke with a white gloved fat cartoon three

fingered hand while throwing brown mud sausages

at a wall with the other gloved hand as the now wrestling

masked actors grunt and moan.

A cannon in the floor under the chair shoots a blast

of white confetti.


Antonin  steps to the edge of the stage which is now a shambles.

This has been Escape From the Island of Lameos on the Good Ship

Jouissance.  He bows and whispers adieu.

Dozens of smoke bombs go off and amid the fire alarms and confusion the stage is cleared.


gun play-

just a big kid

orange tip removed

The AI like us had good intentions



they killed

the cows



Attaining the top rung…

the AI scanned the UAP

its message

welcome brother


reading Ishiguro-

you know something

will last


death of a toad-

orange stain

on a prison floor


dan smith has been widely published in such diverse journals as The Rhysling Anthology and Scifaikuest to Gas Station Famous and Renegade Flowers: d. a. levy and the Digital Revolution. He is the author of Crooked River and The Liquid of Her Skin, the Suns of Her Eyes published by Deep Cleveland Press and Night Ballet Press respectively. dan's most recent poems have been at Cold Moon Journal, dadakuku, and Scarlet Dragonfly Journal.  

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