Tuesday, March 21, 2023


i guess the postal service died

no other cause will do

it's been more than a month

since i've heard a word from you

the phone company has gone on strike

or else my phone is broken

it's been too long a time it seems

since your sweet voice has spoken

it could not be dark apathy

or mystery ignoring me

that would not do it's not like you

to leave me so neglected

and somehow soon it must be true

you'll treat me as expected

to sit alone by my dumb phone

reveals a hope gone rotten

and it's much worse to live the curse

of someone who's forgotten.

douglas brent smith


Monday, March 20, 2023

napkins and things

dorinda likes to doodle

daringly on napkins

unseen unnoticed by

the scramblers eating eggs

or sipping bitter coffee

sometimes she pops out a song

or sketches a summer scene

from somewhere no one's been

now here i am in Chicago

frozen to the bone

doodling on a napkin

and wishing i was home

but, lacking that i

send a pre-doodled napkin

to someone who appreciates

napkins and things.

douglas brent smith


Sunday, March 19, 2023

A Safe Bet

sketch by doug smith

 A Safe Bet, sketch by douglas brent smith, from journal #10 cry Wolf (1977).

I was not much of a cartoonist, but that didn't stop me from occasionally trying. The joke here is basic and obvious and probably just came out of idle doodling.

Saturday, March 18, 2023

what Jane needs

what Jane needs to paint

fuel from foolish adventures

folly from feeling


swirling her flashy flesh filled shape

as metaphors

a warm blanket

around her naked frame

what Jane needs lately to feel

hip in her new age

is company, coolness shared

some touchable one

who cares what she paints

more than about 

what's under her blanket.

douglas brent smith


Friday, March 17, 2023

Thursday, March 16, 2023

angel fall

Once an angel


from her warm but insecure

perch in an artificial sky

damaged and breathless

afraid and in tears

i ran to her soft side

more than anxious to

help her to heal her

and hear her words of love

mending her wings and

sealing her strength

hoping she'd fly over worlds

that were also mine

and love me for something

that angels don't have

but...once healed

on the wing

she took flight from my sight

not willing to waste

her freedom on fools

so i wait with tears streaming

waiting and dreaming

and hoping that when

that angel falls again

she remembers these steady hands.

douglas brent smith

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Tuesday, March 14, 2023


i left my typewriter in new jersey

as if some  bloodied murder weapon

trying to hide the crimes

or forget the posturing

of the scene of all my passion

and pathos

for these seven quite odd years

where manhood came

and with it the twisting

torture of passion's pain

distressed and then daring

darling and then distressing

messing with alternatives

though the people traded places

sliding parade-like suddenly

my massive wooden desk i

called the aircraft carrier (covered

with unfinished scripts, snatches of poems,

and doctors' bills)

half my soul (it seems) was

spilled poured and splattered

into these gold, black, red walls

onto the dusty floor filled with

cat hair, beard hair, auburn hair

too precious to sweep away

no, it was not a castle

or a page from Architecture Digest

but it gave me all I ever needed

to become an artist

they say we become completely new

every seven years

we'll see i suppose we will see

i left my typewriter in new jersey

i guess i'll need to return for it.

douglas brent smith


Monday, March 13, 2023

Actor at Large

sketch from journal 9: Midwest Blue

 Actor at Large - sketch from jounal 9: Midwest Blue by douglas brent smith

Sunday, March 12, 2023

erase, delete, purge

embarrassing errors boggle and

jog clumsily a spell mispelled

an assertion averted a

bumbling humbling remark

all those things

we were all those

things bringing confidence to

a dance without knowing

any of the steps i

of course stepped continually on

toes not my own

breaking light into frozen

patches not fixable fixed

in a moment exposed

so sorry so sorry so sorry

you told me that insecurity is

often expressed as bravado and

of course you were correct

you don't have to forgive me but

what if you did?

-- douglas brent smith


Saturday, March 11, 2023

Secret Recipes


sketch by doug smith

Secret Recipes - sketch by douglas brent smith, from Journal #9, Midwest Blue (1976-1977)

Friday, March 10, 2023


i heard somebody mumble

that we live inside a jungle

and if we're not judicious

may meet someone malicious

cold lurking on the prowl

intent on business foul 

disaster faster than we care to know

but if we're extra wary

about such terrors scary

our awareness could prepare us

for phenomena that scare us

and with targeted intention

succeed with its prevention

escape that shapes a better freedom flow.

douglas brent smith

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