Tuesday, March 7, 2023


 the words you want

most to write

never come


they (you can't find them) find you

unprepared: unaware

and they laugh fast and run

the people who all mean the most 

you take for granted

as their memories become

lingering ghosts

of lines you never chanted

songs you never sang

but i refuse to let that slide

because it boldly matters

and honestly, without you

i'd be forever sadder

douglas brent smith

Monday, March 6, 2023

Filling the spaces


Filling the spaces

Filling the spaces, sketch by douglas brent smith, 1976

The doodle sketches of a busy time, from Journal#9, Midwest Blue, 1976-1977. Letting go, moving on, trying on Chicago for size, while also re-inventing in New Jersey. The notes on this page span a wide amount of time with notes for plays in Chicago and rehearsal with -- DD -- in NJ and a Polaroid picture of Annie herself, standing outside 2065 Pennington Road. Not sure that any of this is noteworthy much less art worthy but here it is anyway. History.


Sunday, March 5, 2023

you should have never

you should have never set me free

for now i'm flying recklessly

and weave new roads from symetry

a tangled dark geometry

you should have never sewn me wings

for i have stolen sacred things

and crossed the paths of clumsy kings

who yield their crowns to hear me sing

you must have known that i was wild

a reckless feckless freckled child

when tossed among the ranks and files

of royalty and scarlet styles

you should have never set me free

for i have bargained honesty

and released all modesty

consuming generosity

douglas brent smith


Friday, March 3, 2023

She Didn't Believe It

i tried to tell her hell i

try to tell all of them

but she didn't believe it

when i said to expect

the unexpected

and to deal with

puzzling deals nothing

to be dealt with normally

there being nothing normal there

so i should not be held responsible


for twisting a phrase,

opening the horizon

or breaking her heart

i tried to tell her that 

might happen but

she didn't believe it but

being pro-active and smarter than me

broke mine first 

douglas brent smith

Thursday, March 2, 2023

on and on again

when the page turn


the writer's hand

a grimace grows

surfacing the strands

of captured particles too bland

to turn the twisted

trip again

as the sunlight


against the night

the struggle of

forgotten sights

resumes its earnest empty plight

even when the product's


it falls apart and leaves a scar

while forgetting who you are.

douglas brent smith


Wednesday, March 1, 2023

my father's house

my father's house bears change

these days

the voices bouncing

off the walls

are not those of my family


of strangers

taking the space

i once knew so well

they speak with West Virginia accents


and treat me as a stranger

there are few things left

in my father's house

to remind me of familial love

to comfort me in shared history

something has been transplanted

and another thing supplanted

my father's house which

once was also mine

is no longer even

my father's house.

douglas brent smith


Tuesday, February 28, 2023

the numbers

you're living (it's truly

amazing) i'm crazy

though windows to open

will never close doors

you're giving (i'm 


much more than before

together we wonder

while skies shall surrender

when life lends us love

the threes become fours

but what matters

above all

when people may choose

is magic in making

the ones become twos.

douglas brent smith


Monday, February 27, 2023


he smoked a pipe

that would make any author

drool with envy

which (by the way) need not be green

but it's also available in

red, blue, and occasionally paisley

although perhaps best


douglas brent smith


Sunday, February 26, 2023

What the Lemmings Must Know

Stars stream madly

across the frozen sky

sending drops of passion

into the pathways of

                                 our wings

unmasked unfolded

                                 we yearn

for the mystery

painted on the faces

of leaping lovers

of circus grips

and tunesmiths

sing, push, and pull

the lever

once pulled

overrides all the rules

the camera

once flashed

disappears with a crash

the secret

once known

leaves the lover alone.

douglas brent smith


Saturday, February 25, 2023

Space Fish


Space Fish
Space Fish

Nothing spectacular, just a fish in space who has swallowed a space station and is apparently surrounded by black holes. Oh, and an orbiting top hat, too.

douglas brent smith 

Friday, February 24, 2023

The Sun Rises, The Television Sets

oh lovely lady locked

into real world rollers

with past tense terrors

run off with me

somewhere like

the mountains of


where we'll build a

log cabin right next to 

our own peak

while the snow falls, the sun


and the television set's

blue glow flows on

we'll sing

all day long

and in the evening

keep each other warm.

douglas brent smith



When I wrote this, possibly in 1975, I had no idea that I would actually some day live in Colorado. Life can be funny like that. It wasn't in a log cabin, and it wasn't with the lover in this poem, but there was an interesting symmetry to the adventure.

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