Three Poems – Bud Smith



Rooting For You

unhappy but trying to not rip my own head off and punt it as my final dying motion

chewing tropical bubble gum and refusing to acknowledge the slow decline of all life on earth

but! kinda coming out of my fog, and seeing where to put my feet on the steps

think about a new baby girl crawling up the stairs
grabbing a cape mom hung on the doorknob
slipping the cape on, floating over the violent town

I look up to people who raised themselves

see me pop my bubblegum underneath
flickering florescent light

do people raised by wild wolves ever get tired?

do wild wolves ever get tired of raising babies they found somewhere, crying soft in the darkened forest?

picturing wild wolves having to go to a PTA meeting

picturing wild wolves bringing a child to tee ball

picturing wild wolves having to meet their adoptive human son or daughter’s prom date and the wild wolves sitting on their haunches, knowing this’ll all work out

wild wolves thinking ‘okay, try me’

earlier today I accidentally cut my hand wide open and I purposefully let the blood fall on the snow and make a heart shape

a big ol’ heart shape

hope you can see it from up in the pink clouds

if you’re separated for me, I’ll continue to believe it’s because you are out secretly saving the world from forces I cannot comprehend.


Everybody Lives On My Street, Yours Too

I have a paper skeleton hanging on my wall
to remind me of everyone

sometimes in the middle of the night
we wake up and are not sure why
always blame it on a scream
from the street
must have just missed it

imagine if the whole world never got born?
my wife and I cannot have children

but yesterday I heard kids laughing
in the branches of a cherry blossom tree

take a look, see them there
leaping branch to branch

all history has been misremembered
misquoted, misplaced, erased, crank called
scrap heaped, condensed into tiny holidays

just today
under the cherry blossom tree
I saw a pool of blood
I got nervous
called 911

but while I waited for the ambulance
I bent down, took a big sip
just cherry juice

and on the peak of the church house roof
I heard the children laughing at my mistake
so I turned to face them
with my reddened mouth
and said the truth, no one is as important as you.


Bird That Whistles

raining so hard on kennedy blvd I can’t see kennedy blvd
how difficult it must be to have to find your way with a heart that’s just a lemon
the room I’m in, I painted electric blue, it has two windows and so both windows are open
I started out as a child and I am doing everything I can to retain my beginner status
just yesterday I talked to a bird that had landed on a wrought iron fence near my face and told this bird about another bird I’d seen on the internet, flying with a knife clutched between its feet
off to where who knows?
all of us, off to where who knows?
and these stories that are our lives, often when we talk about them around a bonfire, so strange and unbelievable, finally some trembling someone has to say, “you can’t make this shit up.”
but imagine if you could
imagine if you could just make this shit up

my coworker pulled me aside the other day and told me all about how the government has a machine that can control the weather, they can make the weather do whatever they want
I asked, “well that’d be nice for people in a drought, they could make it rain.”
he said, “There’s more money in not doing what people need than in doing what people want.”

but don’t you know all the answers I have for you last as long as watermelon flavored candy
sweet answers gone in an instant
made out of sugar and water

I’m pretty sure only half of the earth has any kind of empathy
art being the only way we find those empaths trapped out there in the terror

I’ve retweeted you, I’ve reblogged you, I’ve commented you and texted you and sent you a letter-handwritten with an etching of an angel that got so high on prescription drugs that it fell from a cloud and crashed out onto the sidewalk
but was saved and nursed back to health by a volunteer saint, stationed just below the cloud where all the angels fall

in return you have come over and show me how you make your wax seal
explained the secrets of your lifelong limoncello
even previewed your brand new song to the wolves still sprinting along a rushing river full of quitters
but ah, living in the wilderness
last but not least, thank you for showing me how you feed your bird that whistles
seeds clenched between your own teeth
watch the bird snatch each seed and crunch it in its beak

how nice it is to finally know someone in the disintegrating world

and right now there’s torrential rain on November 9th so loud I can’t hear any of the stereos of the cars stuck in traffic on kennedy blvd. and that’s a shame because our apartment is at a major intersection
and there is life in everyone’s clashing stereos

how tough it must be to be a bird flying crosswind through the collapsing american dream
bouncing song to song and just looking for a safe place to land in the middle of a media blackout, not that I could know, I just get all my news from your Facebook wall

I open the screen and stick my palm out into the open air
and let my hand fill up with these trending raindrops
It feels good to lick the salt of my own life
and taste the remnants of soot left in the valleys of my fading fingerprints
I wonder what is going to happen when I figure out what else we are doing? How to control more than just the weather
we started out as a single cell organisms, so small so inconsequential that no one thought to ask us
our opinions
now, having mastered the art of slipping through the raindrops
and finding the place where the dust does not settle like a shroud over the sun
we too can tremble.



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