Steven Ross Smith

Steven Ross Smith

Steven Ross Smith likes to bend, confuse and disintegrate that which is most popularly straightened, clarified and constructed in general poetic and fictive practice—language, narrativity and meaning. A sound and performance poet, writer of fiction and poetry, he endeavours to work against convention, especially his own. He has created as a writer/composer/performer, collaboratively with performance poets and musicians in structured and improvisatory contexts including the groups: Owen Sound, DUCT, and aBANDon. Over 3 decades, he has published 11 books and has appeared on various CDs and audiocassettes, including the compilations: Carnivocal and Homo Sonorus. His recent work: a book length poem entitled fluttertongue 4: adagio for the pressured surround was published by NeWest Press in 2007. He has won awards for his poetry and has performed and/or been published in England, Holland, Russia, Portugal, USA, and Canada. His current poetry-in-progress is the book fluttertongue 5: everything appears to shine with mossy splendour. It will be published in 2011. Recently he wrote flown—his 1st collaborative, narrative libretto, for a composition by composer Wang Jie. It was performed in Brooklyn in 2009. Smith, now lives in Banff in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, where he is the Director of Literary Arts at The Banff Centre.  

Declare it Thinly

from: Fluttertongue 5: Everything Appears to Shine with Mossy Splendour

Razored into skin, a word, a whim, a ticket to fate. Jingle jangle electronic cacophony. The Beats beat it nation-wide, samadhi, satori, with beatific smiles and whoever turns their pages holds in hands the blessèd or blistering steering wheel and spins it like an arcade game in blazing sun or teeming starlight. Late last night, steam from the river could have frozen lungs. Poem, driven through – its air so slight, barely a bump, a ripple. After all, it’s twenty-four-seven of hoods, hounds, and Hollywood, all video titillation. Starlets slim as toffee drawn through straws. The plug popped and stopped the car, despite the bulging biceps. Jack declared, in Chorus 196 Wanta bring everyone straight to the dream, and he did – loaded a generation into his typewriter and hit the keys spontaneous, somnambulant. Tingling skin, all there is between arousal and nothingness. Time’s slim ribbon running through slimmer space. Where is radiance? Leaders with fat ambition and anorexic minds build walls and fences or crater them. Everyone abides the drought and steps up for the rain dance. The privileged race that likes to live a cut or two above its station to escape the cloacal trenches. It seems slo-mo, but it’s a skinny minute as we drop toward the blade, each sleek side on offer – grace or grit . . . and oh, the turbulent gyrations.



This Ulysses robust, dark green
with enlarged head at the tip
in arousal, constant.

Birds © 2012 Calgary Spoken Word Society