Around the mid 1990s, Bean Newton began to champion the cause of “Smitty,” a stick-figure avatar (before people used the term for virtual spaces) found throughout Newton's notebooks and personal correspondences. Thought to be inspired by a rather famous poem of Langston Hughes, “Smitty Speaks of Livers” dwells in a space of neither parody nor tribute, but a portal to a reality not quite recognizable as our own.
Smitty Speaks of Livers
The hot, ripe, howling bawl of desire
The League of Blessed Cows
The long match of drizzled idiocy.
I hear jellied forte of breeze
foreword. It is the lost joint of solder
to fail, falling into the vacuum of puff
and smoking up through the ventholes
like a local god, open for worship
only Thursday thru Saturday,
yet another in our tank-style depredations.
The bolus of celebrity lurks in the dork.
No longer, longer buxom, its cheeks
sag arcane neural days of crack-absence.
It would switch its place, its place
with a rat togged-up-electrode-wise
to dance but not to move
in the drain-groove of cerebro-mancy.