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R. Harlan Smith
Watercolorist - Writer "You can only get so far away from something until any farther doesn't make a damned bit of difference."
Watercolorist - Writer "You can only get so far away from something until any farther doesn't make a damned bit of difference."

R. Harlan's posts


(Make certain you read, to the bottom of this page, where it says it will take 30 more seconds to read.)

The shoe is on the other foot and the Mexicans from the State of Sonora, Mexico do not like it. Can you believe the nerve of these people? It's almost funny. The State of Sonora is angry at the influx of Mexicans into Mexico.

The state legislators from the Mexican State of Sonora traveled to Tucson to complain about Arizona's new employer crackdown on illegals from Mexico. It seems that many Mexican illegals are returning to their hometowns and the officials in the Sonora state government are ticked off.

A delegation of nine state legislators from Sonora came to Tucson on Tuesday to complain that Arizona's new 'Employer Sanctions Law' will have a devastating effect on the Mexican state. At a news conference, the legislators said that Sonora, Arizona's southern neighbor, made up mostly of small towns, cannot handle the demand for housing, jobs and schools it will face as Mexican workers return to their hometowns from the USA without jobs or money.

The Arizona law, which took effect Jan. 1, punishes Arizona employers who knowingly hire individuals without valid legal documents to work in the United States. Penalties include suspension, or loss, of their business license. The Mexican legislators are angry because their own citizens are returning to their hometowns, placing a burden on THEIR state government instead of ours.

"How can Arizona pass a law like this?" asked Mexican Rep. Leticia Amparano-Gamez, who represents Nogales. "There is not one person living in Sonora who does not have a friend or relative working in Arizona," she said, speaking in Spanish. "Mexico is not prepared for this, for the tremendous problems it will face as more and more Mexicans working in Arizona and who were sending
money to their families return to their hometowns in Sonora without jobs," she said "We are one family, socially and economically", she said of the people of Sonora and Arizona.

Wrong! The United States is a sovereign nation, not a subsidiary of Mexico, and its taxpayers are not responsible for the welfare of Mexico's citizens. It's time for the Mexican government, and its citizens, to stop feeding parasitically off the United States and to start taking care of its own needs.

Too bad other states within the USA don't pass a law just like that passed by Arizona. Maybe that's the answer, since our own Congress will do nothing!

New Immigration Laws

Be sure to read to the bottom or you will miss the message...

1. There will be no special bilingual programs in the schools.
2. All ballots will be in this nation's language.
3. All government business will be conducted in our language.
4. Non-residents will NOT have the right to vote no matter how
long they are here.
5. Non-citizens will NEVER be able to hold political office.
6. Foreigners will not be a burden to the taxpayers. No welfare,
no food stamps, no health care, or any other government
assistance programs. Any who are a burden will be deported.
7. Foreigners can invest in this country, but it must be an amount
at least equal to 40,000 times the daily minimum wage.
8. If foreigners come here and buy land, their options will be
restricted. Certain parcels including waterfront property are
reserved for citizens naturally born into this country.
9. No waving of a foreign flag, no political organizing, NO bad-mouthing
our president or his policies. These will lead to deportation.
10. If you do come to this country illegally, you will be actively
hunted and, when caught, sent to jail until your deportation can
be arranged. All assets will be taken from you.

Too strict you say? The above laws are the current immigration laws of MEXICO! If it's good for Americans to obey Mexican laws, then it's got to be good vice versa.!!!

If you agree, please pass on an idea whose time has come. We do not have an elite that is above the law. The self-serving must stop. This is a good way to do that. Have each person you know contact a minimum of twenty people on their address list, in turn, ask each of those to do likewise. In three days most people in The United States of America will have read the message. This is one proposal that really should be passed around.

You are each one of my 20. If you don't have twenty, pass it on to whatever
number you can!

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I used to sign my pictures as Robin.
This is done with a Chinese calligraphy brush and India ink. About 1983

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EXCERPT from "That Summer".
Girl talk
It always gives me the jitters to ride the train back to Miller. It makes me watch the clock and I can’t relax. I always wish I was already home. I always have to call a cab.
There were only three other women in the coach. They were singing gospel songs. I leaned my head against the window and watched the silhouettes and points of light fly by in the night. My image outside the window races along with me.
I wondered what Grady was doing. He hadn’t asked for my number. Maybe he wasn’t interested. He must know other women, a guy like that. I’ll fuck him. I’ll give him the best sex he ever had. That’ll keep him interested. Mother will be waiting up. Why do I resent that? She holds on to everything. She won’t let time pass and erase things. I’m all she has left.
The sway of the coach and the wheels on the tracks were hypnotic. I closed my eyes thinking of the girls back in Chicago. We sat on the floor around the coffee table. Ellie had a mint mask around her mouth. Yvonne’s hair was all over the place. Ellie brought up marriage.
“Marriage?” I said. “I never think about it. I think about
having a man, but never a husband.”
“Don’t you think about having kids?”
“Geez, Sue. That’s not normal.”
“It’s normal for me.”
“It’s normal for me, too,” Yvonne said. “Save some of those noodles for me, please?”
I passed her the noodles.
Ellie stopped eating. She looked around for a napkin. “I’m stuffed. Everything tastes like mint. I’d get married tomorrow if I couldn’t work anymore. I’d like it.”
Yvonne agreed. “I’d get married, too, but I don’t know. People change after they get married.”
I pushed my plate away. “Get this stuff away from me. People change anyway, married or not.”
Ellie took my plate. “I met a guy once. He was nice. He said I was too skinny. He wanted me to fatten up. He was always telling me to fatten up. He just kind of faded away. He chewed gum all the time.”
Then I told them about Grady. “I met an interesting guy. His name’s Grady.”
Ellie was interested. First or last?”
“Both. He’s an older guy.”
“Eww, an older man. How much older?”
“Late thirties.”
Yvonne shook her head. “That’s not so old. What’s he like?”
“I don’t know. It’s hard to say. We went out for chili.”
“Hah. Big spender.”
“It was my idea. We snuck out of a party.”
“You snuck out of a party with a strange man? That’s
exciting. Where was little Bernie?”
“We left him at the party. He was drunk.”
Yvonne was sympathetic. “You left Bernie? Geez, Susan.”
Ellie laughed. “What’s he like? Really, what’s he like?”
“Oh, he’s clean, strong. He’s nice looking in a older guy kind of way. He wears his suits open-collar. He’s tall, but not too. He drives an old Jaguar he fixed up. It’s beautiful. He’s a happy guy, good sense of humor. He laughs when I do.”
Ellie was certain. “You like him. You’re gonna get serious. Did you sleep with him?”
“Now wait a minute. That’s personal.”
“She slept with him.”
“God, you’re worse than my mother.”
“You have a lover, an older man. What I wouldn’t give.”
Yvonne wagged her finger. “Just don’t get pregnant”
“Huh, you’re telling me.”
“Wait, wait.” Yvonne waved her hands. “What do you guys do? Where do you go?”
“We just spend time. We don’t make plans. We go wherever we wind up.”
“Ohh, that’s love,” Yvonne said. “He sounds like a classy guy.”
“He is. He’s a clean, happy, classy guy.”
Ellie lighted a cigarette. “What will you do with him, Sue. You know how you are?”
The conductor came down the aisle, “Your stop’s coming up, Miss. Don’t fall asleep.”
I opened my eyes. The conductor called out, “Miller. Miller Beach. Right on time.”
I stepped onto the platform and looked for a cab. There’s always two or three lined up at the curb. Mother was waiting
up for me in the kitchen. There was fresh tea steeping on the stove.
“Hello, mother.”
“How was your weekend, dear?”
“It was the same, mother. The usual girl things. We rented movies, we had pizza and Thai food, we talked. The usual.”
“I cleaned the gutters. The yard man wouldn’t do it. He said he does yard work, not home maintenance. It was his insurance, he said. I had to get the ladder and do it all by myself. He cleaned up the mess, but he wasn’t happy about it.”
“I’m tired, mother. I’ll have my tea in my room and get to bed.”
“I’m glad you’re home, dear. I worry.”
“I know you do, mother.”
“Good night, dear. I might as well turn in, too.”
“Good night, mother.”


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Fat cat
you're much to fat
there ain't no hat that fits ya.
They ought to call the fat cat cops
and have them come and get ya.

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Pretty soon, Spring
18 x 20 Watercolor
The white is clear canvas, the gray is mixed from primary colors. No white or gray paint. 

Your Word dr character puts me off. I don't want to belong to a group that would accept his garbage.

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An Intersection

There's a big, brown dog of dubious descent
in a pickup
here in front of me,
the two of us tossed together
by this serendipitous stop sign.

Oh, she's fully amazed by me, alright;
my muttering motorcycle,
all my magical attachments,
especially my great, gold-rimmed,
shiny, black eyes.

I kiss at her.
She licks her chops impatiently.
We marvel for a moment,
our best friend kinship
hovering over us.

She takes a hovering right.
I go straight.
Good morning, my friend.

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Her Lips

Her lips are naked.
In a place among millions
of women with nothing on their lips,
her lips are naked.
As bare as the nape of her neck,
the sweet-smelling skin of her stomach,
As bare as her breasts,
the breadth of her back,
they are naked,
her lips.
And yet when they are dressed
with color,
still, I know their nudity.

Private Tortures

'Tis a blessing,
'tis a curse,
'tis a twice-edged blade,
each bitter-sweet memory.
Oh, God, God, God
would that I had
the better part of my past
ahead of me.

Excerpt from "That Summer", an R. Harlan Smith book.

Taxi was the only guy in the place. He sat in the dark with his pitcher at his usual table. He looked awful. His eyes were all watery, and I felt sorry for him. He’s been lonely since his wife passed away. I could see he was feeling bad. I sat down with him. “You don’t look so good, Taxi. You feeling lonely tonight?”
“Nah,” he says. “I ain't feelin’ lonely, if it’s any of your fuckin’ business.”
He was drunk. I offered him a cigarette and lighted it for him. I figured if I waited, he’d come out with it.
“You know, Grady, once in awhile I wish I could call some girl and spend a little time with her. Let's go walk the beach, y’know? Let’s go for a drive. Let’s hang out at Buckingham Fountain and watch it change colors all night. I miss that. God, I sorely miss it.”
He sniffed and smeared the tears away from his old eyes with his fingers.
“Sometimes I feel like all the women I ever knew was dead and there ain’t no way I'll ever enjoy no female company again. It- it ain’t my age. I know it ain’t my age. It comes and goes, you know. But the thought of a new face, a fresh pair of eyes, a perfume I never breathed before, or a laugh I never heard yet, a warm hand holdin’ mine, a completely different kiss… How long has it been since I sat with some beauty across the table in some restaurant and told her I loved what she's wearin’, and she thanks me and smiles, and my heart soars, and I just wanna savor every bit of her until I think my brains was gonna melt? Or held a woman and felt her thighs and her stomach and her breasts against me ’til I just wanna absorb her into me. Just the touch of a woman, y’know? Just the touch, her fingers on my arm. It seems like it was all a dream. Don’t ya see, Grady? All a goddamn dream.”
He looked at me through his wet, drooping eyes. “You young punks, you won't never know what the better parts of your lives are ‘til after you lived the better part of your life.”
He sniffed and wiped his nose with the back of his hand. “I gotta go. This place is pissin’ me off, and Mary Tyler Moore’s gonna be on in a few minutes. I’ll see ya Grady. Thanks for lettin’ me dump on ya.”
He grunted up out of his chair and went out the door.
I wanted to call Susan, but I knew she wouldn’t answer.

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The sun is down
to the mountain rim
a moon will show in a minute.
My window sees the world go dark
while you're out there
in it.
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