The Artist’s Life

Graffiti Mexico City

Graffiti Mexico City

I am coming up on the second anniversary of writing VSVEVG. It’s prompted me to consider why I started this blog and why I continue to write it. The explanation on my about page is accurate but it doesn’t tell the whole story.

I am a writer and I write this blog to get my words to people. I decided to write about my life because it’s a little out of the ordinary ,and I figured the last thing we needed was another blog about writing. But I do read a lot of blogs about writing.

Writers often write about how hard the artist’s life is. The trials of solitude, the sacrifices that must be made to maintain a consistent practice, the self-doubt…there’s a big list. Certainly I won’t disagree it’s hard to write well, and I am well familiar with the isolation and the insecurities inherent, and I believe necessary for an artist’s life.

But when I read about how difficult the artist’s path is I think of the time in my life I was constantly anxious because I hadn’t yet connected to my true self, the one who sits down every day and grapples with ideas and beliefs and tries to share them with the world through words. This person. The one willing to live without comforts to have the time to step into that flow– that contest every day.  

The truth is, if you are a person who lives with this burning, inescapable quest in your gut (Confucius believed the mind resided in the belly) then you are one of the lucky ones.  Because we know our purpose and that it has meaning– like we know the lines of our own face.  This is a gift in a world of triviality and distraction, regardless of the hardships.

VSVEVG has rewarded me greatly. I am a far better writer from meeting its demands. I’ve made friends I’ll have for a lifetime, gained patrons, received support from strangers I may never hear from again. It’s miraculous to me, really.

I’m not sure what direction VSVEVG will take in its third year. There will still be poetry, stories of La Tigra, Felipe updates, recitation and the recipes I’ve promised, but perhaps with a new bent.  I’m still mulling it over. What do I know is, I’ll be here, tapping out my truth, grateful to you for reading, commenting, liking and sharing.

Happy anniversary VSVEVG.  Many thanks to WordPress for making it all possible.

© 2013 Abby Smith, Writer

Where to find me:
My Etsy shop
My tweets
My Facebook page

Hasta Luego


I live in Mexico, and have been visiting the states for about a month. I return home tomorrow and as always I feel it is just in the nick of time. I will not have internet service when I return and so will not be able to post poems daily, though I will continue to write daily and post them here as soon as I make it back to civilization.

I am really enjoying this challenge and a part of that is due to your support through your likes and comments. For those of you who have just followed vsvevg I do my best to post once a week and I will continue with that schedule throughout the next six months. Many thanks to all for reading, paz, Abby

A poem from the archives.

The Density of Things

when there is nothing
to do is when you feel it most
when there is no prize
to drive you
then you know
life how it presses
with all it’s sound

disinterested, concerned
ongoing, fatigued
no weather can save you
since mother spit you out
and gave you the loaf

cradled in your arms
hefted over one shoulder
shifted, from one arm
to the other

Chicago Il. April 10th 2013 Napowrimo day 10

© 2013 Abby Smith, Writer


Abby and Felipe

I wanted to write you a love poem
but all I have are words
made of letters formed from
ideas that once were pictures
representing things only
considered real

I got to thinking of the languages
you know, you learned by listening
to chickens, cluck, screech and caw
You look for hawks in their
racket and the lost chick
at their bidding

Your eyes change in the light like
night eyes you’ve shown me, see
the rabbit eyes glow round, look
they differ from a cat, a skunk
a man, learn them all and you’ll never fear
the inevitable darkness

Being more domesticated, even I
now hear the difference: in someone’s
coming bark, unknown livestock,
it’s a dog, a friend, a stranger.
But I couldn’t tell them
apart before you

All that time, living in a world full
of language I never heard, I couldn’t find
water by following beetles, I didn’t
look in the dust to check my messages,
whisper with horses by sharing breath or even
believe in love

Chicago Il. April 4th 2013 Day 4 Napowrimo

© 2013 Abby Smith, Writer


thCAYKV0SAI have been in the US since March tenth. It’s hard to be away from home so long, though I’m grateful I am free to travel and to see my family and friends. One of the things that makes my visits difficult is being away from writing. After a few days in the US my concentration wanes, my connection to creative flow becomes tenuous.

Yesterday, I received a message from word press that it was the first day of Napowrimo, a poetry writing challenge to write 30 poems in 30 days. I thought, “great idea, just what I need”. I wrote Inevitable Cities and announced my participation. Then I thought, “What am I thinking? I work on a single poem for months, years even!” Releasing poetry on my blog has been a test of will. What happens if I realize a word choice was not the right one, or a line broken differently would have made for a more realized poem? Scary stuff for a poet.

When I start following MesAyah’s blog I was blown away that anyone would challenge themselves to write a poem a day for  a year(which he did!). His fearlessness  inspired me to be a part of this project. I now face a month of working outside my comfort zone which is always a good thing, let us hope it results in some worthy poems. Light a candle for my muse please, dear readers, paz, Abby

This is where the image came from.