The Key to my Hemlock

hqdefaultWell, now, we had a great meeting of the Hemlock Club. This is a Philosophy Club, named in honor of the Greek Poet Socrates, who was condemned by the State and required to drink Hemlock, a highly toxic substance that killed him. Hemlock Club is not to be confused with the Hemlock Society, which is for assisted suicide, for chronically ill people who want to end their life. The Philosophy Hemlock Club meets every Sunday at 10 AM at Dagny’s Coffee at 20th Street and Eye Street in beautiful downtown Bakersfield.
A friend of Natasha’s showed up and he was someone that I have seen at the First Friday Poetry Open Mic at Dagny’s. Thomas told me that he had been the featured poet. He had not published a book, which is generally a requirement, but he was unique in that he was featured without having to jump through that flaming hoop.

Mr. Zachary Keith Jesse Smith is how he is listed on Amazon, where he has an author’s page. Good thing, because Zachary Smith is the name of Dr. Smith, the affected and nefarious “doctor” on “Lost in Space” who was always causing the robot to shout: “Danger Will Robinson.” Jonathan Harris portrayed Dr. Zachary Smith, and it almost seems to be a cruel joke to name a child Zachary Smith, given that he was such a histrionic and melodramatic villain. Seems that there were a lot of parents with cruel senses of humor, because Thomas’ Zachary Smith was way down on the list, and the first was a conspiracy theorist who had some strange notions about faces on a pyramid on Mars, and other fables of that ilk.

Zachary Smith, author currently residing in Bakersfield, has been a teacher for ten years, and he writes in his free time. Wolves at the Door is his first novel, and he has two more on the way. WatD was inspired by a road trip to Northern California (Avenue of the Giants in particular), Oregon, Washington, and Canada, as well as the band The National. The author is aware that he might have missed some errors while proofreading. He is not at all offended if a reader notifies him of one so he can make corrections for a future revision. You can reach the author at

I hope that Thomas will invite him to attend a meeting of the Hemlock Club, as I am sure he could contribute a lot to the wide ranging conversation, ostensibly about Philosophy, but often veering off that path into the weeds of Literature, Art, Music, and the Tao.

2 comments on “The Key to my Hemlock

  1. Interesting post. I never knew that Socrates was a poet!

    • Since you used the ‘Irony Font’ I realize that you are being Ironic. Of course, there is no Irony Font, but regular font is your Irony Font because you are always being ironic. So, I interpret this to mean that you doubt my claim that Socrates was a poet. But as he awaited that fatal drink of Hemlock he was inspired to write a song based on one of Aesop’s Fables. So, there.
      While it is true that Poets were generally dismissed in Plato’s Republic, who’s to say that wasn’t just Plato’s opinion expressed through the persona of Socrates? In the earlier writings Socrates has a more favorable view of Poets and Poetry.

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