Monday, February 26, 2007

Go Deeper ~~ anna hood ~~

Look into the mirror, look
past the blank
blue-eyed stare, red mouth
of a Modigliani nude
past the morning routine
two coffees, one double double
one black
past last evening's love-making,
hot kisses.

Look deeper
past the meadow
white snow covered
gold buttercups covered
trails of field mice
and garter snakes.
The old apple tree
naked now

Go deeper still
past the throat singers of Mongolia
who whistle like flutes
who whistle like birds
whose whistles spark
memories of fast horses
cloud covered backs
hooves sparking mountains.

Deeper deeper
into your DNA
until the scent of Africa
fills your lungs
and you wake to the music
of your ancestors.
Your emotions bow down
under the enamelled blue sky.

Look into the mirror
of your eyes

Can you see
your future?


Monday, February 19, 2007

They never fit. ~Anna Hood~

Hip bones clanged
too many teeth
his tongue too sharp
hers could cut steel.
And possibly worst of all
for him at least
she had breasts so small
as to be nonexistent
(and him a tit man)
but still he’d said
he’d like to get closer.
‘Move in with me,’ he said.
‘We’ll be a pair,’ he said.
‘You and me. Babe’
as if he was Sonny for Christ sake.

She a hedgehog
prickly old maid
hard as nail polish
slick with hair spray
tailored suits and a bank account
ignored her more and more
ramparting misgivings
(what if this was it?)
agreed. Settled for second best
maybe third.
She didn’t like
his aftershave.
Sometimes when dining
out he used the wrong fork (!)
and how could she bear it
a snowstorm of dandruff
on navy or black.

Even in the beginning
her sleep patterns
were disturbed.
She was hot
in the night dreamed
scarlet mounties
musical rides, black
horses in time.
No pyrotechnics from him
only those overhead wires
astride his house
their heavy black strings
their razory thrumming
strings, vibrated her nightly
and not in any good way.

She’d never cooked
grilled cheese her mainstay.
The first wife had
and well it seemed
delicious gourmet treats
thoughts of the sauces
made his mouth water
or so he said
made his mouth flap
open criticize her sandwiches
perfectly golden
the cheese melted
cut corner to corner
sweet pickles artistic
on the plate.

Weekends a war zone
the visiting daughter
named for the doll
but neither thin
nor pretty
hostile as a shrew
and equipped
with his paternal tongue
sharp and so viper quick
that a word, even kind
could throw her into a fury
of rage or indignation.
Wouldn’t eat grilled cheese
‘hives,’ she said
‘lactose intolerant,’ she said.
Stepmommy said, ‘Bullshit.’

Thoughts of her old solitary life
became attractive again.
Her own bed
mounted scarlet men
atop black horses
(or her)
weekends without Barbie
no razory thrumming wires
vibrating her (she had a vibrator
thank you very much)
We’ll always stay friends,’ he said
She nodded but thought
a cat might be nice.


Thursday, February 15, 2007

Ricky ~anna hood~

Over her head he sleeps
curled away in the straight-jacket
of his mind

his body thrashing

Does he dream that someone
loves him? No one does (do they?)
except Daisy
the black and white collie
whose whole body shivers
with love for him.

She tries really she does,
what mother
wouldn't/couldn’t love her child?
(God help her)

The children, even the kind
ones call him moron
spaz lunatic. She tells people
something misfires in his brain
crashes smashes mashes trashes
in his brain my GOD
she's beginning to sound like him.

She tries to love him. Really.
Where did she go wrong?
She did everything right
the vitamins
the exercises, no alcohol
not even a drop on her birthday
sat for hours at the old Heinzman
in the porch playing Gershwin for him
(Someone To Watch Over Me)
read to him
(Beatrix Potter and such)

when he was just a slippery
fish even then thrashing
kicking lurching around inside her.

At night when he sleeps she reads
the National Enquirer mostly
and wonders about aliens.


Friday, February 09, 2007

Dragons ~~ anna hood ~~

Once again I dream:
I am six curled up beside my sister
tucked tight under the eaves
of our little gingerbread
Outside the moon
her bones, eyes and wings
her polished face
embroidered onto the gentle black
cloak of night spills
over the sill splashes silver
my sister’s hair
tints her eyelids mauve pale.

They flutter
hiding her green eyes,
bright as bird song.
Green as spring
my mother used to say
or liquid Palmolive soap
or new lettuce or the wine bottles
in her paintings or my sister’s eyes.

My eyes are grey
the pupils outlined in black
like a funeral notice
like rainy mornings, like
shingle houses on a stormy Cape
Cod, grey as the owl who takes me
to the scary dreamland I visit.
My mother never painted my eyes
too drab perhaps for her
paintbox of brilliance
My mother never painted me
a green eyed dragon.

As her dreams take her
slipping sliding
between realities
my sister’s mouth curves
into the technicolour world
she visits each night
the vein on her neck
thin as blue silk thread
pulses her breath a ghost of wind.
She’s gathered into a ball
in her favourite Snoopy
nightie shapeless as an amoeba.
Curtains of blonde hair
the colour stolen
from a January sun
ice the pillow.

I want to siphon them
away, those dreams
take them for my own
enter her cotton candy world
my own mouth curving up
into my sister’s eyes
into my mother’s paintings.
But no. I’m down here alone
in my black and white dreams
where the only bright thing
is my sister’s green eyes.

I am tired of these dreams
tired of writing poems
about dead friends
and lovers.
I’m tired of winter.


Sunday, February 04, 2007

GYPSY WINDS ~~ anna hood

(Pooka: a faerie spirit in animal form - always very large.
Appears here and there, now and then, to one or another.
A benign but mischievous creature.
Fond of rumpots and crackpots.
The pooka Harvey was made famous
when he appeared with James Stewart
in the film entitled 'Harvey')

Gordon Foster sat at his special table at Starbucks,
a slight crease between his eyes, as he mused about
how his life was going. Until Russell happened along,
things had been going rather well for Gordon Foster,
a bit dull, but he was getting on to about fifty and well,
dull isn’t so bad. After his father had died Gordon
had stepped in and taken over the hardware store
and if he did say so himself he’d done a damn fine job of it.
Business was booming, mainly because he’d brought in
a new line of housewares and his customers were buying
expensive pots and pans like they’d never cooked before.

His mother seemed pleased, thank God; she’d stopped
complaining about his drinking - that was because
he had stopped drinking - well almost. But this
wasn’t due to Mother this was Mona’s doing.
Mona was Gordon’s girl; she didn’t like his drinking either
but she didn’t nag on and on like Mother; she had a
better cure: if there was even a hint of liquor
on his breath Mona refused sex and if there was one thing
that could deter Gordon from the drink, it was sex.

Gordon had been somewhat of a late bloomer;
he’d never had a girl before Mona, never had sex
until he was forty-three, but oh he’d taken to it –
he’d taken to it like the proverbial duck to water.
When Mona had come to work at the hardware store
and let him slide his hand between her legs it was like
someone suddenly turned on a light bulb. Now she
had switched off the power. She was refusing to even
go to the movies with him, never mind sex.
“Get rid of Russell,” she’d said pursing her lips
in that way that Gordon didn’t much care for,
“and we’ll see.”

Get rid of Russell? Russell who loved a wee nip,
Russell who didn’t know the meaning of the word
closing time, Russell who had attached himself
to Gordon Foster like a tick, Russell the pooka and
not an ordinary-run-of-the-mill-Harvey-type-pooka
either, Russell the fox pooka, a very big fox pooka –
standing over seven feet tall when he was on his tippy toes
and needless to say Russell was always on his tippy toes.
Easy for Mona to say, get rid of Russell. As if he could
just get rid of Russell. As if you can just get rid of a pooka!
And besides, Gordon didn’t even know if he wanted to
get rid of Russell.

Russell had his faults - all pookas do - you can never be sure
if they’re telling lies and of course there is the drinking and the
tricks. Truth be told Russell was cunning and sly but he also
was wickedly charming in his foxy way. Oh, he was fun and
he had style. Everyone who met him, well, except for Mother
and Mona of course, liked him. He was a good friend
for all his failings.

Gordon sipped at his coffee turning Mona over in his mind.
Mona wasn’t to everybody’s taste, hell she wasn’t even
to his taste but at his age he had to take what he could get
and, God love her, Mother approved. Come to think of it
Mona was quite a bit like Mother, all knobs and angles,
eyes tiny as seeds, her hair snagged back into that tight
little bun she thought was so sophisticated. And thin!
she made his teeth ache, but she worked
hard and well, stingy as she was with it, there was the sex.

The trouble really started when Russell told Mona
that outrageous lie that Jeannie Walker the hairstylist
down to The Family Cut and Curls was trying to make time
with him. Jeannie Walker curvy and laughy, dressed
to the nines, auburn hair gleaming around her shoulders.
Unlike Mona, Jeannie always, always wore high heels.
Gordon loved this! Sometimes when she’d be cutting his hair
he’d sneak the back of his fingers against her legs... so sleek
and smooth in their nylon stockings.
A little heat gathered in his belly even as he thought of it.

And then there was that business with the Harley.
Gordon laughed out loud, causing some of the other
Starbuck’s patrons to look at him in alarm. He thought
of the look on Mona’s face when Russell told her that he,
Gordon William Foster had used their down-payment money
to put a deposit on a Harley, and not just any Harley but one
of those expensive new Fat Boys. Russell had clicked his
foxy teeth and told her the motorcycle was Black Cherry and
on the first nice day he and Gordon and Jeannie of course
were going to head off into the sunset.

Ahh daydreams. Who wouldn’t want Jeannie Walker
and who – even at his age - didn’t think about growing
a beard and riding off on a Harley.
God, Mother would have a fit!

A gypsy wind was gathering in the hills outside town
when Gordon stepped out of Starbucks; it brought
the smell of the far distant ocean into his nostrils.
He looked east, toward the hardware store where
Mother and Mona had gathered like a couple of black crows
on the sidewalk and then he looked west, down to the
Harley dealer where Russell stood on tippy toes,
the sun glinting off his red tail.

No one has seen Gordon. The Family Cut and Curls had to close
down because their favourite hair stylist has taken a powder.
And school children tell this fantastic story of a big fat motorcycle
whizzing by with a huge red fox standing on tippy toes
on the back fender.

Vroom Vroom.