KEITH WOOD


what nature had not intended

It was a horsefly
with one wing turned
impossibly wrong,
almost 90 degrees skyward,
as if the damn thing was hitchhiking.

It was buzzing along the kitchen baseboards,
mad as hell,
trying to make the one good wing
work for two.

I couldn't bring myself
to crush what nature had not intended,
even though it would never leave my floor.

There was a postcard from my buddy Mark
in the mail box.
Heís disenchanted with Austin,
broke,
bartending his narrow ass off,
missing NY,
but heís clean,
or so he says.

I check the phone jack again,
just to be sure.

Pamela hasn't called in weeks.
I excavate her handwritten letters
when I'm stoned,
which is often,
and check the airlines
for bargain Chicago flights,
mentally totaling up
what I can pawn,
or steal
to put me back
in the air.

In one of my last letters
I told her to visit when she could,
but she wrote back telling me that she's snug,
15 healthy plants budding in her attic,
just to make the rent money,
when her super straight landlord
could drop by anytime
unannounced.

Tom got pinched two weeks ago
with 3 grams
duct taped to his left bicep,
and a fresh needle safety pinned
inside his jacket pocket.

His lawyer told him to roll over,
cut his time in half.

Last I heard he jumped bail
for Toronto.

Supposedly dope is scarce there.

I wonder if he knew?


Ben's crooked smile

Every Friday Vicki's there,
pushing that drive-thru drayer at me
with a ready smile,
unassuming libriarian glasses
low on her nose,
studded with vintage rinestones,
gleaming like real diamonds
behind bullet proof glass.

She knows how much I deposit,
how much I keep,
overtime,
days missed,
FICA.

Licking her fingers,
she folds the green as she counts it,
then touches her perfect curls
and makes some small talk
through the tiny metallic speaker
while I wonder what it would take
to have her.

I never count
what she puts
in the envelope.

This always throws her,
but trust is the highest compliment.

Truth is, I'm waiting
for her to turn Bonnie,
stuff some Hefty bags
when the cameras arenít looking,
then come knocking on my back door
wearing only Ben Franklin's crooked smile
over her crotch,
all those prim curls hanging loose,
framing her sweetly demented cheeks.

She'd throw two airline tickets at me.
Someplace fun.
Jamica or Rio.
Then we'd go at it
right there on the threshold,
half in,
half out,
with old perverted Ben
leering sweaty under my belly.


Some consolation

I awake,
chasing away hazy Jim Beam dreams
of amazon blondes
with helpless gray granite snatches,
kissed to horny life by my tongue.

The gas heater hisses in the corner,
bullet blue flames
all standing at perfect attention,
close enough to warm,
but just barely.

I don't need to crawl out of bed
and watch the ice gather
on my windshield
to realize how cold it is.

My existance is meaningless anyway.
There was something on the radio yesterday
about distant solar systems colliding.

Those in the know
claimed that this is how
our little floating marble game will end.

As some consolation,
it was hypothetically added
that our sun
will most likely be long gone by then,
a cold drifting husk,
unable to sustain any life.

I throw blankets on the floor,
curling up next to the pretty flames,
waiting for the amazons to return.


Keith Wood lives and works in Philadelphia,
but is originally from Columbus, Mississippi.
He has had work published in Negative Capability
and The Dilettante. He has written a slew of poetry,
a collection of short stories, and 2 books
(as yet unpublished).

And yes, he is still a redneck.






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