UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO LINKS
From: Alphabet City. in Queen rat: new and selected poems. Toronto: Anansi, 1998. p.59.
I have never had a hairdresser before but things come to this.
Hand-carved crosses, piercing, face-slaps, lipliner.
He fits my hair with extensions, someone else's hair,
twice now, I wear this stranger's remains. My head scraped raw
with sutures, I sleep on my face, some fall out I am falling apart.
You look like a mermaid, Sook-Yin says when she sings to me.
He tells me about an associate, Ray, who almost died from fluorocarbons,
his aurora of hairspray, and leaves me under the dryer
while I think about glamour.
How angry I have been, lethal shoes talons corsets, you got to move on,
if you want to see glory, train train.
That glamour may be something else, walking slowly and painfully,
so there are no mistakes. The discomfort, the drag.
Of effacing yourself; the sublimation. Of recovering the grotesque.
I wonder at the hair of the skeleton, in museum glass, pulling a comb
through my own tangled memento mori.
I fought with my hairdresser once, viciously. Pretend I'm dead, I told him,
and slammed down the phone. Before we made up and since, I think
this is the most glamorous thing I have ever done:
his clips clattering to the floor — the nerve of that woman — my hair
alight, as I turn in an outrage, switching beauty's tail, to get moving.
Lynn Crosbie's works copyright © to the author.