Original Text: 
Pearl: poems (Concord, Ontario: House of Anansi, 1996): 16-17.
Make your mind what you want it to be.
.- Curtis Mayfield
2Man .- he waylaid me with promises: protection, his valuable keys.
4black finish and cool bubble top
5and turn it over to a superyoung girl with rags and a bucket of soapy
7He is inside listening to Curtis, his sapphire ring
8he brings the moon with him, this cat, and his eyes glow like
9mellow stones at my superfly threads. The cashmere white stitched suit,
10the maxi coat trimmed in fox fur: vixen,
11my pretty little hat with three blue feather plumes. I let him dig me
12       for a while,
13and lay a kiss, a spoon of cocaine on him, our secret meetings
15my ladies scatter in a cloud of Opium and he tells me,
16you know me, I'm your friend.
17I thought he was my man -- I flash on him in the bathtub, its ledge of
18       oils in flasks,
20       in lemon paper,
21on all the tired bitches working his keys, hustling his diamond rocks --
22two sets of false eyelashes, micro minis, freezing their asses off.
24use me up and kill me; I need brains guts and cool;
25I put fur on your back, my baby, he says.
26I am between him and death, the greatest high of all, and I ask him
27      to step outside.
28The pink flakes blow my mind and I turn to him with a flurry
29      of karate kicks,
30kicking out my left leg I bring him to the ground
31and with my foot on the collar of his mohair suit I tell him, I took your
32money and signed a contract on you: I hired the best killers there are --
33men like you -- yeah, if one hair on my gorgeous head is harmed, it's
34       all over for you.
35It's all over for you, I think, as I imagine I am Superfly; my mind is
36       what I want it to be,
37the Man is tired and suddenly he looks
38old, very, very old as he turns away from me, the things he cannot dream --
39my brazen plans, my body full of love.


1] Curtis Mayfield: black soul songwriter (1942-99) who wrote ."Gypsy Woman." and other hits. Superfly: black exploitation film by Gordan Park Jr. to the music of Curtis Mayfield, about a harlem drug dealer. Back to Line
3] Eldorado: a Cadillac. Back to Line
6] dead president: US paper bill (currency). Back to Line
14] fly: nimble. Back to Line
19] loofah: skin-exfoliator, imported from the Near East. reefer: marijuana cigarette. Back to Line
23] Beretta: small Italian hand pistol. Back to Line
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
Special Copyright: 

<b>This poem cannot be published anywhere without the written consent of Lynn Crosbie or the House of Anansi permissions department.</b>