National Poetry Month Celebration
Connie A. Lopez-Hood is a poet and founding editor of Shuf Poetry (www.shufpoetry.com). She spear-headed and edited the chapbook anthology, Blankets & Other Poems: Poetry for the People of Japan, in which all proceeds were donated to Red Cross Japan Relief. Her work appeared or is forthcoming in The Newer York, Apercus, Gaga Stigmata, Our Stories, Polari Journal, Lingerpost, Tongue Magazine, and others. She is the daughter of Cuban immigrant parents and is the first person in her family to go to and graduate from college. Connie holds an MFA in Poetry and lives in the Southern California mountains where she makes jewelry for her shop at Skyward Earth (www.facebook.com/SkywardEarth ).
any number of memory
are all numbers exchanging life for death recycling social
security numbers abuela was never a citizen not of
any number of countries i know the number of wrinkles in her face memorized
any memory of number the plates on my car my driver’s license
credit score bank account hmo member i.d. she has an hmo too
but doesn’t remember those things not her telephone number
nor how many houses she’s lived in nor how many pills she takes
a day not even her age only
her dead brother’s name unpasteurized cow’s milk
a red bicycle the first time she ever
made love the World’s Fair rice pudding
how my eyes look like mom’s look like hers
mojitos and cigarillos chicks hatching in the incubator
any number of memory i write my social
on an application doesn’t ask me who i am asks me who i am________.
*This poem was featured in Apercus Quarterly (1.4). Can be re-printed with citation/referencing information.
For me, inspiration for writing comes from just about anything—nature, technology, injustice, love, grief, ANYTHING! If something strikes me (or even if it doesn’t strike me), I’ll write about it. There is great discovery in writing and I often don’t know how I truly feel about something until I write about it.
What advice do you have for someone that is threatened by poetry?
If you feel threatened by poetry, threaten it back. Tell poetry to take its elitism and go home. There are many ways to enjoy poetry (in the mind, in the body, in the spirit heart); so linger over what brings you close to it and keep an open mind about the other stuff.
What is an interesting fact about you?
I used to be so terrified of spiders as a kid, that I couldn’t even touch the page where a picture of one was printed! I’ve been able to kick that extreme fear, though now ants freak me out—they never seem to go away! A poetry-related random fact is that as a kid I used to set an egg timer and have mini writing marathons. I was surprised when during my undergrad education I read Natalie Goldberg’s “Writing Down the Bones” and learned that she recommended writing marathons to break through writer’s block!
Where are you from / Where do you live?
I live in Big Bear, a mountain community in Southern California. It’s always gorgeous, green, and crisp—the perfect recipe for creating poetry and art.
Who is your favorite poet?
I tend to read poems not poets, so I don’t have a favorite poet! (Is that just sheer craziness!?)