The Tea Girl, Johnny T

Charles Hood, Tiger Land No Horn


The Tea Girl


The tea girl knelt beneath the trees
Crawling on her hands and knees.

Picking only from the lowest branches
The leaves to make her morning fare
Onto each leaf she lays a drop of spit
Scrubs it with her broken strands of hair.

The tea girl kneels before the fire
Encircled by a ring of leaves
She pricks her finger with a needle
And baptizes each leaf in drops of red
“This will make a swimming in their head”
She laughs and sucks her finger dry.

The blood is dry and the leaves are brewed;
To the market to sell her drink.
“Sample a little see what you think”

The men line up again today
Like every day to buy her brew,
It does everything it’s promised to.

Johnny T


Review by Vyarka Kozareva

To me, the poem The Tea Girl has the potential to provoke surrealistic images because of the reference to sorcery. The narrative makes the readers feel as if they followed and spied the mysterious tea girl who, besides, remains anonymous.

Even though the author explains the purpose of her actions, the impression is about something half-expressed, half- concealed. Funny at first glance, the story is deep, multi-strata, concerning subjects as attraction and manipulation. How come people tend, allow or need to be manipulated?


Review by Massimo Fantuzzi

Alchemy and witchery at their visceral best awaken in the recesses of our imagination; the ingredients? Scraps, vulgar body fluids, knotted hair, a girl on a mission. And a promise – there’s always a promise that will attract the gullible. And a laugh – there’s always a laugh at the fools’ expense.

A ritualistic algorithm of primordial advertising is operating here: your man’s needs will all be taken care of, no tricks, she laughs, bloodthirsty.

You seem like a nice bunch, so let me tell you a secret: the girl here is not really a girl, never was.

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