Annie Reiner is a Los Angeles poet, playwright, painter and psychoanalyst whose poems have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies. Her most recent book of poems, Presents of Mind, was published by Red Dancefloor Press in 2008. Reiner has been writing for over 25 years and has won awards for her poetry, short stories and children’s stories. In addition to having had two plays produced, she has written and illustrated four children’s books, and an audio recording of her children’s story, “Dancing In The Park” (Dove Audio, narrated by Sharon Stone), won the Parent’s Choice Golden Award for Best Children’s Audio of 1996. As a painter Reiner had four one-woman shows of her work in Los Angeles galleries. Reiner maintains a psychoanalytic private practice. Her psychoanalytic book, The Quest for Conscience and the Birth of the Mind, will be published in 2009.

Shadow

I step off the curb to cross the street,
Satan takes my hand and leads me
directly into oncoming traffic.
I smile
and shepherd him safely
to the other side.

I sit down at my computer to write
but my thoughts wander
as he whispers in my ear.
I ask him please to speak up
so I can ignore him
more clearly.

from Presents of Mind (2008)

Recipe for Life

There is no revenge against parents.
Try as you might, to get back at them
for their well-intentioned mistakes
is to get back at yourself.
You are they
and they are always you,
you are the soup
into which they threw
the onions of their tears,
the noodles of the parents
and the chicken of their fears.
It’s a diet you never could quite
understand,
a thick soup,
full of fat
but somehow delicious.
For in the steam that rises and dissipates in thin air
is love,
in the steam, ethereal,
invisible heat
is love.
Breathe this.
Leave the rest behind
and you will carry them weightless in your mind.
The body they gave you
you cannot give back –
even God doesn’t want it when you’re done.
The body is the potatoes, the carrots,
the chariot of your dreams,
but the dreams themselves are in the steam
in the heat, in the love
which no one sees you eat,
and this you can give back.

from Mind Your Head (1994)

The Soul

It’s a huge party
where the music plays silently.
Everybody wears a hat.
Everybody’s hats have feathers.
Everybody exchanges feathers
and dreams pass back and forth.
Thoughts ripple
in an ocean of wine
where mind is the absence of mind.
The living and the dead mingle
as equals.
Those who are absent are loved,
making them
present.
When the dance begins
a storm of plumes
blows around the room.
Everybody is blind.
Everybody suddenly smiles
as each feather settles back
in its original hat.

from Mind Your Head

Annie Reiner Moonday poetry reading

Annie Reiner is a poet, and a fine poet at that.
--Maya Angelou

Reiner has a richly comic imagination and brings a refreshingly
light touch to matters of metaphysical and emotional confusion.

--Publisher's Weekly

If Freud, Pirandello and Groucho Marx sat down
to write a play together, this would be it.

--Mel Brooks

© 2008 Annie Reiner


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