We have too many eggs in the fridge
Well, buy a hen and give her a nest,Then we”ll have some chickens
But they won’t fit in the fridge either!
Why do we eat eggs every day?
What else could we do with them?
Is it legal to throw eggs over the wall?
Not the iron wall
Some people believe they are good for our hair
Like hairdressers, you mean?
Just think.We can’t get our hair cut
Well, we can’t get our toe nails cut either
A bit dangerous in bed, then
Hair never harms anyone
If it were long it could strangle your lover
A nice way to die
I curry eggs, I stuff them, I cover them in sauce
What’s wrong with that?
I am bored of them
No, they are not bored.
I am bored of you
What has reason got to do with it?
Well the Greeks liked it
But did the Hebrews?
I am sorry, they never said
What did you want them to write? Is the Bible not enough
Showing off now that you knew Boris at Oxford.
Not biblically, thank the Lord
Do you like souffles?
Well it would be hard to make one without
Alright then.A lemon souffle
I have no lemons
We’ll just have to pretend
Another of Mike Flemming’s beautiful photographs 2020
This may appear paradoxical, considering the poet is necessarily ‘speaking’ [writing], however, even if the locus of the subject is ineffable, there remains space around it to speak towards the issue, even if this speech switches between negative and positive polarities. The compounding of the phrase ‘almost-no-longer’ illustrates how the poet is caught in an in-between state: neither truly married nor yet divorced, Olds is caught within a hyphenated world within which she still has desires, and yet is unable to act upon them. Furthermore, the use of this elongated phrase shows a reluctance to truncate their relationship into the simpler realm of ‘ex-‘: the phrase is not yoked to the noun ‘husband’, but stands distinct from it, demonstrating how the husband/wife roles are compromised.
However, despite the poem chronicling the loss of love, there is a profound tenderness in its images. Once again brought back to the experience of emotions in the moment, through the reference to ‘the alarm’(ll. 14) Olds writes that, ‘my hand feels like a singer | who sings along him’(ll. 15-16), bringing the attention to both the temporal and the physical. The verb ‘sing’ is articulated in three different conjugations across three lines, both as noun and verb. While it is her hand that is described as a ‘singer’, it is ‘his flesh that’s singing’, suggesting a transference of agency – she initiates the action, the noun is used to describe her body part: her identity is associated with singing, and yet it is his body that is ‘singing’. This association of female identity with the action of the male body gestures towards what might be at stake should ‘his flesh’ stop ‘singing’, and therefore leave the singer to sing alone. The extension of the metaphor into his spine – ‘tenor of the higher vertebrae, | baritone, bass, contrabass’(ll.18-19) – uses musical terminology to trace the path of her hand down his back, her hand going lower in accordance with the descending vocal ranges.
I confess to doing this funny little drawing ,Katherine
We loved each other lately life was sweet
Till lockdown ,isolation , iron walls
So we’ll have to speak .oh we’ll have to speak
From the opposite side of the street
We hoped we’d live a while before the grief
As we said on our long video calls
We loved each other, we loved to love each other
So our lives were bitterly sweet
We longed to touch, to hug , to kiss at least
But unlike cats we would not caterwaul
Now we’ll have to feel , oh, we’ll have to kneel
On the opposite side of the street
We may be wrinkled with bright yellow teeth
It has been known for both of us to fall
We love each other, yeah we love each other
For old age is not a defeat
We loved our neighbours, even those deceased
We’ve had hard times but none that bit so deep
How can we feel ,oha how can we feel
On the opposite side of the street?
I wanted you beside me when we sleep
I’ve even bought us fifty five new sheets
We love each other, yes, we love each other
So our life is succulent, sweet
But how can we touch, how can we keep in touch
From the opposite side of the street?