Lip by Catherine Smith – poetry review

Lip_Catherine_Smith“Lip” by Catherine Smith (Smith/Doorstop)

“Lip” explores the conflicts between morals and desires through adolescence, motherhood and as mistress as well as wife. A fastidious ex has left “Your Unsalted Butter Is Still In My Fridge”, which ends:-

“…I’ll find my next lover at an exhibition
of English landscapes in Bond Street,
I’ll get a quiet, unpretentious one and yes,
cook Sunday roast with all the trimmings
and when we’ve loved the afternoon away
I’ll lick his flushed neck, taste the honest salt.”

letting the susurrusation of “s” sounds to carry the poem and ending on that contrast between “honest salt” and suspicious “unsalted”. Sensuousness slithers through “Lip”, particularly in the “Lapse” sequence where a woman caught be a speed camera wonders:-

“…if the photograph
had captured her face,
not the back of her head,
would it have shown
she was still kissing him,
hardly driving at all?”

Only distracted briefly by the thought that her husband might see the speeding notice arrive in the post before she does and how she might explain because she can’t tell him she was returning from her lover’s. Satisfying, but not safe.


2 Responses to “Lip by Catherine Smith – poetry review”

  1. Kylie Says:

    ”…I’ll lick his flushed neck, taste the honest salt.”

    Is Catherine Smith sure that it wasn’t the Sunday roast salt she mentioned earlier in the verse?

  2. emmalee1 Says:

    Hi Kylie

    The poem’s narrator is licking his neck, which would be a strange place to find the Sunday roast salt. The phrase “honest salt” (rather than just “salt”) suggests the salty tang of a light sweat after love making.

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