Introducing the May 2010 Readers – 1. Cheryl Follon

Cheryl Follon studied Law and then English Literature at Glasgow University. She now teaches at a college of further education in Glasgow. She has published two books: All Your Talk (2004) and very recently Dirty Looks (2010) both with Bloodaxe.

Dinner at Irene’s Bistro

As you shucked the last oysters
onto your side plate
and ordered a lemon ice

I found myself in the guise of a large beetle
down amongst the spilt salt grains
and your slim-line after-dinner cigarettes.

I was a swarm of fifty thousand bees
floating up towards the Venus de Milo
and the damp patches on the ceiling.

I propped up the cold-cuts table
with my enormous body
as a massive brown bear

setting my teeth into the table legs,
my nails almost torn out
by the shaggy carpet.

I found myself as a booming moose,
antlers snagged in the chandelier
and my eyes runny from grill-smoke.

I was a great white and black bird
wheeling around your head
then alighting on the edge

of a soup-ladle
to roll out my plumage
with my beak in a bottle of Big Sticky.

I was a large hare with my fur on end
and prodigiously louping
over orange-bombes and pink brandies,

the dreaming bread and the searing pan,
a rope of cherries and the garlic,
into your lap.

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