Saturday, April 14, 2007

Poem: She loved him with a fierce appetite from Coasting Trade by Robin McGrath

She loved him with a fierce appetite


She loved him with a fierce appetite
Patting and prodding his flesh
Like a reliable, well-trained chef
And once, while they embraced,
She pinched the tender meat behind his hip,
Said “If we were stranded on a desert island,
And I had to eat you,
This is where I would begin.”

Over the years she tasted every part of him,
Sleepily chewed the lobes of his ears
In bed in his arms on cold winter mornings,
Licked the jam from his fingers at breakfast,
Then nibbled the tips to still her hunger,
And often she told him he was so sweet
That she could eat him alive.

When he died she
Feasted for the last time,
Spit up bones and hair like an owl pellet
And slept with it under her pillow for luck.


Listen to Anita Best reading She Loved Him With a Fierce Appetite.

The above poem is from the audio collection Coasting Trade: a Performance for three voices with soundscapes, from Rattling Books.

Coasting Trade is the product of a collaboration between author Robin McGrath, radio producer Chris Brookes and actors Robert Joy, Rick Boland and Anita Best. It follows the voyage of a Yankee trading schooner, circumnavigating the island of Newfoundland sometime after 1865. As the vessel puts in at various ports, lyrical narratives weave back and forth through a century of change while the 19th century sailing notes adapted from Sailing Directions for the Island of Newfoundland by J.S. Hobbes (1865) remain timeless.