In the final instalment of her time as Wales Arts Review‘s Artist in Residence for October, clare e. potter brings together text and audio to present two new poems centred around her river journeys in her pieces Ceg: Cegin; Mouth: Kitchen and Thoughts Stirred up at the Side of the Taff, After Rain. Throughout 2017 these artists, including clare e. potter will take a leading creative role in what Wales Arts Review publishes, centring their skills on a challenging project over the course of a month. We were inundated with applications, receiving hundreds of emails about the positions, and it was no easy task whittling down all that talent to this final eleven. Our team of six editors debated long into the night, and in the end, we decided on a collection of people who we most want to work with, and whose work excites us. We think you will be excited by them too.
Ceg: Cegin; Mouth: Kitchen
by clare e. potter
Eisteddfod art—the dialect of her walls.
At the room’s heart, a tale on the table:
hill wind smell from cloth, bullion of butter
gleaming on an heirloom dish, ripe fruit and
hothouse tomatoes in a wide-lipped vessel.
She’s spaced each offering, arranged plates
to guide our conversation, and given
our talk of rivers and language flowing,
the slab of cold salmon keeps us anchored.
No time for pleasantries; this is urgent.
We pass our words, the bread, the bread-knife;
she teaches me to season slick and slack
parts of my not quite fluent Welsh. I stumble.
It’s there on the worktop, the unwrapped gift;
she serves up this delicacy. Tongue –
a meat I’ve never eaten, its texture
foreign on my own tongue; mild melting fat
hard to swallow. An inherited heaving
works to halt these muscles seeking union.
Nothing is unspoken between us now;
a rush of hunger. Each word shudders on my fork.
©clare e. potter