Between Cup & Lip
Having disentangled my limbs
from the Hermaphroditic embrace
where we were hobbled like ill-matched
in a May-day sack race,
I now have two arms, two legs
and walk at my own pace.
Mallinson clearly thinks through metaphors rather than using them as decoration. Some of the metaphors are overworked, especially the cosmological ones, and the occasional poem seems too trivial, such as the one about Canadian postal codes and another about dealing with garden slugs. Her poems on the psychology of anorexia are not trivial at all: they succeed because she rises above the usual journalistic case study and finds metaphors for feelings. She resuscitates the overworked expression “wallflower” by describing the anorexic as “espaliered” against the wall at the high school dance, her verb-form inducing the reader to look at the original metaphor, which has fossilized into triteness. mRb