Michael Pedersen’s second poetry collection, Oyster (2017), is a salty scoop of delight that slips down in one mouthful. Bite down, though: its poems are linguistically exuberant, challenging, and all subjects from love and sex to travel and Scottishness. The collection is illustrated by Scott Hutchinson, who died in 2018. Michael calls the collection ‘a muckle monument to a friendship that flew’. In anticipation of his event ‘Good Grief!’ at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, here is a short poem that captures the fine-graiingrief of losing someone
When Carla Moved Out Michael Pedersen Without you I have no butter, no shampoo, no part of me that you make happen, empty shelves, cupboards bare, a soup of snot for breakfast, a bowling ball belly. I am glad you took the silk pillowcase I bought you from John Lewis. I am sad you left flamingo slippers I ordered online – I had to chuck them out. Their feathers thinned, I grew tired of sniffing them, my feet were too bulky. When you moved out I found another corner of the room had got too big for its boots, I stopped smelling of rain and red playdough.