And it’s not just forks. Prize-winning poet Hilary Menos calls in whole canteens of cutlery. That includes asparagus tongs, teaspoons with wrythen knops, a caviar shovel and a set of butter knives. Not to mention zombies, an oyster shucker, a burr grinder, a salt sabre and a brass pendulum.
But (like all poetry) Fear of Forks is really about many other things. And if the underlying threat is death in all its forms, then the antidote—proved upon the pulse of these precise and tender poems—is love.
Here I am, again, in these auction rooms
browsing the silverware section for old spoons.
Jam spoons, salt spoons, teaspoons with wrythen knops
(a mint boxed set complete with sugar nips),
a George III, shell-bowled sauce ladle,
a silver christening spoon with nail-head finial,
a dozen apostle spoons, each saint with his emblem
finely wrought at the tip of a grooved stem,
even repoussé berry spoons—Victorian bling—
each one a perfect treasure. All these darlings
laid out like pale corpses on velvet or silk
or rubber-banded tightly, shank to shank,
begging me to buy them, no matter how dear,
and tuck them up at home in my cutlery drawer.