A Selection of Poems from 

 lemon, egg, bread

 Laura Elliott

When you had started painting class
you had to do a lemon still life and
you graduated to a lemon and bread
still life and you graduated to a
lemon, egg, bread still life and this
was not my idea of painting. 
        Eva Hesse

You loved the surreal
the song
the edible
and, above all,
        Maggie O’Sullivan, Elegy

dross segmented
artichoke hearts
itchy anus and
horror at
the concept
of stones put
inside girls by
men who went
to prison or
of speaking to
your father inside
the clock tower
about robert
and I do not
mean his pistils


everybody's washing-up
pile is sculptural everyone's
abandoned dining table 
glued together is an event
like the hollow grey egg
of an 83rd birthday


but old men
eating alone
make me sad
as a wedge


less interested in
my interests more
interested in making
lists and watching
the solar-powered
crystal lotus in
the window of the
furniture shop
rotate white
hot inedible


but to fill in the gaps
my god
who has the time
let the land snails
kern all over


or no


connotations of
purple may include
women's hair
moist muffin
shiny sharkskin
suits blood
look at this finger
I scratched
bleach into it

Laura Elliott is a poet and library worker in London. Her work has been published in a number of magazines and anthologies, including The White Review,Poetry London, Blackbox Manifold, & Clinic IV. She co-edits the poetry publishing experiment para·text with Angus Sinclair (@paratextual -

lemon, egg, bread, Elliott’s long awaited debut, was published in November 2017 by Test Centre. A striking first collection, the book is a series of poems which read as an attempt to speed-write the still-life image. Drawn out of a process of meditation on and intervention within various still-life compositions, including works by Laura Letinsky, the poems explore practices of re-articulation by way of the feminist gaze and the gut.

Laura Letinsky has said of the collection: “Elliott’s beautiful and delicate words swerve amidst and between the complications and joys of the domestic. I was struck and amazed by how these poems led me into, around, and through the nuances of the everyday in all their sensorial and emotional glory, along with its opposite. This is important work.” The book’s design, by Traven T. Croves, foregrounds its materiality and tactility, with an exposed sewn spine and yellow-stained edges. The cover artwork by Florence Shaw (as featured above) was specially commissioned for this book.

lemon, egg, bread is the second publication in Test Centre's Arts Council-funded project exploring the interaction of poetry and visual art, following Rachael Allen and Marie Jacotey’s Nights of Poor Sleep.


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Hotel is a magazine for new approaches to fiction, non fiction & poetry & features work from established & emerging talent. Hotel provides the space for experimental reflection on literature’s status as art & cultural mediator. The magazine is bi-annual, the online archive is updated periodically.

The paper Hotel is designed & typeset by Niall Reynolds
is edited by Jon Auman, Thomas Chadwick & Dominic Jaeckle

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