She Bakes

She Bakes

A poem by Rachel Carney in response to ‘Kitchen Votive’ by Karin Mear

Today I baked a dozen eyes, adding lashes
just for fun, checking them half way through
to make sure they didn’t burn.

Tomorrow I will bake some lips, smacking them
together in the bowl, letting them stew
for a while, to open up, before I add the spit.

After that, I will take the dough of my mind,
add a few drops of fear, and just a hint of
cinnamon-flavoured shame, stir it in, knead it,

let it rise in the heat, then bake it at one
hundred and eighty degrees, until it is golden
brown, ready to come out, ready to be consumed.


Reflections on the Writing Process

“I think this is the first time I’ve seen artwork created out of ordinary kitchen utensils. On first glance there is something quite shocking about the surreal, disembodied eyes, mouths and faces, but they also seem amusing and playful. I spent a long time looking at this image, and thinking about the way Karin Mear uses these artworks to say something about the role of women in the home and ongoing issues around gender inequality. I wanted to write something that matched the surreal, surprising nature of the piece, and decided to write from the perspective of a woman who expresses her creativity and her frustration in the only way she can, through baking.”

You can explore Karin Mear’s virtual exhibition here.


About the Virtual Poet in Residence

This poem is part of a series written during the Coronavirus pandemic, in response to online exhibitions, and blog post research undertaken by artists and volunteers in partnership with Cynon Valley Museum. You can read more of  Rachel Carney’s work during this residency over on the Poet in Residence page. Rachel is a poet, book blogger and PhD student, and she’s also spent several years working in museums. Her PhD research explores the benefits of using creative writing in art museums, and she’s particularly interested in examining the writing process. You can find out more about her work and PhD on her blog.

The Cynon Valley Museum Trust, like so many others during this pandemic, have suffered a loss of income. We are working hard behind the scenes to fundraise as well as provide options to explore the Cynon valley’s heritage, art, and culture, through projects such as this Residency. If you enjoyed this and would like to support us more, please consider making a donation. You can do so by following this link.

Showing 2 comments
  • Jonathan RIchards

    Thank you Rachel. Thank you Cynon Valley Museum. I have written some poems about art that I have encountered at the museum. Is there a way of sharing it please?

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