Roddy Williams – The Atheist Poet


Sid (2015)

I wait again
in a different hotel room.

‘Ring me when you’re on way.’
‘Definitely, Rodney, love,’ you say.

Patient minutes carve the light away
from day.
The shavings gather on the carpet
far too slowly.

After this amount of time,
mountain ranges of shining slivers,
you’d think he’d get my name right.


gps (2015)

and nowadays
our gps is tracked
like perps on cbs and csi
their clean up rate is very high

keen detectives scan the
screen to shadow my
clandestine trek
from m&s to mfi

Shepherds Bush 27/9/15

The Sunday Street Food Market
has security guards.
Large men
with large letters on their backs.

Large enough to guard paella,
keep the roti thieves at bay.

They watched me as I passed
appraised my girth
as if to measure what
amount of pleasure I would

from trying to rob
the gravy train.

March 2015

A Science Fiction date, back in the day
this was; March Twenty Fifteen. The future.
We have flying cars, telepathy and
people live on Mars. Grow very lofty.
Androids stalk the streets, rational godlings
keeping watch on crime, the world safe from harm.
Transporter beams translate us to the Moon
then soon to Jupiter and on beyond
the empty bible black between the stars,
nebulae so vast that light takes decades
to traverse these ginnels of gods long dead.
Unholy species hide in the corners.

We thought the danger would be lurking there
not in that dusty book behind Dad’s chair.

The Song (2015)

I thought I heard you singing

the voice broke the seal
of the tin tune
I’d wrapped you away in
like magazines we stash away in attics
but never mean to read

Pandora must have felt like this

I can not herd the tracks
like reminder bats
back into the dark

Pandora’d have been well pissed off
as was I
realising all was wrong
all was gone

and it wasn’t even you
singing the song

The New Commandments VIII (2015)

Thou shalt not download
illegal mp3s, neither shalt thou
pirate, nor purchase a pirate,
from a pirate
in a pirate outlet,
nor any thing that is his,
for it was not his to flog in
the first place, so saieth The Lord.

Neither shalt thou board a bus
via the exit doors
whilst thy driver looks not
toward thee,
nor take home pens and boxes
of paperclips from thy workplace.

Thou mayest take a dressing gown
from thy hotel bedroom, for The Lord
hath decreed that they
knoweth what goes on
and factor the cost into
their extortionate prices.

eggs in the morning (2015)

it is a woman’s voice
‘how do you like your eggs in the morning?’
repeats till i hit a mental snooze button
‘i like mine with a kiss’
that’s dean martin.

he talks in my head like he’s tuned in.
i can make him say other things.
this is the ad-meme’s gift.
i hear him singsay ‘great glorious bums’
or ‘fat rubberclad ducks’
it helps if there’s a tune.

when the ad comes on she sings
‘how do you like your eggs in the morning?’
search engines engage in my head
and behind my eyes dean croons
‘i shoot badgers with peas,
black or green
my aim is keen
i hit them behind the knees.’

you realise you have always
known you can do this too.

This is something I wrote when the original ad appeared on TV using the song by Dean Martin and Helen O’Connell. It became an earworm which was rejuvenated by repeats hearings of the ad, which was no doubt the advertisers’ intention. They always fail in their main objective however, as I can never recall what the ads are pushing in the first place.
What tends to happen though is that the lyrics mutate and evolve with repetition in my head as if they are existing in some word-based ecosystem, so that after a while the words may changed into something completely different.

Sonnet On The Birth of Princess Jamiroquai Maybelline Windsor (2015)

Such excitement! Turn the news on, Mother!
The Prince’s wife, the pregnant one… That’s her!
She’s in St Mary’s… No, not the madhouse,
the hospital. Going into labour.
Nick Wychell’s there outside in a long coat
‘She is getting the best possible care,’
and looks as if he really knows it’s true.
Ten minutes he was on. He’s back later.
There’s a lady from Kensington Palace…
I’ve no clue. She must work there I suppose.
She knows nothing either. I was hoping
for a birth canal cam. No joy, sadly.
Hang on! Nick Wychell’s back…  Oh! It’s a girl!

What news could be more vital than all this?

the lesbian avengers (2015)

I can’t think of anyone who would ever publish this, so I might as well put it out into the world anyway

the lesbian avengers

i like that show, ‘the lesbian avengers’
where lesbians go out and save the world.
every week a villain cowers
as their superlesbipowers
are thrown and flung and chucked and shot and hurled.

they dress in special lycra lesbicostumes.
they have masks and lesbilogos on their breasts.
they have to be disguised
in case they’re lesbirecognised
(and subject to subpoenas and arrests).

they get quite rough, you see, with certain people
(mostly men with british accents and a cat,
who are bent on domination
or the world’s obliteration)
and the police won’t let them get away with that.

they get rung up. they must have had cards printed.
and people give them lesbitasks to do,
like tracking down a killer
or a hybrid cow-gorilla
who’s escaped from some genetic secret zoo.

then at the end of every lesbiventure
the villain or gorilla gets sent down
and they hide all their disguises
and their guns of different sizes
and go back to normal life in lesbitown.