Roddy Williams – The Atheist Poet


Where do we keep the faces? (2005)

Where do we keep the faces that we know?
There surely can’t be room
just in our brains
for all those eyes and ears
and teeth; my friends at work,
my cousin Keith and Michael Buerk,
the cast of ‘Friends’,
my Uncle Jack and Cilla Black.

And then i think;
how many brains have got my face
shut up in some
dull dark medulla
place with other
eyes and ears and
teeth, quite apart from
cousin Keith and friends from work
and Uncle Jack? I’m
locked into ten thousand heads
with Michael Buerk and Cilla Black.

Becoming a poet

Yes. This is all horribly familiar. Excellent observations here

Some of the time you feel that your obvious talent is being ignored. Your ego pounds the table and shouts ‘not fair’ as you watch other (obviously less talented people) parading their successes. But your monstrous ego won’t always win out. You will feel genuinely pleased for other people too. The poet you met at a reading and had a good chat with, the poet who you went on a course with, the poet whose work you love, whose kindness and humility you remember. You will seek feedback.
'And do we want to know why a haiku is like a thong?'

Some of the feedback will annoy or upset you. The poem will be fatally wounded. You will abandon it. You will seek more feedback. You will ignore it. You will learn to listen. The poem full of holes is patched up. It floats. It is magical. You float in it. You begin to recognise and accept good advice. You know what to reject and…

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I’m hoping to use this blog as a kind of notebook for ideas and suggestions as well as a platform for discussion on topics of interest. We’ll see how that goes.

No doubt there’s an awful lot more that I can do here than I appreciate at present, so please bear with me if this first post is a trifle brief. Believe me, I can whinge at length, if only to myself.