Roddy Williams – The Atheist Poet

Posts tagged “love

The Love Repository (2010)

Everyone waiting here was once in love
They’ve been through this experience, survived,
and all have come to have the time preserved
like rich binary jam in this, the love machine.

It will rip their love to digital bits
then convert it to a small dot love file.
Users can log in to experience
the passion and the pain, the sublime bliss,

the agony of loss, red betrayal
staining the curtains, the rapture of sex
and the ubiquitous raging madness.
All can be rescued for posterity.

The queue is long, but they wait patiently.
Their love will now be truly eternal.


Barberstalking (2007)

He told me he’s stalking a barber today.
He hangs round outside when the boss is away,
round about closing time
hoping he’ll speak to him,
spark up some chat about clippers or foam.
Then he’ll invent an excuse and go home.

He’s the girl in that song, what’s her name? Delta Dawn.
‘Prettiest woman you’ve ever laid eyes on’
It’s all in his head.
He’s the Lady in Red
and Chris de Burgh’s in there, doing a trim,
maybe singing a song, but it’s not about him.


Bat Out Of Hell (2010)

Whispering Bob Harris is still around,
still whispering, but in a good way.
He had Meat Loaf on live in Nineteen Seventy-Eight
doing ‘Bat Out of Hell’
which they showed on tv tonight
and it drove me back on a harley to that time
I broke up with a man called Aiden
who cried out loud
so I got very drunk at home
put the album on full blast

sang along, then cried myself.

Mr Patel, who ran the newsagent next door
quizzed me diplomatically when I went in
for milk and cigarettes next morning.
‘There was a lot of terrible noise,’ he said.
‘Last night. Much terrible noise.’
‘I’m so sorry,’ I whispered, bob hoarse. ‘I know.
It’s the man upstairs. He drinks.
It’s such a shame.’


my love in negative space (2007)

light comes in through my eyes
and works my thoughts;
data entry from the skies
goes down my arm
to give you this,
my love in negative space.

you see the white around the words.
letters are small black holes;
suck in the light
give nothing back
but this,
my love in negative space.

these words are an absence of light
and can only be seen
and understood
in contrast with the
solar brilliance of the page,
the power of it,
transmitting this now,
my love in negative space.


Rising Fog (2014)

Must go in, the fog is rising.
Things are becoming indistinct
blending into each other

like love and indifference.


sorry (2007)

‘sorry,’ you said, ‘for not ringing you back,
not letting you know i wouldn’t be there.
it was family.’ it was the same track

repeated, record scratched beyond repair
skipping back to the same point in my life
when your accent first cracked my jaded air

to let the warm in like a cosy knife.
you told me of your world, strange northern ways,
your children, other lover and your wife.

there have been other visits, other days.
they come like music, bloom and fade to black.
i press ‘repeat’ again, and voicemail plays

your dated, short and disappointing track.
‘sorry,’ you said, ‘for not ringing you back.’


Angel (2011)

My angel came to me again last week
just at the moment that I needed him.
A voice, that’s all, a voice from out of time,
a voice that poured love into me until
I creaked and shone like a greedy balloon.

I’m beginning to think I imagine him,
as he speaks, but never appears
and always at a time of crisis.
Even Aslan shows his face
now and then. It’s very odd.

I’ve texted him since
but got no answer.
Not Aslan obviously.

I don’t have a number for him.


the point (2008)

it got to the point
where the day’s credits rolled up.
i closed my book
put the pen to bed for the night,
switched off the light.

it is never entirely dark in the city.
the new office block bled in
radiance like qvc moonlight
while a precis of last night’s dream
washed over the pillow in that
‘last time.. on—‘ sort of way.
you rolled over, held me
and i had my lines cued up ready to be
shaped and delivered…
and then you flatulated.

‘i was about to ask,’ i said,
‘whether i’ve told you i love you lately.’
‘no, you haven’t,’ you said.
‘well, i’m not going to now
because you’ve farted the love away.’
and then we laughed
in the light of the false moon
because they were only lines and noises off
and we’ve got to the point
where we know
that love and farting
are all part of the
big picture.


portrait (2008)

it looks like you,
this thing i made from shop-bought tubes
and love.

painting is a battle
between me and the canvas.
madder is always spilled.

it has one of those mona lisa mouths
where you could be smiling
or just desperate for the toilet and
its eyes follow me round the room,
so perhaps it’s not you after all.

i should have got the tv to paint you.


People Who Look Like You (2016)

One on the Piccadilly line
stroking his i-phone like a pet.
Cool on speed dial.

One outside the San Marino
too tight pants
shoes with dagger toes
(yeah, that’s what I thought)
arguing in Italian
above the coffee’s rage of froth.

Meanwhile
there’s the one in Waitrose
who smiled at me
while sorting olives.

I smiled back.

He went away to stack
some crayfish tails
in tidy piles
with rhythmic calm.

I was left
with thoughts of you
the real one.
They are good thoughts
to be left with
in a Waitrose aisle

looking vacant
holding brittle hopecakes
generously beaming out
an international smile.