the telepath practises shorthand
it’s hard to choose a name for the baby,
because you never know how it will sound in ten or twenty years time.
both of us might be deaf by then from ipods,
so i need something distinctive
like ikea or taffeta;
something i can shout.
there were side effects
it said can cause nausea,
if i eat in front of the telly.
so i don’t eat no more.
then i got the proper affected sides.
on the box it said do bees,
death and loose sides.
me nerves are ok. i have flu.
at first she gave me this pack of chewy kid’s drugs
but me sides are loose
like carrier-bags of biliousness.
diarrhoea. mild melancholy.
i told the social i’m on tablets for me nerves now
because of bird vitamins
and i don’t know any chewy kids.
it said do not
operate heavy machinery
so i had wet dreams with the telly off.
they say there’s a tablet to sort that inadequacy,
but i don’t have them. i don’t have them
andrea leaves little balls of tin foil wherever she goes,
like robot droppings or offerings to some higher mechanism.
you can stalk her by the gleaming
snail’s leavings through the shaded streets.
i’ve been following, with a small net,
gathering her jewels.
she went to all the trouble of
assembling these spheres only to discard them
as if it is the process which drives her
on her von neumann bearings.
she could be marking her territory like cats do.
i have squirreled them into a set of cabinets
the sort some people keep ornamental thimbles in
so that if she ever comes round
she will feel at home
We’ve been giving this some thought
if it’s a boy, Asphalt
if it’s a girl, Raffia
if it’s a boy, Meccano
if it’s a girl, Formica
if it’s a boy, Dexian
if it’s a girl, Coriander
if it’s a boy, Shiraz
if it’s a girl, Macadamia
if it’s a boy, Mace
if it’s a girl, Taffeta
if it’s a boy, Epping
if it’s a girl, Ikea
if it’s a boy, Brogue
if it’s a girl, Bitumen
if it’s a boy, Millet
if it’s a girl, Cabernet
if it’s a boy, Pistachio
if it’s a girl, Draylon
if it’s a boy, Shovel
if it’s a girl, Strepsil
if it’s a boy, Bolt
if it’s a girl, Flake
if it’s a boy, Walkman
if it’s a girl, Magma
if it’s a boy, Chicane
if it’s a girl, Pepsi
Originally from North Wales, Roddy Williams lives and works in London. His poetry has appeared in ‘Magma’, ‘The North’, ‘The Frogmore Papers’, ‘The Rialto’, ‘Envoi’ and other magazines. He has had two of his plays performed onstage in London and is a keen surrealist photographer, printmaker and painter.