the poetry that matters

Patrick Williamson

Patrick Williamson is an English poet who was born in Madrid in 1960 and lives near Paris. His most recent poetry collection is Three Rivers/Trois-Rivières (Editions Harmattan, Paris, 2010). He has translated, among others, selected poems of Tunisian poet Tahar Bekri and Quebecois poet Gilles Cyr, and edited Quarante et un poètes de la Grande-Bretagne (2003). In 1995 and 2003, he was an invited poet at the Festival International de Poésie at Trois-Rivières in Québec. His bilingual anthology of poetry from French-speaking Africa and the Arab world is due out with Arc Publications in the UK.





Bacon, in the French House
with ad men and Soho types,
rushing into early hours
ushers me into a club,
gentlemen please, then fades
into the gloom, eggs and ham
and devilled kidneys
washed down with pink stuff


Triptych at the Tate:
the Papal heads had had
a heavy night, slurred,
face that mirror not
distorted, open-mouthed
room-bound, caged
a dreadful picture,
famously remarked, yet
far from nondescript
half human-grotesque
a battlefield they are,
ruddy fissures and redoubt


Heads in a Room
nightmarish, bleak
chronicler of human condition
Gilded Gutter Life
single and three-split
platonic after rough trade
Abstract Human Form
admiration and disgust
in equal measure
Seated Figure
lost entirely
biomorphic in form


Don't gab, illustrious
portray selves as outcast
yes, that view
shift often, displacement
Irish-born, of British descent
yes, that blood
Baggots, Bellinghams
all these moniker trees
I branched out different
yes, backwater Steep
take yourself in hand my man
prowl the Soho nights,
but here part company


chimpanzee in long
bird of prey landing in a field
his most unconscious
magnificent and appalling.
butcher-shop picture bound up
with three forms that went before,
suddenly line drawn
something totally different, out of this
arose this. No intention
never thought of it that way.
one continuous accident
mounting on top of another


winter gusts
the snug
the echoing tread
a look and in
hum, tinkle and out
to harsh, screech
or is that still inside
steady as she goes!
once in, scratch that
into bars on Gesso
wrenched out, look,
have a roaring time

                                                                                                                                                       Jan 28, 2011 Bookmark and Share