Joe Willis: I Want a Word With My Sculptor

Joe’s written a poem that can speak to us all. It's about body image – his thoughts/frustrations on his own and how he’s trying to feel at ease with himself.

Picture of sculpture

I Want a Word with my Sculptor

…I want a word with my sculptor.
Not for long. Just a quick discussion like
to get…why, why I feel half-formed?
Like they gave up midway through-
leaving lumps, no structure.

…I want a word with my sculptor.
Just to know, you know, to talk, to find out, what was the thinking behind
my stumpy legs
my wide hips,
and my beady eyes. My beady eyes. My beady eyes.

…I want a word with my sculptor
for an opinion, a line in the sand, a statement on
the fact that no matter how much I run,
my clothes never seem to hang right
and that it’s 30 degrees outside but I can’t seem to take this jumper off.

And I want a word with my sculptor
to discover, get some insight, a bit of understanding
on why they won’t speak to others. Not answer their calls.
Friends shot down with an indifferent answering machine,
from an indifferent creator.

And I want a word with my sculptor
to ask about the science, the biological fact of
my abs being so absent,
that it not only leaves me with the dad jokes
but also the dad bod too…

And I want a word with my sculptor
to have a fight, to have a battle
about it not being about the grass is always greener
but just that it would be great to have less of on my back
and more of it on my head.

And I want a word with my sculptor!
To see if they know why, what could possibly be up with,
having a crush on Ed Sheeran.
right up until the point he released Shape of You.
and realising like damn, well he obviously won’t want a pear, will he?

(I know that’s the least of my problems)

And I want, I WANT, a word with my sculptor
to not…to not think!
About all this!
Watching everything I wear and cook
whilst reading what to wear and what to cook.

But I know I can’t have a word with my sculptor.
It’s just me.
My perceptions.
My hatred.
My disgust.

So I’ve started leaving post-it notes around my flat.
Giving me the word with a sculptor.
Starting a conversation that’s only just begun:
They say “Let’s work on this clay.”
And I say ‘Let’s be okay, finally…hopefully, alright with this one.”

By Joe Willis

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