Weakness – a poem by Rupert Loydell



Viv Albertine suggests, in retrospect,

that ‘it’s a weakness to want to be adored’,

and she’s probably right, but I’m trying

to square it with Jean Vanier’s short piece

about ‘how to lose power’. Immersing

himself in the daily life of the disadvantaged

and disabled, he no longer has to pretend

that he’s better than others. I wonder

if wanting to be loved or adored isn’t

natural, but maybe by not worrying about it

and simply loving others – in practice, not

as an emotional or theological idea –

we end up being loved ourselves. Perhaps

not by those we desire or lust or admire,

but by other human beings who suffer

the same pains and heartaches and worry

as we do, only worse. This all looks pious

set down here, it is perhaps pretentious

to quote post-punk queen and preacher

side-by-side, but it seems applicable

to my world. It might mean neighbours

and students, the elderly of the village

and friends of friends I don’t like,

but that’s the point. I don’t want

to be a saint or famous poet anyway.

© Rupert M Loydell


Rupert Loydell is a writer, editor and abstract artist. His many books of poetry include Dear Mary (Shearsman, 2017) and The Return of the Man Who Has Everything (Shearsman 2015); and he has edited anthologies such as Yesterday’s Music Today (co-edited with Mike Ferguson, Knives Forks and Spoons Press 2014), and Troubles Swapped for Something Fresh: manifestos and unmanifestos (Salt, 2010).

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