I don't know what William saw in us.
It's true, he used to undress us with his eyes
but they were so gentle
you couldn't be angry with him.
He had his name for all the girls.
He used to call me Looker –
because I looked back, he said.
No one's ever seen me naked
the way he saw me clothed.
Not even in a mirror.
29 June 1988
It’s been six months since my last poem. Funny, if you’d asked me about the past I’d’ve sworn I was writing poems constantly, well, one a month anyway and maybe it averages out to that but clearly I wasn’t in any rush to get my ideas finalised. On Boxing Day the Drowning Man returned. Now it’s Sweet William’s turn. This is his second. appearance The first was in 1981, ‘Common Denominator’ (#534). A long break. And then this, ostensibly out of the blue.
Looker is a prostitute as was Stiletto in ‘Common Denominator’ and Hot Stuff in the next poem in the sequence. What exactly his relationship is I never found words for. He is drawn to them. He sits on his wall and watches them but he’s different to the men who pay them, there’s an innocence to him.