Monday, 01 April 2024 13:47


Written by
in Poetry


by Fran Lock

“having gotten in, it's coming out one of two ways: walking or writing.”

/ we want axioms, maximum sky. not you.
/ an immobile romantic, a sea of romantic immobiles.
/ that detestable animal, the lyric i.
/ politely standardised. sentimental suck-ups.
/ their weak verbotens over everything. now we identify as knives.
/ and why not?
/ tell me again. it's a basement phrase. it's a rip-off song off-key.
/ yeah, you wish your girlfriend was a freak like me.
/ yeah, you wish you were me, you cursory radical.
/ you bystander, you passerby. you citizen.
/ you spoke and you spoke and every syllable was safety.
/ you, and your fiction of smiths. your smith committee.
/ the followers who have replaced your friends.
/ yeah, you wish. and the folk-art fracas of my – of my – of my –
/ multiple choice collapse. blacklist in block capitals.
/ reputational risk? you dullard, you sullied little hedonist.
/ you verse-chorus cheat of absolute boredom.
/ all the whiteship boozecruise banter of you.
/ you branch secretary. you polytendrilled parody. you vampire squid of organised whoopee.
/ you chairman of traditions. you slowburn salute. you canned nazi.
/ you novelist.
/ we were into rudiments, discords. not you, spectre of consensus.
/ spectator. exhorter. the extorted sex of you.
/ we were coming apart like cedar on a sawmill.
/ syllabus of strawmen. scarecrow mock. scarecrow shuffle.
/ modernists.
/ those self-styled self-destroyers. neither adapt nor resist.
/ have distilled shitcreek into shtick. for a fee.
/ we were into rudiments, discord. not this.
/ a drudge jerusalem. for cackling aspirants.
/ not you. generational renegade. vacated and sane.
/ catchphrase franchise. melodic indie vibes, you –
/ cog in your lopsided uniform. the uniform aubade of middle-age.
/ all in all a brick in the blockhead parade.
/ we are here with the orach, charlock, couch-grass, stitchwort. collateral jacket of weeds.
/ outcast sloucher's slang, we've got.
/ and my – and my – and my –
/ impure probation of thoughts. and you wish.
/ for these nonstop hands, for a shapeless psychosis knocked into song.
/ the grit in a sensitive instrument. refined and transfigured.
/ mania, without centre or margins. you wish.
/ whose sneer is a needle. you wish.
/ confirmed grace, shrewdly cruising.
/ crudely shining, zippered and cinched into cliché.
/ the wheedling blag of your –
/ affirmations. fake northern slang-evangelist.
/ knocked into appropriate phobias. knocked into –
/ queasy teeth. grit in the gut.
/ crackpot pariah. crackrock-rapt. definace, over the headland.
/ they will remember you, hallmark minions, appropriate adults.
/ in chin-stroke symposiums. these agit-avant-agent-
/ ethereal deliriums. dead interjectionists. castrated scallywags. syntax-saints.
/ we want a militant rictus. words. nailed into utopia. wipe off the wax of you.
/ want screaming. not this.
/ designer wounding. redesigned wounds.
/ fakes of dysfunction. their period screech. their period petulance.
/ so. rattle your referents. and my – and my – and my –
/ this poem built from the abusive repetitions of labour.
/ the obscene rhythms of work. work. work. the pungent industrial all dissolving.
/ you snot-nosed insurrectionist. picking the scab of capital.
/ your scandalised irie. the sprung punk of peevish refrain.
/ hoary englander.
/ the asphyxiating chill. gag-enthusiast.
/ nerd in an era of intercepts. incel slur for –
/ my – my – my –
/ you doomed alecks of envoy.
/ my – my – my –
/ gaslit futility.
/ we want. scrambled, entropic, a pain like speed in a stomach ulcer.
/ we want. in the grip of thin, fading menace. this britain-thing.
/ disgorges its post-war into our face.
/ we want. critics, bootlegging a eulogy.
/ we want. louts of postmortem. covert pastoral, loadedly rhapsodized.
/ you wish. foaming on forums, shouting down the day.
/ we want a haute animus. face like a punctured lung.
/ the canonically joyless suburbs. the stink of scripture, the scrim of toil.
/ fomented and fouled. in webs of glory.
/ the mind, broken, strenuously gentrified.
/ into baroque disclosures. into tracts. paperbacks.
/ into you, three-sentence meatsuits. you, you charming harbingers.
/ you harbingers of charm.
/ you frontmen, you posterboys, you prevailing parliament of –
/ we want. wrought in the riot. looped, eloping.
/ the sickness of intercourse. something is moving. out there in the grey-blue-grey.
/ with sinuous tyranny. something.
/ like a foregone boyfriend, hanged already. something.
/ stupendous malevolence. malevolently stupid.
/ and you wish.
/ you could see all this. tirades, butterflied and speared by –
/ vernacular angst. check. sordid distortions. to live this. to live in this.
/ who are you kidding?

Read 248 times Last modified on Monday, 01 April 2024 13:54
Fran Lock

Fran Lock Ph.D. is a writer, activist, and the author of seven poetry collections and numerous chapbooks. She is an Associate Editor of Culture Matters.