9 Days Remaining
Fran Lock

Monday 9th
posted by Jody Porter in Arts

Well Versed is edited by Jody Porter

cop car, burning
Fran Lock

it’s always there. a knife entices a tear
in the skin. it rains. on rainy days we run
for the underground. girl with a forklift
face sells roses – gaunt commuters,
handled with gloves. a brisk fatigue
she cuts her thumb on. radio. youth.
the wheedling dread of anthem. music
to watch the world burn by. and i
predict the pilly fear we’ll wake to,
parched. roses. smell of roses. dirty
things, and scuffed – the ripped
insoles of ballet pumps. and impulse
perfume. girlhood, cheap and brief.
i shut my eyes. the staircase carries
me downward. platform, the nodding
effort of heads. concrete pressing my
petering thought. and men who hold
their phones like stethoscopes, close
to the chest. a free sheet heckles
the deficit. breath on my neck,
and the pain we carry is childishly
incurable, knowing we are neither
private nor free. it rains. and when
it rains we run for the overground,
chemical headlong of evenings,
a processed light that hangs around
and clings to clothes. there is
television, gym, television, binge,
and everything else is made
from obliteration and affront.
it’s always there. train window
flinging its fields at me, and i
am filled with sad directionless
tenderness. and i am filled by a drab
grace that clutches straws and i
have had it up to my ears
with the scream that we suffer
like a stone in the mouth. your
filth, your fear, your blame.
your shields and your needles,
your hammers and spades.
fuck it, the galloping
wretchedness of age. failure,
the idea of failure. our default
crawl between life’s cracks.
raincoat faces spit
on the flammable penchant
of minors, horsey beards,
the spasmodic unwashed.
but i shall fear no evil. it is
their world. sky is working
fire, a season’s goading
sorceries. you know, they will
not save us, right? and i am
glad, and all is well.



Fran Lock is a dog whisperer and author of two poetry collections, Flatrock (Little Episodes, 2011), and The Mystic and the Pig Thief (Salt, 2014). She is the winner of the Ambit Poetry Competition 2014, and her poem Last Exit to Luton came third in the 2014 National Poetry Competition.

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