Estate pubs running Psychic Nights; our laddered tights and peevish metaphysics. We breathe an easy hopelessness, girls in heels and hardboiled griefs, an artifice of fingernails. Our minds on silent vibrate, we drink to what it is ghosts know: atomic weight of tenderness, and how to stand the working week, its insults to the soul. A muted light, I dare not speak. I try, I taste the salted earth we eat but cannot turn. And so we’ll wait, I’ll wait, I push my empty glass – planchette – across the bar. We wait, but they won’t come. Our ghosts are young and strong, they do not know defeat, all tardy heat and credit debt and opioid monotony. We wait, they will not come, and we’ll go home to pockets, plundered for fingers; the burnt toast taste of the fists in our mouths, closed hands we tried to ripen, like snails, in alcohol. Home to faded photographs, the faces white and smooth as blisters now. Home to neck the dark and hungry hour when panic comes alone. Estate pubs running Psychic Nights, and it is getting worse, as London makes a bouquet of its poverties; erects a metal bridge between two voids in space. Our ghosts are young, and gone, and lost in intravenous dreaming; we have neither fight nor blame, only a pain that’s too precise for violence; only the city, awkwardly psyched. We are left behind and we could scream, the mouth opened out at its corners like a carton of milk. London rubs her hemispheres together, fly on the wall. Mind the gap is the oldest joke in the world, and the worst.
Fran Lock is a sometime itinerant dog whisperer and author of two poetry collections, Flatrock (Little Episodes, 2012) and The Mystic and the Pig Thief (Salt, 2014). Her third collection, Dogtooth, will be published by Out-Spoken Press next year.