Fran Lock - Four Poems

Fran Lock

Charlie Manson's REF

the book of love and eligible outputs is long
and boring. he is not the messiah. or rather,
a messiah is precisely this kind of luminous
parasite. his art is in the funnypage obedience
of an undergraduate faithful, the puppylove
look in their eyes. they would die for him,
and it may well come to that. it is no good
asking what he does all day, locked in his
office, refusing the phone. he is signing his
name with an x. he is cutting a hooked cross
into his head with the aid of a circular mirror.
it is facile, yes, but legible. if it helps, don't
call it a cult, but posit a kind of homicidal
commons, his extrovert gestalt. he talks
a good game: piggies with their wire
eyes shooting laser voodoo. a scorpion
pleaser of crowds, pressing his pale frenzy
to camera. between seminars and grilled
cheese, he'll tell you how one day soon,
he'll fireball all the cities of a bourgeois
spring, dissolve their limbs in vitriol.
he dines out on the desert, how he stood
once with the failing world before him,
peasant children gathered at his feet, and he
knew, just knew, he was special and meant.
to this date, helter-skelter is yet to materialise.
but we love that he was there. it does no good
to ask what has he given us? the froth from
his theory, a smooth blue eye with the stare
of a serpent's egg. he does the boogie,
jouissance, a certain three-ring witchiness.
what more could we want? in a hollywood dark
that's never really dark, they plied their deft
satanic toil, those brilliant girls: an elfin face
amiss, earth mother swinging dugs of bile.
saint joans of the drought, the days of blistered
non-event. charlie's angels. whose
curtains of hanging hair closed upon
theatres of blood. their very dreams were
baskets of knives. and where are they?
lost to the long and casualised summer,
slipped away, trailing bloody cuffs
and photocopied handouts. where are
they now, numb with risk and burn-
out? no one cares. could we include
his record? a book of aphorisms? this
one slim volume of paraphrased pain.

Instead of love

try rolling down the clumsy rubber of a name
like johnny. a punter's tread upon the stair. half
in jest and half in dread. all the haste and danger
of a doorway in your face. the night is a vale
of pale salutes. by three am. you're yawning to
be caught; to scrub his yearning traces from
just any place a sweating broke. oh, my very
dear. the heart is liquor siphoned from a still,
the grim illicit thrill of tainted distillate. it is
late, and sunday is its own succumbing. lead
burns red
, but methanol is blue. the tongue
tiptoes towards its poison, like sticky fingers
inching to a till. try out your venus spiel in
mirrors. that corpse's moue belongs to you.

Mary Bateman's bones

strips of my skin, tanned into leather, sold off
as charms. i did not mind. i roamed the hoaxes
into fact. an egg, acid-etched, then reinserted:
christ is coming! in neat sectarian hieroglyphs.
god's word, warm from the arse of a gimmicked
hen. i used a crewelwork needle-tip, and plain
acetic vinegar for my buddha flukem. oh, i am
a carny bitch at heart. among the sideshow's
pickled punks, those gaffed freaks mummified
in brine, i am a queen. my stilts of bone are
creamy white. the delicate paraffin bib of my
face, mounted on a steel pin. the governor
kept the tip of my tongue. it would wake him
at night with my grifter's spiel and ballyhoo.
baby boy, come to the kootch show, walk
the dimestore wunderkammers of the barely
human heart. behold the head, an opened
conch, where fear falls in and out of music.
there were two books worth of me: arcadian
and the hurt of sedition. oh, how
grievous indeed, and to see you here in
the filth of your fault, my dear. your stare
is absolute skulldug. strips of my skin to
ward off plague or poison. i was hung for
the rumour as much as the crime. i did not
mind. when i said that silly cow was
cursed, i meant it. a curse is an upright
thing in skirts. was me.


how you feel about a pink, corroded sky says a lot about you.
in the night i dream my skin like a butcher. i will go on four
legs in the morning, and four legs in the evening. at night i will
redouble myself like a spider. i'm a slut for sherbet, and nobody
can tell me any different. on being both colossal and bodiless:
seducing the shit out of you with one meticulously limpid eye
tied behind my back. how you feel about that says a lot about
you. on a scale of one to all my vanquished captaincies, how
drunk is drunk enough? my somnolent comforts, confession's
finite trash, disfigured in the video. what horror is, they have
it an abundance, on craigslist, fucking youtube. lust is a kind
of bees-wax-polish word. like marquetry and bridges, the late-
victorians were really great at it. you, not so much. me, not so
much, and now what's this? a prayerful seepage at the least
convenient moment. i do not want to cry. is it getting light?
rumoured moon, superfluous flesh. how you answer this
says a lot about you. my arms like false antenna, these pale
receivers, picking up nothing.


Copyright © Fran Lock, 2021