by Fran Lock, with unlovable labour by Steev Burgess
hours awake, the news begins
its lisping instrumental. incidental
music for a hunger strike. the tv's
bland incitements. johnson's mouth,
a gimmicked sleeve. dandelion
and atomised, we barely breathe.
hours awake. cities: slagheaps
of a mass extinction. burning
dirty crack-rock earth. we are
ready. for the end times, for
the paranoid mental event,
renouncing our passports.
the rich are padding out
their hollow boasts with glum
extravagance. phoney and vibrating
sky. women walk circuitous
lusts through the subtle legal dusk
in heels. shard. rain. cold hard cash.
no love so deep and pure as brand
loyalty. johnson, a funerary cuckoo,
a soundbite in a fright wig. we are
ready. the bodies of the poor are
batons of pulp. are strenuous meat.
the narcotised light that flows
upward over glass. high-tension
carnivores, bearing down. hours
awake, through the crypts of this
city like pestilence, like hazard
and insomnia, the shivery
international green of money.
to want the fat clam of the dark,
the faces of the addicts, toothless
and intent as mediaeval glass
blowers. to want the water.
johnson, falling like a stone,
through our conscience
and our wallet.
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.