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Feb 01

Dance with me, rich boy

Resourceful and unlovely,
I learnt to scheme like a sham-
marriage, like a man; like Christ
and other corporate entities.
Without patron saint or pay master
I stab in the dark and stop the clocks.
You know me by my vows of silence
and my chemical consent. Crack me
to my canned laughter; to my psycho-
babbling centre why don’t you?

England, you’re a monster.
Some man in magicians’ gloves
has grabbed me by my silver-
lining, turned me inside-out.

Mother Courage is packing up
her domestic violence. She bawls
on street-corners like a black marketeer.
You’ll get a thick ear if you cross her.
My home town breeds Big Women,
lambing the local girls. Black bags
and barrack-limbs. Filthy-feudal forearms
swing like cattle-axes. She drags
a comb through her rats’ tails; counts
the fragile plectrums of baby teeth. Dry
as a dredged lake
, she says. Drained
to the dregs. You could read her for tea-leaves.

Don’t fuck with me.
I’m Lovecraft and Lizzy Borden.
I’m a deep thing from the dead-
weight of the sea. A berserk wound
envisioned by a hatchet. I will not
sit pretty for you. I got scum
round my rim like a bathroom tap.

I’m an attention-seeking missile;
a bratty baby-sister. A bogus
Shirley Temple: ballast of red-
blonde bindweed curls and no
social conscience. I concoct
Baby Jane deaths for myself
by moonlight. I’m dangerous.
A fly trap: Feed me,
Seymour!
Open me out
like a paper fortune-teller.
Orchidaceous bitch. I’m ripe
as road-kill in a heat-wave.

Mother Courage is playing Lady Macbeth.
Strutting like a Hollywood wife she waxes
lyrical in kitchens. Her received wisdom
tattles in Cold-War whispers.
Bunny Boiler. Tall hot blonde

–Fran Lock

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