Fran Lock: a poem



nine ladies dancing


without music. without shoes. hungry

as sharpened wolves. their love a porous

wealth, it flows through the skin in

drunken waves. their mouths are careful

stains this night, apt to taste of every

brazen trend: the lemon and the lime,

whispers, twists, and hints. nine ladies

dancing. in laddered tights. in concave

fortunes, perfume-counter pockets

turned. by the light, by the light

of their silvery screens, to the gliding,

wilful melodies of text alerts

and ringtone minuets. women

flaking goldleaf like cathedral

ceilings. their steps explode in

wayward sweet fleurets, spinning.

nine ladies dancing, who dream in bitter

symmetries, bodies bought to tender

ruin, over again, and then –

nine ladies stirred. some misty rhythm,

a pulse the wrist could not contain. nor

the night. nor the inner myrrh

of drudgery. nine ladies dancing round

and round. days they spend, shattered

and assailed, but by a sudden quirk

of drink become this marvellous spilling

once. nine ladies dancing. not for you.

on the head of a pin. beneath last year's lights.



Dr Fran Lock is a some-time itinerant dog whisperer, the author of seven poetry collections and of numerous chapbooks, most recently Contains Mild Peril (Out-Spoken Press, 2019). Fran has recently completed her Ph.D. at Birkbeck College, University of London, titled, "Impossible Telling and the Epistolary Form: Contemporary Poetry, Mourning and Trauma". She is an Associate Editor at Culture Matters.