Poem in which I explain to the stag why no more stag poems will ever be written

That’s right, my lairy Satanic Majesty,
I’m talking to you. Cruiserweight pimp
with a large eye, in all of nature’s clever,
classless polyglot, you alone are undisputed
Top Banana. When I saw you, a tooled up
heavy, strutting alone along a Tavistock
b-road, I knew. I knew it was me you’d
come for, putting the fright’ners on, demanding
a poem with menaces. Preening headcase, moon-
stomping in front of the van, a goading loon
in headlight’s yellow glare: come annava go,
if you think your ‘ard enough. Unpicking my
genteel pretentions one by one, dragging me
back to the Old Life, my dreams of you.

See, as a kid I relived the pure torture porn
of your headgear, nightly: a Godfather goring
my poor grey lurcher, who never did nothing
to no one, who never did nothing to you. I kept
coming back to your sudden bulk, big as an end
of level boss, on the ridge, on the right, tossing
your head, snapping your neck like a Madchester
wideboy strung out on speed. My poor dead dog,
like you thought it was funny. I knew, when you
came, eyeballing me, all hardboiled spookiness
there in the dark lane, twisting. I knew what you
were, what you are, what you wanted.

Lie for me, poet, you said, lay it on thick
about Beauty and Strangeness; the mute
clairvoyant calm of my weird, green spaces.
Fucked if I will. Do your own PR! Your world
is harsh. And you, for all your suedehead softness,
are a rocksteady bully-boy, ready for unlimited aggro.

Fran Lock

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