Lit Up

They lift sweetie-sharp glow-stars
on tips of licked fingers, glue
them, neon scabs to the inside
of her skull – she is lit.

Colour-studded, so damned
pretty – a reverse Easter egg
for the cracking.

The gritty stars shoot all night:
there is no off-switch, no plug
to pull, no wire to cut.
Her skin chafes
tender-tasting every grain
as her eyes roll back in her head.

Publication news: Your One Phone Call – “Poetry with a knife edge!”


Hello world of blog!

Just a quick note to say how happy I am to have had my poem “Purchase” (which has not been on this page) accepted by Welsh zine “Your One Phone Call”.

It’s a fairly new zine, but as you’ll see if you take a read around, it features some fascinatingly varied pieces – gritty, contemporary and often very dark.

Also, I believe currently open to submissions…

Here’s a link to my poem, but I totally recommend exploring further.


A post I am writing to stop me ranting around poor defenceless friends who’ve heard it all before and are sick of my RrrraaaaaaaAAAAH!

Poets, yeah?

I have encountered many lovely, lovely poets.

I have encountered a few poets who are gits.

I have encountered many lovely, lovely non-poets.

I have encountered a few non-poets who are gits.

You see where I’m going with this? Good.

Thing is, there are some folk out there, at times more than we’d imagine, who are labouring under the misapprehension that “being a poet” makes a person a certain “type”.

And I am sick of it.

Hence this post, in a departure from my poetry-only policy on the blog.

Some poets may exhibit some or all characteristics popularly attributed to poets, BUT we are not given a “poet starter kit” upon “coming out” as a poet, containing a full new personality, wardrobe and moral code.

Things poets are NOT by default:


To summarise: more sensitive than any non-poet could ever hope to be. *Insert flounce of tear-stained shawl here*

Of course, we may be any or all of these things at different times and/or at the same time.


When I meet a prospective friend, boyfriend, employer, window-cleaner, etc, do I ask “So, do you write…?” with that particular tilt of the head and raised eyebrow that seems to say “So… Am I a more evolved human being than you…?” No. Of course I don’t. I’m more likely to ask if they want a cup of tea. And if they do, will they make me one whilst they’re about it.

Because I’m a lazy person who likes a lot of tea.

As well as being a poet.

See, the poet thing is entirely incidental – which is not to say unimportant to me – and my caffeine habit makes me entirely insensitive and selfish, not a characteristic we’d associate with the whole, tortured, “too soulful for this world” persona.

The reason I find the whole thing so crazy is not so much that it’s insulting to poets – which it still is – but that it’s insulting to EVERYONE.

I suppose at least that makes it an equal opportunities assumption.

But who is ANYONE to decree that just because a person does not write, read and/or has no interest in poetry whatsoever that this makes that person less likely to experience or express extreme or worthwhile emotion, sensitivity and all that kit and caboodle? Well, that’s just bloody rude. We like the “different” and the “unusual”, but just as long as they’re “different” and “unusual” in EXACTLY THE SAME WAY we are? No, thanks – that’s too easy. And therefore, no fun.

So, yeah, to conclude…

If you write poetry, that’s cool.

If you don’t write poetry, that’s cool.

Now will someone make me a cup of tea please?

What the heck am I doing….? And link to more coherent musings from elsewhere…

Hello and a happy new year to all!

Don’t worry – I’m not in crisis. Existential, poetic or otherwise!

Here’s a thing. I’ve been blogging here – almost entirely poetry – for a few years now. Regular readers may have noticed that in the last few months, posts have been erratic to say the least. This has, in part, been due to that thing called Life getting in the way, but also…. some vague and rumbling thoughts on why I am blogging and what I want to achieve in doing so.

A few days ago, I came across a link to a post from Josephine Corcoran – poet and editor of And Other Poems ( ), exploring the very issues I’m contemplating. It’s a thought-provoking read and also links to an earlier post about poetry blogs and why poets write them.

Poetry blogs and blogs by poets, etc..

I have had no massive epiphany on what the flip I’m trying to do with this here page. I’m aware that the design layout is basic to say the least and I’ve got all sorts of conflicted and conflicting tidbits of ideas of what I might want to do in the future… But no decisions as yet.

What I do know is that there is no “right” or “wrong” way to go about things – what works for one poet is not necessarily going to work for another. I am blessed to have read so many fabulous poets through WordPress and beyond – I would not take that experience away from myself or anyone else.

I’m merely posting this for now, as food for thought… and to say that , me, I’m sort of, like, thinking…

And that’s not something I can claim to be doing every day!


Holly xx





Cold rips breath from your throat
with the illicit kisses torn out
in the sleet-sharp dark.

Your lips are seared quiet,
tongue fused to the icicle
you were forbidden to lick.

White heat statues you in place,
right in your need and his;
arms open, chest winded
and blazing, blazing;
white noise.

Your eyes are open, braced,
your mouth wide to suck
truth, clean as winter,
neoned snow
and electric blizzards.

The forecast is stormy:
let it never be spring.

Curmudgeonly Christmas – revisited…

Ok, so this was originally posted here at Christmas in 2011 – can’t believe I’ve had this blog that long! – but I thought it was worth a revisit…!


Curmudgeonly Christmas

Oh crap, it’s nearly Christmas!
The lights have been slung over
the High Street like gilded nooses.

But I like Christmas…

Oh bollocks, it’s nearly Christmas!
Season of smugness, spraying fake snow
over the cracks. Season for the single to
cop off or sod off.

But I like Christmas…

Oh fuck, it’s nearly Christmas!
The shops are crammed with tacky shit,
credit cards spitting and smoking.
Buy your family’s love.
Bearing gifts, we travelled
from Argos.

But I like Christmas…

Oh balls, it’s nearly Christmas!
The jingle bells are chiming a migraine
in my skull. My head a tapped
chocolate orange.

But I like Christmas…

Oh god, it’s nearly Christmas!
The baby Jesus was just a kid. Social
services would probably put him in care
‘cause of “insufficient housing”.
Poor bugger.

But I like Christmas…

Oh shite, it’s nearly Christmas!
The mince pies are on special, mistletoe
all over the show, spreading seasonal cheer,
flu and cold sores. Good will to all men.
O, come all ye unfaithful!
Joyful and repugnant.
Mulled wine and
a good stuffing.

But I really, really do rather like Christmas.

Publication News: Lunar Poetry, PoeticDiversity and NOUS Magazine

November was good to me.

Lunar Poetry is a relatively new UK based journal, with a quick one-month turnaround. I’ve got three poems in the November “Work” themed issue, which is available both in print or as a pdf on their website. And I’m not commenting on whether a particular poem was inspired by a previous workplace… Ahem…

PoeticDiversitythe Litzine of Los Angeles (ooh yes, America!) has me as one of their “featured poets” in their November issue. Very excited! Here’s a link to my three poems.

And finally, NOUS Magazine – another UK based project, a “magazine for modern mind culture & empathic thinking”. I have a poem in their current “Misunderstandings” issue – a beautifully illustrated mag, which is obviously created with much love.

More poetry goodness to follow soon…

This Is Not A Lovely Poem

It’s for the boy everyone looks at who hates it.
For the beautiful girl whose baby they took.
For the wasted, the wretched and the cowards;
the bullies, the ball-breakers and the bastards,
the ones we’ll always hate for what they did to us.

For the watchers and the watched, the scribblers,
the stalkers, the stale couples who can’t be bothered
to argue anymore; for the dribblers, the scratchers,
the fidgets and the fibbers, the covert nose-pickers,
snot flickers; the fickle lovers and the fashionistas,
the smokers, the skint, the minted with no imagination.

It’s for the disowned, the dead-eyed, the family hiding
from the bailiffs, crouched behind the sofa in the dark;
the sanctioned and hand-tied, the frustrated administrators;
the blank woman behind the counter in Barclays yesterday.

For the mermaids on knives who can’t hold a tune.
For the insomniac Sleeping Beauties, the Match Girls
not so little any more – for the one who leaves
her heart in a boy’s coat pocket and freezes
to death trying to remember why she can’t go home.

For the boy nobody ever looks at who hates it.
For the idiots, the masochists, the kids squeezing their spots.
Those cursed with true faith and those cursed with cynicism.
The fucked up and the upwardly fucking mobile,
the wannabes and the want-not-to-be-ever-agains.

It’s for the Social Workers, the social-networkers, the socially suicidal,
the Tweeters, twerkers, text fiends and the blink-eyed tweens
clambering shaky ladders to see what adulthood looks like.
For the view from the top showing only another level beyond.

For the girl with the credit card bills in the biscuit tin.
The boy with the dirty habits and the love he’s scared of.
For the disapproving parents, the bewildered, the bereft,
for the just-one-more plea to the barman calling “Time”.
For the independent woman with the scented candles
and the Tesco Value blades on the side of her bathtub.

It’s for the black-iced step that sprains your ankle,
the broken bottle that really is that sharp when you stroke
your curious lip to its edge. It’s for the temptation
to do the stupid things.

It’s for that man down the road with the old whippet
and the sad smile whose name you can never remember,
for the person you’d like to batter with an axe – or forget.
For the nights when you’d welcome that axe
over your own damned head.

For the queue in the offie, the moral police officer no one trusts;
the hopeless and helpless, the unbelievable, the implausible,
the strangest drips of truth; for the things no one will ever know.

For the terminally cool and the terminally unique;
the woman quoting Lady Macbeth in the launderette;
the addicts, the romantics, the worldly-wise morons;
the nail biters, the bar-fighters, the leg men,
the breast men, the worst who don’t know
they’re the best men. For the sleepers lying alone
in carbon monoxide quiet who never said goodnight.
This is not a lovely poem, but it’s theirs – and ours.


I ripped the page of the original pattern
from a wrinkled copy of Woman & Home
at the Doctors’ – I already had ideas
for my particular alterations.

I’m making it just for you.

It would’ve been a plant-pot holder;
I am knitting a noose of it,
my tongue between my teeth,
my mind on your shape,
the breakage of your frame.

That’s where I begin to weave
the more complex attachments
to pull and pinch,
to twine and tug.

I will make it soft for you,
in places – at least partly.

Wool is great stuff – it’ll swell in the wet,
each fibre sucking you in deeper, binding
you with your own leakages:
your delicious sweat, blood
and other fluids.

You’ll be your own unique dye.

My charity shop needles click,
warm in my palms, nimbled
fingers of guardian witches.
We know what you did

and we laugh in the dark,

turning every twist for your neck,
and all of my other favourite places to kiss.


She doesn’t notice when it leaves her;
it’s always been there – maybe it steals
from her bed like a cowardly
lover before dawn.

Could it not wait to escape?
She didn’t know to sew
it tight to her heels; couldn’t bear
to take a needle to it, but she will
happily spill a polka dot rush
of her own blood.

She isn’t scared of it – never:
a constant her whole life, in step
like a sister, mute and matching
her every trip-toe and lurch.

She knows she must find it:
paste posters on lampposts,
put cards in shop windows.
Have you seen this…?
It’s nothing without her

and now she has nothing
binding her to the ground.

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