top of page

Rob Holloway





Part II - X



Dublin is now 117 miles from the sun when discussed unilaterally. Hesiod toiled. Plato loafed. Now you’re here, we need to construct the chair height up against the leg width by forming health platoons amongst the nearby middle-young, balancing their fingers abstractly. I need to mask my manners. You need to be the breath of business. There you will count the seven tongues. They need to be worn downwind, their boundary stones sparkling foam. Chinese landscapes take trash cans for granted. They don’t need to incline them. They don’t need to sequence heavy curves nor outline traditions of non-objectivity puncturing the air. It might also mean your face gambles its parts on the failure of Delaware to recapitalise. As when each drawing would pile up on the others until only the top one moved. You insisted this meant marginal litter would pile up in the mudflats and wear down the slower Platonic legacies; the ones stuffed with cheerful looking peasants relaxing on set and galleries with an eye on pet animals. The thicker lines in each drawing are accumulating a sense of animate proportion. Dancers’ arms, bottles bursting, are transforming their environments into leaves of litter scattered over bodies bursting the first of their meshes.

            Things are spots in the palms of material latched to floors by rest tones; wrists’ weather stuffed with risk throttles, betrayal, legs flailing oatmeal for strength. What shows as reference spots, or punk water is thought for handles, flames, plug itches, mapping onto interior mouths, mild as a fortnight, threads stretched to breathe glass. For seeing oneself as each composed music, standing against the walls firm against cracks, lips of a Saturday, empties nothing into a first London glow, its witness hanging age-damp on the right to outrage, streets varying but subtly fancy dress-related. These are surface colour dresses accordingly stringent, a kind of burgandy for their own sake and rather delicious in their simultaneous byways, their four of diamonds. Semi-wet that is, like a museum revelling in its inner midget, drops piercing the rivets. When I breathe into my overcoat, my legs make a punk sun yeah, a loam of parental apples ending in flues of fire, daffodils without the acid, their garden full of rear disc rakes. Under your block of sod, batteries hitched to black are worth a million more ordinary evenings in New Malden, where nothing is bigger than a sofa. The prose of ducks is the new march, a wind blend, security blown, our third play streamed as cube holes. Never to clean the screen; the play of the colour of air.

            For if a page of shirt sonnets, doors locked, lapses music into a game of leaf tunes, if the night stays long and tough enough, each will pick their way into stems and buses like a neighbour’s son inside the establishment, crossing the digital thresholds, to stare at planet models in the basement, hedged. If you bring here an extra hole, put it over by the bowl of scent, it could be a red shout. In answer it will throw you an emerging farm, or bowline. It will be open to every passenger. Be perfect rupture, supportive of neighbouring sticks. Everything about such human cookery is a true story and will be read from the hedge inside. The initial tips of envelopes, blossom, oil bills and gel crusts can also be seen, as if tomorrow. And if the hello of local intellect shuffles Hobbes, his manifest theft of the will, there are bones for this dust to form. There are patches of gymnasiums that pottery will never stack up on.

            Actually, it was a paper dress, after breathing leaves answers behind the car. Like a tall, serious dress, window blades through the wall, and a cello’s furry darts. I have difficulty with thresholds. They present themselves like soda photographed only yesterday and proceed to rotate the catalogue and then wham, your bellywall’s touched and the levers are left floating in your throats. The way they say manufacture of scarcity and the way I do. There is a prison only of paintings and a panel of people like us. That is, swamp matrixes. One morning they’ll show me your pocket’s lighter by putting their horizon under your writing.





 Part II - XI


Yeah, the brilliant improvisatory sun, putting its light and toy heads into jars, solid red and parallel to the floor, looking out for the usual. Summer music is the struggle to short the biome. We regularly hold each other’s supporting legs, speak in plastic body tones and mutually grind down the house of our Victorian. When I slash the sky-sun, I use the side-door mixed with saffron and hide it inside a concrete poem. Its interior structure is a raven roost, ten pages thick, accessed through plumbing pipes pouring from your holes. We all have them, mine are the scale of eyes, others France. In sum, a frantic collage of disparate cultural elements pinned up to eat. If jigsaws get the other in, get some. If binary yoga praises your reading, greet some. If experience is the play of linguistic sound, live in West Croydon, go to the dentist, and breathe.

            One bull says to the other, you’re extending my social radius. For the purpose of clarity rigour, you’re alternating a rhythm moving through us with sets of signs by the hatful to construct me as a shopping aisle inside a landscape. The shape of my head is a window sill. On it, mud and two ants. One is bursting into a balloon. The cup is surrounded by a house. Let us assume the house is empty. It could even be made of numbers. It is the shape of its interior minus the balloon, as when a name is said. On it, because it is heavy, the sky sits. None of the windows are closed. They are in the shape of a knot. The other ant is making final adjustments to his exhibition. It will include force as a muscle does. We’re talking here about purpose. Why write? There are tins for pillows. There are social structures. There are normal revelations about abnormal things. My sun is broken over your head. You tell me it helps the purpose of attention. Adjust the landscape until it is a balloon. Tie it to my horn. I want to put it in your poet with the assistance of a torch. The whole body can be wrapped up in this way when assumed. It can become available, like stone. Resistance formed. Prose before the bottle is shaken. Water before the words glass over.

            In the middle of civilisation, you may as well just sit on the boilersuit eating salad. Rope together twenty paintings and put them to work. Each time you lick my umbrella, I re-secure my retina. The scale is expanding, marking the advent of post-extractive poetry. This works like a large hardback novel but without the sun. First it opens up the deepest human feelings using didactic statement then recalibrates them against squirrel fossils. Now value has been questioned, it occludes memorialisation by renaming without end. In fact, naming just becomes the mix, poured into small ant-like containers and buried for an hour until cooked. After food, feelings start drinking martinis and itching. What had been known as data-thoughts now lubricate wind turbines. The finest voices stand knee-high in the ocean and discuss child rhythm. Conceptual schemes become schematic by virtue of their ability to change. Human qualities improve their recognition of phages. They start preferring it when I lick their knees even when I prefer elbows. I prefer green splotches all over my forest wardens and their dogs. When I think of two poets in a street fight, I see myself as the pavement and the rubble beneath that. That way, I can look mountains in the slope. I can eat ratatouille without blinking. A good poem has others inside it still reading it.

Rob Holloway is a London-based poet and teacher. His first book PERMIT was published by the US-based poetry collective Subpress in 2009 ( A sample from the prose sequence FLESH RAYS was published by Crater Press in Dec 2010. Its sequel, DAYTRAIN is ongoing, briefly excerpted in datableed. Between January and April 2017 he completed HUNDREDS (100 14-line poems) and, since then, has been at work on the long prose piece SECOND SUN. From Nov 2002 to March 2004 he hosted the radio show "Up for Air" on Resonance FM. In 2004 he launched the poetry CD label Stem (

bottom of page