Tuesday, 20 April 2010


I woke up to a sweating sick-stained sun, locked in a lunacy of suited normals clacketing blackberries hum thrum hangover drum, happy transparent heads.

I woke up sodden, frozen, crusted with tears from dreams of desert spaces, neon electric amphetamine places, haunted keening faces, ant-crawling into undergrowth decaying nests flinging formic burial dance ejaculations at their dying queen.

I woke up homeless, skin grotesqued on John Lewis glass, caged in beige and cursed and coughed and incantated and deflated and scoffed and stoned and slashing, smashing crashing at the window for my outside home.

I woke up on the office floor sodomised by spreadsheet slutting gang-rape jargon-happy whores in shirts and ties and CK1 and stripped and mocked by flights of office angels careening heavenward-career kicks to my crotch.

I woke up staring at the eyes of Martin Luther King, the gaze of Kurt Cobain, the glaze of Janis, Jimi, Jack, the drug-drawn, the persecuted, spat on, the unvoiced, the bony-fingered, track-marked, the unwritten gospels, cracked canvas and dried-up colour-wombs.

I woke up staring at the billion unaccounted reasons not to die, slapped welts to make my cheeks too raw to turn away and cry and cursed the mornings spooling out towards the sunset, and the daily pill the act of will required to make the choice to live.

There is no more tomorrow

There is only an endless today strung out like a thousand junkies coming down the mountain cradling tablets carved with promises from their gods.

We woke up you and me, undreaming dreamers we bark out our caffeine chorus at the midnight sun

We run, fucked-up and spectacular, into the dervish hills singing flail-body ballads at the sky.

Heavy-legged triumphant we outrun the sunset,
slash our sinful eyelids,
fix on the skimming morning star horizon,
empty our birthing wail into the dawn
and wait and run and wail and wake and wait

and flash and fill with sheeting screams and answers build and burst and brightness comet-summoning shaman mummers flame the heavens burning relentless the dreaming drabness suits and skirts and office-dark nights and towerblock evening grey and paypacket veins and expectation gym kit briefcase jumpsuit duvet madness

and in the warm the wake they give we take the fireball dawn

we are awake.


  1. Wow Dan, this is very something special. Made me grin with gladness at the beauty of the word mixes & the groovy rythmn. This line is an absolute showstopper: 'We run, fucked up & spec...' & I enjoyed the calm, matter-of-factness of: 'There is no more tomorrow.' & the 'office angels' line made some unique images.

  2. Thanks, Pen - I was iffy about office angels because I didn't want people to think I was just referring to women (I hoped the ties made that clear) - I came up with it because I used to do work with the "Office Angels" temping agency :)

  3. Yes, I've heard of that agency. The name always instills horror (speaking as one who suffered a stint in Civil Service...)

  4. Pure Year Zero and I'd like to see it on the site. Reminds me of Ginsberg (angel-headed hipsters) while still being very Dan Holloway (sick-stained sun). Rich, evocative language, as Penny says. Feels as though it is the opening of a much longer poem, for some reason?

  5. Damn, Dan! This may be your best yet. And Larry is right, it does remind me of Howl. Not that it is tributary.

  6. Thanks, you two :)

    I believe the phrase that came to my mind was "third rate Ginsberg pastiche" - you put it so more kindly - at the moment I'm reading and re-reading Howl, a nd a hwhole host of books about it, and not worrying about its influence is a great way to just get some words down there. I love that you vcan see a bit of "me" in there through the Allen - I think I like that you picked "sick-stained"as being "me" but I have a terrible feeling I shouldn't :)

    And yes, Larry, it feels like the start of a longer poem to me as well. I think I'm sidling around at the moment, dipping my toe in and trying to get a feel for what the big long one will be - something SKIN BOOK length but more personal - it was you, in fact, who got me writing this stuff when you made that comment about the surfaces and superficiality in SKIN BOOK, and I'm so glad you did - I think SB is my most original work by a long way, but it lacks a certain depth that I'm starting to chip at - eventually the full-length personal poem will come (I think it will take the form of a walk down Shaftesbury Avenue), and I'd never have started trying were it not for you.

  7. Wow, fantastic Dan!

    At first I reminded of vivid nightmares and ideas for dreams in sequel I've had or have written for characters. Very speedy reading!

    Then you changed the pace drastically, and very elegantly I must add, with the "There is no more tomorrow". You accelerated again and slowed down smoothly at the end, with a perfect final line "we are awake". Wow. :)