Holly

(I gotta Facebook page thing!)

A new poem, first performed at Hammer & Tongue Oxford on November 8th. Written after re-reading Katelan Foisy’s Blood and Pudding. In 1997, Katelan went on a road trip with her best friend Holly. She took a tape recorder and after Holly’s OD, the transcriptions of their conversations, intercut with anecdotes from the years between that road trip and Holly death, formed the basis of Blood and Pudding. I’ve taken many narrative liberties, so the poem is “inspired by” or “based on” or whatever.

Holly

Just a road trip
That’s what it seemed
Two more teenage hipsters
Zipped on xanax
Paying lip service to the Kerouac dream

Holly’s hands on the wheel
My feet on the dash
And the sun splashed
Our lips
And every rash decision
Slipped into our private mythology
Major key rips in a minor key mixology

We lived at 200 beats a minute
I was drum and she was bass
Life was numb and we chased
The sun from dawn to dusk
The dust in our face
The delirious race left us crazed
Till we spent days playing space invaders
On porn booth joysticks
Placed every cent on black
Jacked up
And had infinities tattooed on our backs
To seal our Beatnik pact

But Holly wasn’t so strong
I think I’d known all along
She was no survivor
And now she was falling apart
I tried to revive her
By making our lives into art
I tried so hard
But her life was a shard that had stopped reflecting the light
Her heart was the dark on a starless night

I couldn’t keep her safe from harm
I couldn’t be her lucky charm
And when she placed it in my palm and pleaded
I couldn’t even put the needle in her arm

Just a road trip
In truth it’s already fading
Her outline’s lost its shading
Our friends have got desk jobs and jaded
There’s little left of those two teenagers
Kerouac and Cassady are someone else’s dream
And Ginsberg is their melody
But Holly is their theme

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