for Frank O’Hara
postcard from peckham (rye lane)
if i rest for a moment by a gentle-man
wearing a white coat that is covered in blood,
i might think about how are are the same,
since i am holding a pen.
i’ve been butchering poetry for days now!
the air stinks.
postcard from lloyds tsb (rye lane)
the children offer their hands
to dogs tied outside of banks,
who nip their “little” fingers.
i heard one dog remark,
“yes i agree the air stinks, however,
it’s got nothing on what’s under
these little finger nails.”
but i didn’t really care for conversation
i wanted to be alone
to consult with o’hara
by the rye lane bazaar.
postcard from (rye lane) market
“a ghost’s skin”
by a stall selling bed sheets.
frank? est-ce bien toi?
are you communicating with moi?
i’m with you at lunch,
and carl, allen, i’m with you in rockland too,
here in peckham the plastic leaves crunch,
and i k-k-kick a c-c-can to prove that i’m
postcard from [peckhamplex] cinema
mothers of peckham
let your kids go to peckhamplex!
get them out of the house
so they won’t know what you’re up to
it’s true that fresh air is good
for the body
but what about the soul,
or the air on rye lane,
that grows in darkness,
embossed by silvery images
of gratuitous bags of popcorn
frank, where are you?
i’m sorry for the copy
but, here, i am
under the moonlike lamplight, now,
thinking about how precious litter is.
(shame about this rubbish.)
postcard from the butchers (rye lane)
back to the bitterness.
if the pen is as mighty as the cleaver,
and you do happen to read this,
could you tell carlo to please leave her?
and maybe transfer some knowledge
POSTCARDS FROM PECKHAM was the first in a new series by HOLY! HOLY! HOLY!, paying homage to the City Lights Pocket Poets books of the 20th Century. This one was written by me, addressed to Frank O’Hara (in the Lunch Poems era) and Allen Ginsberg (in Howl). I was heart broken in Peckham at the time of writing, forgive me.
The book is hand printed (risographed images, letterpressed and foil blocked text) by myself, onto materials bought locally. It is perfect bound in blue, using PVA glue and acrylic paint. You can pull the postcards away from the bind if you wish to send them. The white postcard paper was bought from Cowling and Wilcox in Camberwell and is called Norfolk Cartridge 210gsm. The fluorescent postcard paper was bought from KHAN’s Bargains on Rye Lane and is also 210gsm.
KHAN’s bargains were kind enough to let me try to load the poem onto their revolving LED sign (not photographed) on the night the book launched in Peckham. The book launched as part of the Research Design Publish exhibition at Peckham Liberal Club in 2019, where I did a live reading of the poem. You can read about the exhibition here.
To coincide with the launch of the book, I made 3 flashing LED signs (using christmas lights, laser cut acrylic and plain black frames from KHAN’s bargains. They are inspired by the mobile repair signs you can find on Rye Lane. Here are the signs displayed in Peckham Liberal Club:
The next issue in the Pocket Poets Series will be by illustrator Nicolas Burrows. It is titled 300 Sunny Days a Year and is expected to be released in 2021.