Three Poems by Holly Pester


The Optimist

My big structured hoop skirt is a whelping den of blasts. Counterfactual scenarios,
stiff smells,      a future image orientates up my hoop skirt.

the devotion bell of my frock      boggles wits
Lemons that would rattle tales of possible worlds
that’s where we’re sitting, it’s essentially nowhere but it’s possible. That that might
hoop      a hope      And back we go

But because of its wide heart circle I cannot get close to the things I want to more
than approach      like the oak tree trunk to touch

warmly, thickly and solidly for around an hour with my family

We’re going about it in the past      I wondered where they were to go.
Them from years ago, beacons in the lining, tokens in the wire from years ago. Fancy that. Years ago. A few hundred decades ago.
I would love it if I was included but I cannot move from
wearer to behavior
doped on wishes
don’t you wish it was or would’ve been different?
As the guest of the guest in fake-brocade I remain pretty inanimate I think a lot
I don’t pray but I sew warning signals to where the antecedent holds


Sex with Lodgers

What will we tell our bosses?

Tilts the jar of dog biscuits
Considers subsistence

What did you rescue
from the marriage?
Sex with lodgers

You don’t pay me enough
Cut yourself up

Construct a public from which flatmates use plastic razors, from who sees
themselves in civilization, from who finds they are spent

who used cream

We have an exfoliation mitt each to rub the ridiculous sadness on everything
8 rooms 8 shampoos an archaeology

Excuse me

I am trying to write poetry into my age, the specific time of my body and the life it
does but the age of the planet but that’s the point

Poor you,
are you, shocked by the sound another laundry



To those who began the year being
bullied, violently shaken
Who know beginnings
felt unstoppable
Yes, longer
Not to be corseted, or sung manipulated
Shout at me the time
Get into me the time
It’s 2000 and 19
Vapours start again
The fireworks are from yesterday
Purple murderers green ones
A head pops off
I’m unsure of the time
But it lasts
A memory should be better
But it’s over
To those who began the year being
bullied, corseted, violently shaken
May they know all beginnings
unrepeated unrehearsed
Yes, longer

Holly Pester

Holly Pester is poet in London and Wivenhoe, Essex, UK.

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