Luke 10.25

Bit of a Bukowski love in this week.

I have written a blog for Under the Fable, fawning over the great man. It can be found here.

And here’s a bukowski-esque piece by me. All based on (sadly) true events.

To the elderly lady

Who stood in the middle of the road

Waving at each car

That passed her by

Hoping to be noticed

In her NHS gown

I am so sorry

Nobody stopped

And waved

Or maybe



At 3pm

On a Thursday afternoon

A lady closer to one hundred

Than most

Was all alone

Waving frantically

On a busy main road

I am so sorry

That no one cared for you

I hope you found

Whatever you were looking for

But as I sped past

It was hard to tell

All I could see

Was the beautiful sun

And the face of my daughter

Reflected in the mirror

As she slept soundly

And dreamt of the stars

And the meaning of life.


Brooks Hatlen

My new blog for Under the Fable magazine will be out tomorrow. Its a (hopefully not to dull) look at the place of rhyme in poetry.

I leave this online world for five days now in order to take my mind and my family to Carmarthen Bay for a holiday.


Institutionalisation then.

what a subject for a poem.

so here is


I used to work in a car body shop

In Holloway

We specialised in top of the range cars




Now anyone who knows Holloway

Will automatically know

That if you drive a nice car

In Holloway

You are a drug dealer

Or you are lost

The place I worked

Was directly opposite

The women’s prison

And the saddest thing

Was the ladies who were let out

And instead of meeting their families

Loved ones


They simply sat on the kerb

Outside the prison gates

Not knowing what to do

Waiting for someone to tell them

To eat

To sleep

To pray

To exercise

No one told them

So they just sat

Like statues

Faced with a decision

They had not had to make

For aeons

They did the only thing they could

They stood up

Screaming and kicking and biting

Until someone came out

Rescued them

Took them back

To comfort

To peace

Behind bars

Beyond hope.

Good Bye.


Hokey Cokey

As of Monday I will be blogging for the quite wonderful and fairly new literary magazine Under The Fable. Anybody championing good, new writing deserves your unending support, so go check them out and love them @

Work on my debut collection continues unabated. I currently have a long list of about 60 poems I need to trim by a third, which is difficult for me. Here’s one that didn’t make the list, mainly because its silly. And we don’t like silly.

My friend is an agoraphobic

Who hates his wife

His porch

Is immaculate


Anyway, I believe back when I started this blog I promised some music, and since I have a particularly good tune playing as we speak (or type) I will honour that promise for the first time.

Thanks, as ever, for reading.


Under the Fable/The Stares Nest/The Wasps Nest

Had a great night last night at the Under The Fable poetry night in Manchester’s Castle Hotel. Though wracked with nerves and real ale, I managed to perform for about 20 minutes. Longest one yet, and met with goodness throughout.

My poem ‘What I Do Not See’ is featured on today. Go read it, its great.

In other news, we have a wasps nest, so I wrote a poem.


It started at one a day

An annoyance

Gold and black

Pointless aggression

One a day is makeable

But as we slipped further

And further

Into the depths of frustrated idleness

They began pouring in

Five a day

Five an hour

Dozens an hour

Still we sat


Watching television

A wad of kitchen paper on the coffee table

Ready to pounce

I had mastered the technique

In fact

I was so capable

I would surely go down in folklore

Songs would be sung

Paintings commissioned

Chapters written

The bin began to fill up

Kitchen paper

And bodies

Viscera smeared the windows

Ensuring even in death

They ruined the view

Still we sat

As the room filled

Each step like a tightrope walk

Each day hazier

Filled with humming


Insatiable anger

They circle overhead

Banging and crashing


I sit here now

As they fill my body

Crawl through my veins

Up to my brain

A black cloud

Of barely repressed rage

My breath rattles venom

Where once was life.