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.