Dan Holloway – Holly

This poem was directly inspired by Katelan Foisy’s book Blood and Pudding. Katelan is an artist who records everything she does, and this book is based on transcripts of tapes made on a teenage road trip with her best friend Holly. Scattered amongst the transcripts are anecdotes from the too few years between that trip and Holly’s death from a heroin overdose. It’s one of the most inspirational books I’ve read and this poem was written as a tribute to 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.