All works by Emily Holyoak, 2021



Velvet was the day that I woke up free

Cares out the window

Flowers in the breeze

  • Tailgating my dreams
  • Rejection’s sting
  • My lonely corner


Fills my windowsill

After a void

I’ve done it again

  • A sibling’s worry
  • But never an embrace
  • Freezing laminate stuck to my toes


But I don’t know why

I can’t help it

  • Retreating back to solitude
  • Wearing out video tapes
  • On a floral carpet chair

Was there a light in that basement

Or was it just a dream

Places I’ve avoided and embraced

  • Crestfallen was my sword
  • Smiles are my shield
  • The yarn of different patterns

I’ve grown close and yet so far

Away from you all

To become the painting



All works by Emily Holyoak, 2020

The Freethinker

I pull back the curtain of butterflies

Leaving my white dress on the ground

Stepping into the possibilities

Choices that are my own 

The weight at my ankles free

Balancing on my toes

Light as a feather

The ceiling expands

My heart takes flight

Peonies sprout from my head

I cock my shoulder in delight

And fly through the field of grass 


Anyone can hurt.

Because People.

Communication is key.

Dead People.

Everyone weeps.

Fake People.

Gratitude is central.

Hate People.

Innovation is thrilling.

Junk People.

Kill with kindness.

Leave People.

Make someone’s day today.

Never People.

Opportunities lie ahead.

Poor People.

Question born beliefs.

Racist People.

Say something lovely.

Touch People.

Undo the hurt.

Victimize People.

Whatever the heart wants.

X People.

Yell off of a mountaintop.

Zealous People.


Fleabag confessing

the sins that she’s ever committed, even the past 60 seconds

Hot Priest, drunk like a heathen

listening with intent, increasingly interesting

The tears begin to flow, regret begins to show

Silence as piercing as a scream

She kneels

the floor marking up her shins

He draws the velvet line

the forbidden desire climbs with the devil’s temperature

temptation so sweet, so taboo

attraction to God’s light

carnal sin, thrust upon them

moonlight cracks through glass

caught in a twist, Hot Priest desists

Don’t ever visit the church again.


In the dark corners of society where nobody looks, Elton John and Freddie Mercury have teamed up as crime-fighting, fabulous detectives. Using their pianos of justice, they fly on rainbows in drag and ascend in a cloud of hairspray and feather boas. Their secret den is underneath Buckingham Palace, where they eavesdrop on their royal highnesses and plot their lascivious parties when they’re off the clock.

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