Trading Holly


Tony D’Arpino




“The girl in red is actually a sound”


                    —Roberto Bolaño



The ghost inside me

Feeds the marketplace

It’s the mistletoe they want


A body of water

Suspended in mind

A primary pigment


Built into the old city walls

Was a bookshop

In winter code


A dealer in maps

Ephemerides of stars

And the blue sand of travel


A tiny plastic


Holding cloud cards


Commodity aesthetics

Of the holly thief

The market turns like fish


In pinwheel ice display

Singers and gamblers

Cakes and hats


I love holly

And the shadow

She casts









Tony D’Arpino is an American poet living in England.  His most recent book of poetry is Floating Harbour (Redcliffe Press).  His recent nonfiction book, Trees of Bristol, explores the legacy of the ancient forests of the English West Country, local tree lore, and the bio-diversity of the urban forest.  Other work has appeared in Barrow Street, The Clearing, The North, Poetry East, Raceme and Raum.