Neon Ghosts by Alan Parry

A Personal Take:

‘I have a theory that you should do everything before you die.’

Bruno Anthony (Strangers on a Train)

So starts Alan Parry’s chapbook, Neon Ghosts. Captured with that thought, I turned to the contents and onwards, happy to begin reading this new work by this new-to-me poet. One of the first pieces that caught me was The Scene.


i want to see

the America 

                Stuart Davis knew 

                gas pumps – rooftops – skyscrapers in 

                technicolour – jazz – 




                             soul – in full swing


How apt for these days, the use of space, lines breaking to make me pause and breathe as I read his lines. The pacing in this and others is spaced to slow us, the readers, down. Quiet, thoughtful, simple and evocative, yes, I’m loving this chapbook. One of my other favorites is Old Friends:


we spent the night hours

driving – to no place new – 

            tree-lined avenues of this 

old town by the sea – wide pavements & coffee shops –

but there is nothing here

for young men – 

              no art

 we wanted more –


sat on the bonnet of his car –

under the blushing moon – watching across the bay –


smoking cigarettes – plotting our escape –

somewhere different – more like Paris


Getting The Band Back Together opens with these lines, and I can easily feel that I’m there,

the Olympia doors open

& men spill out like lentils

steam rising from their

shoulders into the chill 


Lingering over the short poems is a delight, I loved each one, they stuck with me with the quietness and evocative placing of details, such as, in Behind Closed Doors:

mournful eyes shine through

thick pipe smoke –

& a dog sniffs at men’s

feet –


The poems in this collection talk to each other, a gentle conversation, one that I enjoyed listening to. Parry’s voice is very much his own, and the work reflects a thoughtful poet with an unflinching eye.

Wisdom ends the collection with this image:


mother used to say

“everything is different by day”

for it was in the evenings

she got 






ISBN: 978-1-8380407-0-3

The Broken Spine Artist Collective 

Southport / England / United Kingdom

Twitter: @AlanParry83

Instagram: alphapapa83 

Edited by: Paul Robert Mullen & Matthew 


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