In memory of Richard Henry McFarlane (Hovis Presley), 1960-2005

This re-issue of Poetic Off Licence is based on the 'Bumper Edition' of 2005. Proceeds from the sale of this edition will go to support the Hovis Presley Memorial Fund, which was set up by family and friends to raise money for charitable good works in memory of the author, and Live from Worktown, which promotes performance poetry in its many forms.

Poetic Off Licence
Poetic Off Licence
adult poetry
ISBN 978-0-9932370-0-3 | 106pp | 2015
rrp £8.99 | ebook £6.49


Entertainment with the emphasis on "tert".
Since running away from home at the age of 28, award winning writer Hovis Presley (the award wasn't for writing) has found fame as the inventor of the bra-less strap and the individually wrapped baked bean. His interests include postal kerplunk and choosing the eight sandwiches he'd take to a desert island - currently seven cheese and an egg mayonnaise.
He has produced this book using only a pin and a dictionary.

Hovis Presley

"The other day I met Hovis Presley, a fine poet and a true gentleman. So I had a drink with all three of them." - John Cooper Clarke

"A slice of Real Loaf." - John Hegley

"Never stops being funny." - The Guardian

Cover by Sally, illustrations by Bazil.

by Bazil

Hovis performing on Channel 4.

a fistful of Rennies
from Poetic Off Licence © Hovis Presley

struggling contortionist
couldn't make ends meet
decided to call it a day
got the sack from the massage parlour
rubbed people up the wrong way
you don't have to be mad to work here
but I am!
he'd yell at any hint of wages
though hardly workaholic
not touched workahol in ages
capsized he clapped eyes
on a novel franchise
and soon all his energies spent
on a fast food theme restaurant
for the sarcastic
called The Spud-U-Resent
the fudge you begrudge
the pies you despise
the salads you couldn't
give a toss about
it's a triumph
of mind over matter
it's a concept whose time's overripe
let the air ring
with disconsolate chatter
hear the till sing
with each cynical gripe
would you like to order a non-starter?

envious the local baker confectioner
turns troublemaker
tired of all rival's wealth amazing
rushes in with all buns glazing
donut forsake me oh my darling…

the cream on the sign
at the scene of the crime
was forensics' vital clue
I'm not so muesli amazed
said PC E272
care for a drink?
no, but I looked after some broccoli once

First published as Poetic Off Licence Holiday Annual [d2 Digital by Design Ltd, 1997].
Re-issued in the original format as Poetic Off Licence Bumper Edition, with the author's amendments and some additional material [d2 Digital by Design Ltd, 2005].
Each loosely based on Poetic Off Licence and Other Likely Stories [Billy Scorey Press, 1993].

Hovis in Wonderland CD
Hovis in Wonderland CD
CD £4.00 Available for £2.00 in the Flapjack Shop
Poetic Off Licence + CD £10.00


It was what economists, sociologists and kebab carousel maintenance men would call 'a bit of a dump'. But to Hovis Presley and a cast of instantly recognisable oddballs including Frugal Dougal, Anita Mullitova, Herbert Fountain and Natalie Satterley Slatterly, it's home.

Adapted from the late Richard McFarlane's much-loved Poetic Off Licence, Hovis in Wonderland charts the progress of his deadpan anti-hero over twelve eventful months.

First recorded at Bolton's Clockhouse Studios with Arts Council support in 2008 and re-issued in 2015.
Performed by Stella Blackburn, Nat Clare, Paul O'Plinter & Hilary Walker.
Tech by Kevin Bates. Adapted & Directed by Dave Morgan.

Flapjack Press: exploring the synergy between performance and the page.