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3 poems by Luke Palmer

Goldblum | Lumberjack

Jeff Goldblum is a bad lumberjack | the shirt fits fine but his rope work’s wanting |

I’ve witnessed his slack blocks | his pulleys idle | the trunks come down in shavings

mostly | he sweats at the sight of the chipper | is dwarfed by the really big saw | I get

nervous just watching | he steps into his harness | strains the shoddy bowline |

hands down another wood-skin sliver | I pray the knots will hold | he yawned this

morning | the stretch almost cracked his shoulder | had him retching at the porcelain

a full five minutes before the dizzy spell passed | how can he manage all that tension

| can’t always wait for the gale to ease | day in day out | the body will yank itself apart

if you let it

Hogan | Water

Paul Hogan tracks water underground | loves nothing more than its tongue’s slip

through rock | he seeks the ultimate passage | buys a hundred yard stretch in the

Pyrenees | a well targeted ad campaign | patrons pay handsomely to throw

themselves down the swallow hole | the liquid dark chatters | they’re borne through

limestone | cold under their palms | stuck in the throat | the slick press of water builds

| when the surge is released they’re launched up to 40ft in the air | into sunlight |

Hogan hordes the cash | enough to buy a prefab house | plants it on the watershed

and stands at the windows in the offseason | watches the rain fall | his great plethora

of birds coming home to roost

Depp | Lido

Johnny Depp runs the lido | its sporadic tidal pool perhaps follows some other moon |

guests do as they’re told | sit where the tables lie | it changes daily | it’s a popular

wedding venue | Depp wears a morning suit | he once ate salmon en croute standing

at the maitre d’s station | he once took a young couple away for the weekend | he

once waded out to the storm grate and removed an obstruction the size of his torso |

his dogs stalk the sea walls | Depp throws lumber into the misty distance for them to

chase | the dogs return with wet stomachs | splinters in their mouths


Luke Palmer's second pamphlet, ‘In all my books my father dies’ is available on Red

Ceilings Press. His debut pamphlet, ‘Spring in the Hospital’, won the Prole Pamphlet

prize in 2018. His debut novel, ‘Grow’ (Firefly Press) was published in July. He runs the

HOURS Writers workshop in Bristol.


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