Anomalies Which Aren’t Anomalies by Luke Kennard


for months people kept mentioning the escaped puma

as if it was their idea

our little campus

as if mere recognition was all we could aspire to

and we didn’t help; we’d say

I’m so glad you mentioned the puma

and they’d say

Ha well I had to didn’t I

But there is nothing to say about a puma escaped or otherwise

even its lovely car-like face

even the branch from which it drapes

puma in the library

puma in the canteen

puma cannot fit its head in the bin

puma chasing us up the hill to the octagon

personally my inclination

is to maintain a holy silence

I am not a Christmas card

but need reminding that’s a problem

what if you tired of my pre-emptive regret

the entertainment value chain

how they’ve been discussed and looked at

How awful

Is the puma okay

Are you

Were you there

I’m close to tears a lot right now

or they are close to me I don’t

like to draw a distinction

how you are aligned to the world

you do not know how rare that is

you do not know how rare you are

puma sleeping in the gazebo

puma glancing at the station

I’m really glad you mentioned it


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Luke Kennard is the author of numerous works of poetry and fiction. His second poetry collection, The Harbour Beyond the Movie, made him the youngest writer to be nominated for the Forward Prize for Best Collection in 2007. Notes on the Sonnets won the Forward Prize for Best Collection in 2021.