Luke Palmer 71

Luke Palmer


After ‘Neuromancer’ by William Gibson

The sky was a dead channel
― a voice you could never hear ―
words jerking draft-teeth, a webwork
of unlikely zones and shoving.

His nervous-system ― bodiless fall
into the prison of his own flesh
already clenched
in the shadowland black.

Now he slept; vast stages of black expanse
― no official heart ― chambered
as he made his way down
cradled bright red in the dark.

He rode the rush and wouldn’t wait.
A cluster of afterthought
came to with a violent jolt;                                  

the larynx ― rigid cool ― seemed
to grow.
He surfaced
then grew longer in everything.

Medical records, identification,
a health unit and he a subject.
Encouraged, he turned on softly
― pulled into departure.

Luke Palmer’s work has appeared most recently in Shearsman, The Tangerine, Envoi and Under the Radar as well as in anthologies from EyeFlash Poetry and The Emma Press. His debut pamphlet ‘Spring in the Hospital’ won the 2018 Prole Pamphlet Competition and judge Mab Jones praised it as ‘a really powerful … series of poems; sharp, succinct, intelligent and interesting, whilst also offering up something new with each reading.’ He was an Agenda New Generation poet in 2016. Luke lives and teaches English in Wiltshire.