Lamont Palmer

Lamont Palmer Poems

Death surrounds us with blatant arms.
A sanitation worker dies and no one
cares, but banshee phones striking at midnight,

'All that we are not stares back at what we are.' - W. H. Auden


I was a year and a half old when
Two, loud cracks punctured western confidence
Through air; my future head snapped back in grief.

Snow claims walkways: restless crystals,
like they are at its mercy, but who really is,
which is the test of wind, or the speed of air.
Intimately involved, shovel and man? Most

Shrunken face: brown, refined and small.
Who reduced you to this diminutive size?
When did you become fragility's core?
You scare me. My days tremble like a cold leaf.

'The world is myself; life is myself'. - Wallace Stevens


Just when I put my mortality behind me
Somebody I know dies; the scourge of daylight
Drops its existential contents and mental bricks
Onto your lap, the comfort zone of life.

Where is the religious eye? Morning is dark.
In Pennsylvania, a tear has left
youngish ducts, and blood has replaced it.

Lilies opened into the outer room.
They almost overshadowed the entire place.
It was there in bright recesses the talk
Began, the colors, the aromas filling what

Drenched assumptions were all we had.
It was alright, she said,
for umbrellas to be panaceas,

Lately I have felt the wind, in all its pleasant coldness,
Reminding me of walking, how to take stormy strides,
Even if it is not truly me taking them.

'Dreams are necessary to life.' - Anais Nin


(For Doshia Watkins,1909-2011)

There was more in you than in me. There was
the outer core and the inner storm, the staged
whispers and curtain calls which go awry.

For Lori Wagner and Ian Wagner

News preempted news, upstaging clean air,
forced and stained against each open doorway,
while our faces were awash in speeches that cured.

Photos on a table: nearly shiny gods of reflection,
made us bow down before the small, instant altars
spread out like a sea of happy snapshots.

Not kept by the mountain,
but owning it -
its shape, now destined
for invisible change,

At the florist, a lady
smelled heavenly;
I grew nearly
intoxicated; swooning

Out there in the dire hinterlands,
a vastness ebvelopes tropes of yesterday,
that will never be held again.

Lamont Palmer Biography

Lamont Palmer was born and raised in Maryland, where he still resides. He wrote poetry in his teens, but left it as an adult, and did not write anymore poetry for 20 years. In his late 30's, feeling the artistic urges moving him, he returned to poetry, again, as a way to vent his feelings. However this time he began to see his writing as actual art, a craft, something to be taken seriously, a more than simply unloading his feelings bluntly onto the page. He cites as his poetic influences the work of the English masters, Wordsworth and Keats, the French Symbolist Stephane Mallarme, and 20th century lyricists such as Wallace Stevens, T.S. Eliot, James Merrill, W.H. Auden, and John Ashbery. Twice nominated for the Push Cart Prize in 2011, Palmer has published poetry in online magazines including, Some Words, Ariga, Red River Review, and Strange Roads. In addition to poetry, he also writes fiction and has completed one novel which he is in the process of trying to get published. He is fond of describing himself as a 'nonsmoker, nondrinker, nondruguser who's bright, witty, loves his parents, never been to jail, can't swim, is nervous of air travel, dislikes movies with too many car crashes, is musically eclectic, and would die without Cable TV.' In his spare time enjoys reading, playing Scrabble, following politics, and sometimes just staring into space in deep thought. Though Lamont would love to win a National Book Award for his work someday, he still primarily writes poetry for the release and the creation of a legacy, of sort. He writes, 'I don't have kids so I see my poems as my offsprings; perhaps even better reflections of myself than a child would be. I hope people will know my poems and enjoy them, now, and long after I have said goodbye to the world.' Lamont Palmer can be contacted through Poem Hunter, or which is his personal email address.)

The Best Poem Of Lamont Palmer

Suicide In An Old House

Death surrounds us with blatant arms.
A sanitation worker dies and no one
cares, but banshee phones striking at midnight,

summoning the equally unknown people
to altars of rancor and resignation.
What do they do but recognize a human

in the grip of edgy, illegible lives,
the ritualistic mouthing of platitudes,
cold and incurable as dry, winter snow?

Bleak living room. Soon the owner won't live
in the area for living, the area's dark aria -
a moment of meth, mirth and minions.

Take that bystreet to oblivion,
to namelessness, to fingers on hardware,
to the antinome of more pure breaths.

By his own hand - a homemade gun, a killing
of the flesh and the direction of the flesh -
alone, in the basement of barren wind

Lamont Palmer Comments

Raynette Eitel 05 July 2007

Am I the only one who misses seeing a new Lamont Palmer poem from time to time? He has his reasons for not posting, I am sure, but for those of us who enjoy his poetry, it seems such a loss. Raynette

3 2 Reply
Daniel Tyler 03 April 2007

One and half years after I joined poemhunter, I have yet to come across someone who writes with such timing, rhythm and control. The 'sound' of his work is very good, the images fresh and uncliched. Rhyme is occasionally used with subtlety to add momentum to his work. One of his poems concerns the debate between modernism and post-modernism. Lamont's work is a fusion of both. Like a good post-modernist, he gets out all of the old road maps, anchoring his work with a sense of music. Like a good modernist he is not at all derivative in his language. An excellent poet.

3 1 Reply
Lamont Palmer 01 November 2006

Ron, I hope you don't mind but I found this analysis of my work so thoughtful and interesting, I thought I'd stick it on the front so others can read it and measure their own views against it. Thanks. *** From: Ron Dragano (Saugus United States; Male; 54) To: Lamont Palmer Date Time: 10/8/2006 11: 38: 00 AM (GMT -6: 00) Subject: Hi Hi Lamont, Found a few moments to get to some of your stuff, find you daring, adventurous, brilliant at times, over reaching - risking- no sin in that, applaud your trying to push envelope of cliches and complacency off a cliff and if you slip and go off with it - WTF at least you didn't sit at home in the rocking chair all safe and gin fizzed with mediocrity. I wonder: your imagery is not obtuse and fuzzy but sings with clear tone clarity, yet you often waste yourself explaining it (when you deal with loneliness, for example) Funny because I'm usually at war with poets of surreal and private 'geographies' for failing to communicate anything beyond self absorbtion in whatever and now I think you bend over backwards to reach the reader and I'm wanting you to stand up straight. These are just thoughts, kind of looking for something real to say to you, but my perspective is only that, as you well know. I heard Pound really helped Eliot by editing and cutting and I think finding your Ezra would push you into glory. Ron

1 1 Reply
Lamont Palmer 19 January 2007

Thanks for this email, Mr. Sahoo. -LP *** From: Udit Kumar Sahoo (visakhapatnam India; Male; 49) To: Lamont Palmer Date Time: 11/3/2006 3: 25: 00 AM (GMT -6: 00) Subject: hi Lamont i read few of your poems...specially one on your mother is simply sort of puts you on a sentimental trip..immensely liked the structures of your poems..they donot yield meaning on the first reading...that exactly is so charming about them....have a joyful day... ...udit 03.11.2006.

1 1 Reply
Lamont Palmer 25 January 2007

Thanks for this, Adri. -LP *** From: Adri Anna Arena (Manette United States; Female; 49) To: Lamont Palmer Date Time: 1/24/2007 11: 57: 00 PM (GMT -6: 00) Subject: Poems Oh, My God! Aren't you famous yet? Your poetry is incredible. I hear a voice evocative of Wallace, yet uniquely your own. Weldon Kees, Gerard Manley Hopkins? I am just blown away! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! Best Wishes, adri anna

1 1 Reply
Doris Cornago 09 January 2014

Hi LP. What is taking you so long? I am all primed up and nowhere to go. The poem Tiring Day is really for you to serve as a warning. I am really a crazy woman - you just don't know how much. I am sparing you the trouble of encountering the crazy side of me. I want you on the table, your polite self, passing the dishes to me for my inspection and delectation. But we can eat with our bare hands, I would allow you that informality. I thoroughly understand the exasperation of this: Childhood sank: sun into sea. An inner child breathes, has his way, and the days roll, moved by direction.. It is really a delight to be misunderstood, is it not? Just as GV says below, he does not understand one line of your poem, I believe you are ecstatic. When we say something that ordinary people do not understand, they quip, Ah, a poet! That becomes your signature, to be misunderstood. I would like to ask you about what Mr Giorgio Veneto in this regard, Are you an inexperienced poet by his measuring stick? (Please forgive the pun.)

1 2 Reply
Doris Cornago 06 January 2014

Hi LP. Let me add some of mine although I feel that I am not in the same league as those who have already known you and read your poems (which came first, the knowing or the reading?) . I can feel the honesty behind your poems and this is so important for me. The images and messages that your poems contain are complex. One cannot get the meaning/s in one reading. While most readers are looking for entertainment in poems, the nature of your poems requires them to work to get complete satisfaction out of most of your poems.

1 2 Reply
Lamont Palmer 26 July 2009

Jon, thanks for the sum up. -LP Date & Time: 7/26/2009 9: 22: 00 AM Remove this comment Poem: 8778550 - Beside The Tracks Member: Jon London Comment: Lamont I must say, that you are one of the finest writers I have had the privilege of reading...your use of metaphor is outstanding...wonderful select wording adds a wonderful feel to your works....fantastic 10

2 1 Reply

I believe I told you on a comment on one of your poems that you write and deliver a feast of words.Not only is your poetry deep but eloquently written...Happy Birthday.

2 1 Reply
Lamont Palmer 10 May 2009

I truly appreciate these words, Dervish. HOWLIN' DERVISH (4/25/2009 4: 59: 00 PM) Post reply Lamont, you are the one of the very few people on this site that I recognise as a true poet. Your words have a meaning.

1 1 Reply

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