Blood Orbits

SKU: 978-1-60235-123-3

Ger Killeen

Free Verse Editions
Series Editor: Jon ThompsonCover of Blood Orbits

Information and Pricing
978-1-60235-123-3 (paperback; $14.00; £10; €11.00; $16.00 CAD) 978-1-60235-124-0 (Adobe eBook; $12.00; £9.00; €10.00; $14.00 CAD) ; © 2009 by Parlor Press; 86 pages.

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Blood Orbits is a series of poems and prose poems exploring various conceptualizations of history both as a generative principle of meaning and as particular contexts and events through which we shape our subjectivities.

In language that is richly musical and startlingly surreal, these poems interrogate and confront narratives that encode oppression, violence, and dishonesty, both the “grand narratives” which structure our place in history as well as the stories that we as individuals tell ourselves to make sense of our lives in their dailiness.

The events confronted in these poems are refracted through various consciousnesses using speaking voices that emerge from a whole spectrum of narrators, some reliable, some not, some linear in the way their language operates, some not. These events include the years of the Terror after the French Revolution, the opening up of the American West, the early exploration of the Arctic, and various colonial adventures.

In writing that is at once philosophically sophisticated and restlessly energetic, the poetry of Blood Orbits brings to life what Wallace Stevens called “the hum of thoughts evaded in the mind,” exploring ideas as ideas, but also evolving a poetic language that squarely confronts the consequences, whatever they may be, of those ideas in real human lives.

Literary influences on this work include Paul Celan, Susan Howe, Walter Benjamin and Elizabeth Willis.

About the Author

Ger Killeen teaches in the Department of English and Writing at Marylhurst University near Portland, Oregon. His special interests are postmodern poetry, Celtic literature, the poetry of mysticism, and critical theory. He is the author of several books, including A Stone That Will Leap Over the Waves (Trask House, 1999), A Wren (Bluestem Press, winner of the Bluestem Award for Poetry), and Signs Following (Parlor Press, 2005). His work also appears in several anthologies, including From Here We Speak (Oregon State University Press), American Poetry: The Next Generation (Carnegie-Mellon University Press), and The Gertrude Stein Awards 2006 (Green Integer).


The Abyss of the Birds
To The Counterglow
The Translator’s Dream
Blood Orbits
First Flesh
Winged Book

Figures and Grounds

1. Vendémiare
2. Brumaire
3. Frimaire
4. Nivôse
5. Pluviôse
6. Ventôse
7. Germinal
8. Floréal
9. Prairial
10. Messidor
11. Thermidor
12. Fructidor
Approaching The Barricade
Introduction To The Topography of Oregon
In the Margin of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle Land Grant
Hegelian Meditations
One Negative Way Of Looking At A Blackbird

Erebus and Terror

1. An Excellent Observation of the Sun in Quicksilver
2. Comparing the Merits of the Two Routes
3. In England There Is Nothing New
4. Hereabout the Larch Trees End
5. One Small Repeating Reflecting Circle
6. Reasons for My Engaging Hope as a Steersman
7. The Coruscation Reassumed the Horseshoe Form
8. Numerous Stone Marks and Several Caches
9. Beyond the Floating Light
10. The Translation of Her Indian Name Is Burnt Weed
11. The Shingly Point of which I Have Spoken Light Keeper
September 1914
Letters From The Front, 1906 – 2006
Tree Alphabet
Shannon Mercury
Sea of Cortez
A Shelter in Copan
Surety, Part A
Thoughts From A Garden

About the Author
Free Verse Editions

Blood Orbits

Ger Killeen

(To Simone Weil)

Prayermower, periodic

Of the perennial verbs
nothing left

but the stalks.              You keep one
step ahead, out-

traveling the snowline,
the interrogation cell,

the gnomon’s testscalpel.
You listen for silence

where the crowing calipers
browse on the zodiac.

You feed yourself
through the pummeled lips

one more night

Thoughts from a Garden

Ger Killeen

The hour darkens favorably.
May it be that fiery
groundsel, sword vetch
defect from this plot
walled by friezes of luminous
nostalgias. Absence makes
meaning meander,
a sap-acid eating
its way out of symbol
like the miraculous tears
of an icon erasing
the eyes they slide from.

On the outside
edges, in the supressed
collisions between the arclighted
intervals, the fictive
weeds of the future
uncurl in the overripe smoke,
begin their obscure push.

Fabulous the time which is
alive, again.

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