The Primitive Observatory

The Primitive Observatory

by Gregory Kimbrell

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Overview

The Primitive Observatory by Gregory Kimbrell

The poems of The Primitive Observatory, set roughly in the Gilded Age, take readers into a dreamy, alluring world where hapless travelers, doomed heirs, and other colorful types grapple with horrors. Within the pages of this book, we find a group of cousins who wager their pets in endless games of mahjong, a village whose inhabitants all dream the same dreams, and Maurice, who watches Greta Garbo movies while waiting for death in the macabre home of his grandfather, a man suspected of sinister hypnosis and unspeakable crimes.
 
Kimbrell explores such themes as memory, class prejudice, family violence, and greed in a flamboyant, yet matter-of-fact style to create verse that is both amusing and unsettling. Combining prose that evokes H. P. Lovecraft, classical mythology, and Marcel Proust with the look and taut line of traditional formalist verse, the poems appear on the page as perfect rectangles, yet revel in narrative and linguistic absurdities.
 
The Primitive Observatory offers a dark and evocative experience through the tangible grotesque. Fans of David Lynch, Franz Kafka, Edward Gorey and the like will be startled, excited, and pleased by this entertaining and disturbing book of poetry.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780809334803
Publisher: Southern Illinois University Press
Publication date: 03/08/2016
Edition description: 1st Edition
Pages: 80
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Gregory Kimbrell’s poems have appeared in Blackbird, the Laurel Review and the Abaculi Project. Kimbrell is the events and programs coordinator for Virginia Commonwealth University Libraries.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Part 1

Interview at the Fox and Lantern 3

The Fire That Cleared the Valley of Oster 4

The Succulent Flowers 5

The Lost Psychotherapist 6

Nocturne (Mouths of the Urns) 7

The Turn of the Weather Vane 8

The Order of Silence 10

The Quarantine 11

The Passing Brigade 13

Part 2

The Blizzard 17

The Burial Plot 18

Nocturne (Craters of the Moon) 20

The Remote District 21

The Hour of Study; or, The Concept of Moral Genealogy 22

First Buds on the Rowan Highway 24

Nocturne (Wind from the Hills) 25

The Monster of Barlow 26

The Diplomats 28

The Next Palace 29

Part 3

The Goat God 33

Hotel Vitruvius 34

Nocturne (Empty Fireplace) 36

1900 Gibbon Street 37

The Age of Miracles 39

The Marshes 41

Nocturne (Boat at the Wayside) 42

The Advance of the Glacier 43

The Fog 44

The Barrier Reef 46

Part 4

In the Progress of Time 51

The Four Cousins 52

The Ruin at Drax End 55

The Wall 57

The Sluice Gate 59

The End of Time at Four Heaths School 60

Successor to the Late Lord 62

Yellow Fingers 63

The Years Underground 65

Nocturne (Tremors of the Earth) 66

The Coming Winter 67

Notes 69

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