The Primitive Observatory - Crab Orchard Series in Poetry (Paperback)Gregory Kimbrell (author)
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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.
Publisher: Southern Illinois University Press
Number of pages: 80
Weight: 136 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 10 mm
"If poetry casts a spell, this debut collection is a book of magic in which an idiosyncratic sensibility and a wry, anachronistic tone conjure a precisely imagined, alternative realm that feels both strange and strangely familiar. From the opening page of The Primitive Observatory, we are thrust into a darkly fantastical landscape that has been pervasively stamped by both culturally endorsed violence and requisite greed. Kimbrell invites us, through masterfully baroque yet honed vignettes, to consider not only the tenuous nature of our own understanding of causality but also the seemingly inexhaustible allure of the myth."-Kathleen Graber, author of The Eternal City
"Entering a poem in this book feels much as if you have stepped out onto thin air, and yet there it is, a staircase solid beneath the foot, so you are already moving quickly before you can guess where, and if the diction seems antique, the writing is never dusty-instead, the intensity of these vignettes blows the cobwebs off you, dear reader, as you discover intimacies of surprise, puzzling dimensions of entrapment, an alien force caught in the act of becoming self-aware, as if Chekhov's mind might enter Escher's hand and he would begin to draw out yet another twisting tale more entrancing than the last, the age of miracles returned to find you in your shadow again."-Gregory Donovan, author of Torn from the Sun
"The Primitive Observatory is an astonishing construct: a museum of cinematic dreamscapes that push far beyond magic realism and allegory into luminous, unclassifiable narrative. This is masterful, strange, and essential work from a new voice."-Joshua Poteat, author of The Regret Histories