Issue 9 – Winter 2005 – Ger Killeen

Ger Killeen


Light Keeper

Say he comes out of nowhere with saltflakes
in his beard, nowhere far from
the Copernican provinces, peering out
from beneath the slick, misshapen caul
of 1900, skilled
in the ways of boats,
a canny reader of cloudshapes, diligent
polisher of concave mirrors:

I am unravelled back
by magnesium pulses
phrased in Morse and hollowed voices
from a wireless blooming and fading
in the unmetaphorical aether,
the name Lusitania unmoored
from what it tries to signify
opening a sensible tear

in the forecast weather;
with his eyes I look through
the night, deep through the scattered
galactic incandescence,
decode the Dog Star’s mysteries
to an endless line of the ruined and lost.
He blows through a tunnel
of possibilities, blinded by his own ashes,

an afterimage branded
on his retina: a ruby
counterglow from the mud-colored future:
Gallipoli, the Somme.



Ravenblack. Gleaming.
To eat is to become
as though you are caught
in the seahiss
between transmissions.

The blue jay fanning
his blackish headcrest,
the smell of an alder
catkin, a face you love,
dissolve in the twilit
sibilance of the same word.

Once, early Summer,
each of the yellow
tubular flowers was the paired
node of a new phrasing,
a tenuous, exact rendering
of promise. Once.

To eat is to fall
somewhere like the inside 
of a stone, gray and amniotic. Seahiss.
Without end.
Seahiss engorging
the lungs of myth.



Ger Killeen is originally from Limerick and now lives in Oregon, USA where he teaches at Marylhurst University. His books include A Wren (Bluestem Press)Lia A Léimfidh Thar Tonnta/ A Stone That Will Leap Over The Waves (Trask House), a bilingual Irish and English poetry collection, and Signs Following, recently published by Parlor Press in their Free Verse Editions series.