Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Searching for the Heart of the World

 by Mary Bast

Blake Kilgore's "Fluttering Bones of the Fireless Serpent" (below) published in Bacopa Literary Review 2019, is included in his upcoming debut poetry collection, "Leviathan" (12/8/21, Hapless Hip Books, Burlington, New Jersey).

"To enter into the poems of Blake Kilgore's collection Leviathan," writes Ralph Pennell, editor at Midway Journal, "is to be consumed by them, is to all at once race toward exaltation and brace oneself for the fall. At every step, we are met with challenges of faith that invariably become our own, where each of us must 'clamber down into the dark, searching for the heart of the world,' or suffer the consequences of our refusals."

From Jay Armstrong (Bedtime Stories for the Living): "Dripping with the ink of a preacher's Sunday sermon, Kilgore's diction crosses sacred with secular. Exaltation with sadness. Earthiness with the divine. These poems testify while questioning faith, redemption, identity, and love in tightly crafted verses reminiscent of Emily Dickinson."

You can see, in "Fluttering Bones of the Fireless Serpent," these elements of Kilgore's writing--the sacred and the secular: exaltation, earthiness, love--as he has described a sighting of flying geese followed by predators from a cunningly benign distance as a symphony, a light percussion anticipating the big boom, "a sensory marvel, one of those moments that leave you breathless, like seeing the Grand Canyon for the first time, or rising above the clouds climbing your way to a mountain peak summit."

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Blake Kilgore lives in New Jersey with his wife and four sons, where he teaches history to junior high students. You can find some of his stories in Lunch Ticket, Rathalla Review, Midway Journal, and many others. Please visit to find more of Blake's prose and poetry.