Code Orange is a hospital term, a warning to staff indicating a bomb threat, a radioactive spill, a person with mental issues loose in the halls of the hospital. Sometimes it means everyone should evacuate as soon as possible. Karen Mulhallen’s Code Orange is among other things a meditation upon the possibility that we are living in a Code Orange world, that we should all get ready to evacuate, though in the event she finds moments of beauty even in the midst of war.
some old god
rising tall below the Red City,
or his companion, younger, seated still
smiling archaically before the caves
Code Orange features Mulhallen’s original poetry alongside Nancy Huston’s French translations. French poetry fans are able to experience Huston’s artful interpretations of the original-language poetry, and bilingual fans can enjoy two different takes on this evocative collection.