Let’s Let That Are Not Yet: Inferno

Let’s Let That Are Not Yet: Inferno arrives right on time while managing, in its depth and breadth, to be timeless, presenting an indelible example of what poetry might look and sound like when it strives to engage critically with our contemporary world. Reverberating with a lyric form and flow grounded in the backbeats of hip hop, jazz’s improvisatory play and r&b’s soulful truth-telling, and fully conversant with multiple traditions—from Shakespeare through (Po-)PoMO and popular culture—these poems put the political back in poetics and poetry back in the news. —National Poetry Series Judge John Keene

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Selected by

John Keene






                 ‘On the waste, beneath the sky…’

They caught him yesterday night. During the NCAA Tournament
game on CBS. He called the Athens Police, Georgia. Said he wanted
to turn himself in and that he had 8 hostages and that he wanted to
surrender on live television so that if they shot him down trying to
surrender everyone would see it. It’s pretty clear he shot the two police
officers. It’s definite that one of them is dead and the other is going to
survive the gunshots on his face and shoulder. It’s unclear if Ohio State
can beat Kentucky, and it’s been clear to me for years that advertising
sold to sporting events is designed to make men partially numb and to
make them despise the parts of themselves that aren’t.

In ways related to some or none of this, there’s dense weather in my
House tonight.

                                                                                  ‘the one above…’