Inquisition – poems – Kazim Ali

poetry by Kazim Ali
Wesleyan University Press, 2018


Do strangers make you human – {from} Drone

This odd exactitude. This thisness. These inhabited levitations. These spiritual hashtags for the redactions of Babel. This poetry….found, founded, in Kazim Ali’s Inquisition.

To know there is always another text.

In a different book Jesus
never suffered, never was flogged or died
went whole into heaven without passion – {from} The Earthquake Days

To command, with embodiment, form.

do swear oblivion
Has its own markers but where the buoy
Of being clangs its stellar ore – {from} All One’s Blue

This is a searching work, a locating text, and its voice is one that makes of ground a hymn to some future itinerary. Ali is a believer in, a writer of, histories unmade by a record-breaking presence. If he wanders into the loneliness of the long distance runner, it is to appear as the clocker of isolated sprints.

(I weep like a stone)

(Really close to) two – {from} Forgotten Equations

Sail or spin I endless ember – {from} The Labors of Psyche

These are verses, redrawn, from a borderless awe. Unmothered anecdotes that fact-check the paternal past of the overtaken visionary. Were poem to erase all I pretend to love, I could live hearing such a speaking as is here, with how it addresses the now with a deepened next.


reflection by Barton Smock


book is here:

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