Kazim Ali

The Labors of Psyche
May 9, 2014 Ali Kazim

The Labors of Psyche


Because I could not not-know any longer I held the lamp over him

He used to sing me in roads across the sky

I wander now between anarchy and will

And who comes in the night to say “think harder”

Look then at the dire unmapped surface of the sun

Echoing thunder now struck by crime he leaves I’m undone

Kazim Ali was born in the United Kingdom to Muslim parents of Indian, Iranian and Egyptian descent. He received a B.A. and M.A. from the University of Albany-SUNY, and an M.F.A. from New York University. His books encompass several volumes of poetry, including Sky Ward, winner of the Ohioana Book Award in Poetry; The Far Mosque, winner of Alice James Books’ New England/New York Award; The Fortieth DayAll One’s Blue; and the cross-genre text Bright Felon. His novels include the recently published The Secret Room: A String Quartet and among his books of essays is Fasting for Ramadan: Notes from a Spiritual Practice. Ali is an associate professor of Creative Writing and Comparative Literature at Oberlin College. His new book of poems, Inquisition, and a new hybrid memoir, Silver Road: Essays, Maps & Calligraphies, will both be released in 2018.