Jelly Roll is a bluesey, fluid seduction. I’d never heard of Kevin Young, but when I was browsing for poetry at the library, I liked the cover of this book. I read the whole collection through twice in a week and kept browsing after that. It’s overdue now, which means I’m doing my civic-minded part to keep the doors open at Multnomah County Library. Pause for a moment to experience a warm glow of admiration, and then enjoy this.

This year, I’ve also recorded all the poems I’m posting. Click the title of the poem to listen.


I want, like
water, you —

something wet
gainst the back

of my throat. Carry
me out

reel me in
I been down

this well too long —

by Kevin Young

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