— We listen to the disorganisation of organisation, where form becomes force. It was through this music that I came to the Hindu music of my maternal line. One collective chant giving rise to another, a backward path to an origin point where the origin is also a moment of dissolution.
Even in the depths of Hell, there’s an exit strategy, if only you can find a pal and something to jimmy the locks. Inside every version of the world that is burning down from the misery and appetite of capital, there is another world that is burning down from the love and rage of an assembly. This book, which reimagines Dante’s Hell in an age of raging bushfires and endless bureaucratic violence, suggests a way to get from one burning world to another. You need love, kimchi, Carly Rae Jepsen, and the promise of the other side. Brooks writes with a disarming breeziness, picking up embers and changing their course.
‘The hell in Andrew Brooks’s astonishing Inferno is in part the one you’ve read about: a gruesome territory full of flames, smoke saturating the air, bad and increasingly catastrophic weather, around every corner another boss. You know, Dante shit. Brooks’s Inferno knows this earth is no heaven, but also knows more than Dante about everyday life in the smoldering lake of fire. Nowhere in the Commedia do we find a record of how good tahini and banana are as a snack. And of course Dante did not have the blessing of listening to Rihanna, who teaches us that you can find love in a hopeless place, however rarely, with whatever difficulty. These four poems study the ways we find love and life in our present infernal landscape and opens us up to the pleasure of being here in hell, friends in low places, breathing our outrage together in common conspiracy against the bad lords of capital. Whatever we do against them, we must do it together: “The terrible beauty of our noise arises from the sharing of our needs.”’ — Brandon Brown
Listen to the Inferno playlist here
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