Kees is a brilliant modernist poet, who describes the world he sees in dark and apocalyptic tones, filled with biting satirical wit. He poems read like photographic images of the dark reality in which he lives. His style is inventive and original. The world around him is hollow and meaningless, as seen through the eyes of bathers, lovers, scholars, soldiers, politicians, businessmen, actors, and Robinson -- the caricature of the average man of the cold-war era. His vision is the opposite Whitman with a vision that's closer to Kafka and Samuel Beckett, expressing the pointlessness of war and mechanistic civilization. As he writes: "If this room is our world, then let / This world be damned. Open this roof / For one last monstrous flood / To sweep away this floor, these chairs, / This bed that takes me to no sleep. / Under the black sky of our circumstance, / Mumbling of wet barometers, I stare / At citied dust that soils the glass / While thunder perishes. The heroes perish / Miles from here. Their blood runs heavy in the grass, / Sweet, restless, clotted, sickening, / Runs to the rivers and the seas, the seas / That are the source of that devouring flood / That I await, that I must perish by." Kees is one of the best American poets and deserves a wider audience.
--Alexander Shaumyan, poet, author of "Spirit of Rebellion"