Sonnets for Dead Rappers:
Ol’ Dirty Bastard

by Natalie Jarrett


Before each of us gets to be buried
underneath the dirt of our own making,
we confront the true nature of things.
It’s been said that you had decayed towards the
end. In your wake you left a hoard of some
-thing, some say botflies, others the blues. You
had become how you wanted it: raw. In
one myth, man first came to be when a god
tossed a fistful of mud over his back,
In another, we sprang forth from nothing—
the realest bastards. I’ll be real
with you all, sometimes time feels like an un-
raveling cornrow, sometimes I feel like
a pair of crazy-eyes against the wind.


back to University & College Poetry Prizes