The Now-Mythic Ashby Highrise, Enshrined in Hyperbole and Verse

Kenan Ince Performing Rice, Ashby at Cafe Brasil, 2604 Dunlavy St., Montrose, HoustonRice U. math Ph.D. student, Boulevard Oaks resident, and poet Kenan Ince has been making the rounds of local open-mic nights with his brief ode to the as-yet-invisible but still-ominous spectre looming over 1717 Bissonnet St. known as the Ashby Highrise. The poem, entitled Rise, Ashby, begins with an epigraph clipped from a Swamplot story about the lawsuit that was filed by a few of the 21-story apartment tower’s Southampton and Boulevard Oaks neighbors last year. A video of Ince’s recent performance at Montrose’s Cafe Brasil (seen at left) has been posted on Youtube; you can read the poem — with its original, towering typography intact — below:


“. . . a group of [affluent Houston] homeowners still seems intent to stop the Ashby Highrise from going up in their place . . . [homeowners allege] that the 21-story tower would deprive neighbors of sunlight and rain, limiting the enjoyment of their yards and making the maintenance of their gardens impossible.”

Text of Rise, Ashby Poem by Kenan Ince

Poem and video still: Kenan Ince

Rise, Ashby

21 Comment

  • Wow, that’s just bad writing.

    Lets stop all construction in Houston while we’re at it, it might inconvenience someone. Yes the building will cast a shadow for a bit during the day, will it block rain? Unless the Ashby developers plan on putting an umbrella on top, I doubt the rain will have much issue falling on people’s homes nearby.

    Also how does a 21 story building add 2,000 cars to the streets?

  • That was highly entertaining. Finally, a candidate to replace Maggie Estep.

  • Why do I have BOC’s “Godzilla” on my mind now?

  • Wonderfully brilliant, no doubt channeling Maya Angelou! I was just wondering aloud the other day, when will those dopey, yellow signs be removed from everyones’ yards? Those yellow sings really are an eyesore and no one cares about the stupid building going up. Can we please move past this?

  • thank you southampton lawyers for giving us a story that just won’t ever end.

    still not understanding the pernicious myth of traffic on bissonet though. not that i’m a daily driver on the street, but i have yet to go down bissonet during rush hour and not make it through the lights in one cycle. if there is any traffic, it’s because it’s still easier to drive down bissonet than richmond or holcombe where it can take multiple cycles to make it through the light.

  • Hey math whiz kid, riddle me this…how many people who could afford to live in the Ashby tower can also afford to live in a single family residence within the nab? Also your poetry flat out sucks, just stop it already.

  • The transcript leaves out the part about the “raped Comanches,” which I’m pretty sure is an inversion of reality, if you know anything about the Comanches and their habits.

    Interesting how when the Museum Tower in Dallas hurts a museum sculpture garden by casting too much light on it, everybody makes fun of the tower and sides with the museum, whereas in this case, when a new highrise hurts the gardens of private residents by casting them in shadow, everyone makes fun of the residents and sides with the tower?

  • and d-bags will write poems about it…..

  • Sorry …. he should ask for a tuition refund.

  • This poem is bad.
    Bad is an understatement.
    Please just stick to math.

  • This is not a joke: This is on the poet’s personal website:

    “To book Kenan Ince or learn more about booking him, please contact:”

  • And internet d-bags will rise and vent their life’s frustrations at something other than the source of said frustrations,
    And internet d-bags will rise and cast judgement on strangers,
    And internet d-bags will rise and rant with poor grammar and weakly-constructed arguments,
    And internet d-bags will cry out in one voice that this opinion differs from their own, and, like, how dare the author?
    And internet d-bags, who have not lain dormant ever since the dawn of the internet, will rise and point fingers and claim to be able to distinguish good poetry…
    Rise, internet d-bags! Rise!

  • I thought that was pretty good. We need more poets.

    I drove by the Ashby clearing today and noticed that still nothing is happening. Do these Buckheads not have financing for this building the likes of which they have never built before?

    What’s the hold up here?

  • I like the part where half the commenters didn’t use even a little critical thinking and wholly misunderstand poetry.

  • @Chris:
    Things such as poetry and sarcasm are often misunderstood online. Sometimes (like now) hilariously so.

  • He fits the bill as a definition of a loser.

    Bad poetry doesn’t make the situation better. Besides, dwelling on your loss is just not healthy.

  • yes, my reaction to the “pome” is that it is extremely ironic … which, like satire, is difficult for some people to recognize …

  • Idk, it’s actually kinda funny

  • Terrible writing. I did not see any poetry there other than list of reasons why building Ashby is bad. It is going to house students just like high rise hospitals house patients so I do not see a very good reason why stopping construction is a good idea.

  • Dramatic much?

  • I got to hear him read this at Brasil! I’d say it was the highlight of the night. I laughed so hard I cried. He’s such an awesome poet and reader.