There is a reason why crime stories dominate tv and film. People love them! They are equal parts mysterious, suspenseful, horrifying, gruesome, and terrifying. These are the exact traits that draw us in as viewers, and these are the exact same reasons why crime stories are an excellent way to engage secondary students.
Love it or hate it, poetry is unavoidable in the secondary ELA classroom. I, for one, am a HUGE lover of poetry but fully acknowledge that it can be annoyingly cryptic at times. Reading poetry reminds us that not all texts are meant to be beat "with a hose to find out what [they] really mean" like in the Billy Collins poem "Introduction to Poetry."