The Poetry Project


Andrea Abi-Karam

CHECK 1—check, check
CHECK 2—check?
CHECK 3—can you hear me?
CHECK 4—is the room empty?
CHECK 5—can you hear me?
CHECK 6—oh well.
CHECK 7—my story is empty, anyway
CHECK 8—lights off.
CHECK 9—goodnight.
CHECK 10– NEXT ON CNN: a poetry of directness:
kill all the noise bros who move to Brooklyn and tell everyone des-
perately that the noise they’re making is the only thing they believe
in. kill all the bro poets. actually you know what, kill all the bros.
kill all the power dynamics in the room. kill all the power dyna-
mics in the white room. kill all the power dynamics in all the rooms.
pull them down by their greasy cables. get yr hands dirty. kill all the
hierarchies of power of who is publishing who and who is fucking
who and who they fucked before they got published. publish who
they fucked, or don’t. kill the non profit board of poets who sched-
uled the endless summer reading during dyke march this Saturday.
and kill the sociality that makes queers feel excluded and that makes
the orgy dangerous for our bodies that makes you select who to make
eye contact with and who to ignore on alternating nights and which
beer to schedule on which day and which bar to go to after which
reading. and kill the system that was designed to alienate everyone
from each other and caused this desperate sociality to emerge and kill
the system of gendered power that makes it so hard to inhabit every
moment in my own skin to really know how to detect each buzz like
counting the number of trains that pass at night. and kill the
language of avoidance that made it so hard for me to write this.
CHECK 11—is anybody out there?

Poems & Texts