Naomi Jackson, Karim Dimechkie, and Kaitlyn Greenidge talk about their MFA years

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Poetry

They’re a stretch, / these contiguities between land and mind— / but consider the speed limit: / over a hundred the whole way back / to Hope

Poetry

paperless people / of the earth say,
/ “this place is mine, / can you not see we birthed it?”

Poetry

no tiene otra ley que / su mismo cuerpo feliz || with no law other than / his own joyous body

Poetry

사람들을 따라갈수록 나는 거짓말이 되어가. || The more I follow people the more I become a lie

Poetry

When the streets are stained sea blue, they are graven in time

Poetry

api tak sempat bertanya: apakah kata-kata bisa / terbakar? || fire didn’t have the chance to ask: can words / burn down?

Poetry

不要以為 / 八八十月 過了還會回來 / 除非有十一月 || don’t assume that / October ‘88 will ever return / except in November

Poetry

Question: with sharp enough clippers, can you help / any tree grow small? With sharp enough clippers, can you outlive your / kids?

Poetry

a land mistaken for a people is a people / objectified as spoils of the land

Poetry

How small a man is after he’s come / The size of a pinpoint of blood on a strip of plastic

Poetry

我忽然屏息 / 是風吹開妳襯衫 / 一顆煙彈正微微露餡 || as if with prophecy / wind peels back your shirt / a teargas gives away its shape

Poetry

We all want to be / remembered, either in stone or by name – / hence the oath / we swear to paper, hence the / incompleteness of life / with incomplete papers

Poetry

น้ำลายเฟ้อเต็มปากสำรากมนต์ / กลิ่นคละคลุ้งฝูงคนนะจังงัง || Spewing out its gibberish chants / Luring people into rhetorical trance

Poetry

It is a school for the children with no tongues who were born to tongueless mothers. The school teaches only one subject: patience. “Patience is the greatest virtue in life,” say the fathers who can speak.

Poetry

Now sitting behind barbed wire, hugging his knees / looking at the sky, the earth, the clouds / a bird’s wing like a far-fetched dream.

Poetry

It’s not the bullet that makes you bolt, / but the very words /
emerging from the muzzle’s restraint / the classroom in disguise

Poetry

Is every english word I pull from my mouth a child screaming / over the soft chants of ma and nanni ma?

Poetry

When the children / correctly used their chopsticks to pick up the rolled eggs and / separated the kimchi without splinters, they knew they were / loved by their food. The ashes knew it too.

Poetry

They’re a stretch, / these contiguities between land and mind— / but consider the speed limit: / over a hundred the whole way back / to Hope

Poetry

How small a man is after he’s come / The size of a pinpoint of blood on a strip of plastic

Poetry

paperless people / of the earth say,
/ “this place is mine, / can you not see we birthed it?”

Poetry

我忽然屏息 / 是風吹開妳襯衫 / 一顆煙彈正微微露餡 || as if with prophecy / wind peels back your shirt / a teargas gives away its shape

Poetry

no tiene otra ley que / su mismo cuerpo feliz || with no law other than / his own joyous body

Poetry

We all want to be / remembered, either in stone or by name – / hence the oath / we swear to paper, hence the / incompleteness of life / with incomplete papers

Poetry

사람들을 따라갈수록 나는 거짓말이 되어가. || The more I follow people the more I become a lie

Poetry

When the streets are stained sea blue, they are graven in time

Poetry

น้ำลายเฟ้อเต็มปากสำรากมนต์ / กลิ่นคละคลุ้งฝูงคนนะจังงัง || Spewing out its gibberish chants / Luring people into rhetorical trance

Poetry

api tak sempat bertanya: apakah kata-kata bisa / terbakar? || fire didn’t have the chance to ask: can words / burn down?

Poetry

It is a school for the children with no tongues who were born to tongueless mothers. The school teaches only one subject: patience. “Patience is the greatest virtue in life,” say the fathers who can speak.

Poetry

不要以為 / 八八十月 過了還會回來 / 除非有十一月 || don’t assume that / October ‘88 will ever return / except in November

Poetry

Now sitting behind barbed wire, hugging his knees / looking at the sky, the earth, the clouds / a bird’s wing like a far-fetched dream.

Poetry

Question: with sharp enough clippers, can you help / any tree grow small? With sharp enough clippers, can you outlive your / kids?

Poetry

It’s not the bullet that makes you bolt, / but the very words /
emerging from the muzzle’s restraint / the classroom in disguise

Poetry

Is every english word I pull from my mouth a child screaming / over the soft chants of ma and nanni ma?

Poetry

a land mistaken for a people is a people / objectified as spoils of the land

Poetry

When the children / correctly used their chopsticks to pick up the rolled eggs and / separated the kimchi without splinters, they knew they were / loved by their food. The ashes knew it too.