The World Keeps Ending, and the World Goes On
“Named A Most Anticipated Book by: LitHub * Vulture * Time * A PW 2022 Holiday Gift Pick From acclaimed poet Franny Choi comes a poetry collection for the ends of worlds-past, present, and future. Choi's third book features poems about historical and impending apocalypses, alongside musings on our responsibilities to each other and visions for our collective survival. Many have called our time dystopian. But The World Keeps Ending, and the World Goes On reminds us that apocalypse has already come in myriad ways for marginalized peoples. With lyric and tonal dexterity, these poems spin backwards and forwards in time--from Korean comfort women during World War II, to the precipice of climate crisis, to children wandering a museum in the future. These poems explore narrative distances and queer linearity, investigating on microscopic scales before soaring towards the universal. As she wrestles with the daily griefs and distances of this apocalyptic world, Choi also imagines what togetherness--between Black and Asian and other marginalized communities, between living organisms, between children of calamity and conquest--could look like. Bringing together Choi's signature speculative imagination with even greater musicality than her previous work, The World Keeps Ending, and the World Goes On ultimately charts new paths toward hope in the aftermaths, and visions for our collective survival.”
“Franny Choi's latest poetry finds hope for the future in our past apocalypses”
“Poet Franny Choi believes that, for marginalized people, the apocalypse already happened. And, in her latest poetry collection, she explores what it means to live in this unending dystopia.
"By the time the apocalypse began, the world had already ended. It ended every day for a century or two. It ended and another ending world spun in its place," Choi writes in "The World Keeps Ending, and the World Goes On."
Celebrate Good Times
The regime is having a birthday party, so we turn off the lights
and pretend we’re sick. All night, happy Americans
honk their horns. We did it, they scream into our window.
In the morning, We is all over the floor. We sweep We
into a paper bag and label it EMERGENCY. The good news
is that things will go back to the way they were,
which is also the bad news. Meanwhile, I cut
an onion, and it’s onions all the way down, and that’s a fine
reason to cry at the sink on a Monday after the empire
congratulates itself on persisting again. No, thank you,
I’m stuffed, I couldn’t possibly have more hope. I haven’t finished
mourning the last tyrant yet. I haven’t said enough
goodbyes to—oh, what was her name? And hers?
How many Wes did they cut out of me? And whose country
was I standing on, the last time we survived?
Good Morning America
Headline: the unthinkable’s already, already
happened again—and so Layleen’s perfect face
swings back into the orbit of my grief—
Catch up—it’s the anniversary of the aftermath
of another bad massacre, and I’ve got
plenty of seats. Come in, I whisper
to the wailing in the attic, Come in to the thunder,
to any sound that’ll shake me from doom’s haze.
Dispatches from Kenosha,
Louisville, Atlanta, arrive, arrive
like a steady kickdrum of sparrows
spatchcocked by gravity, little nevers,
little couldn’ts; too late to stop the video,
too late, too late. I hold each stolen face
against my forehead as the centuries slough off,
flightless. Century and its scythes. Century
and its literal marks and mobs. As a child,
I couldn’t believe my luck: born
in the best country on Earth.
Now I know better. So what.
Good morning, what’s done is done is.
Come in, last year’s wreck, rent.
Grief’s a heavy planet, and green.
I know better than to call
each gravity’s daughter to my softest cheek.
I know, and I know.
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