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FEATURED POET
Nothing to Worry About
by Palestinian-American Poet Remi Kanazi

the world is a messed-up place
rolled off your tongue
like an arrogant excuse

it’s easy to say that
   when drone strikes aren’t
leveling your block in Brooklyn
   when stop-and-frisk isn’t
haunting your every move
   when your baby’s
blood-spattered body isn’t
plastered onto your
Park Slope avenue

Black men make up 40%
of the US prison population
nearly half for drugs that
white men abuse at a higher rate

drunk driving kills
more than crack
but DUI’s don’t attract
five-year sentences
don’t see Jim Crow signage
in courtyards, but the same structures
still shackle the ankles of Black inmates

we spend
2.1 million dollars a year
to put a soldier in Afghanistan
35 thousand to lock a Black kid
up with racist laws
a third of that on education
and only 15 thousand dollars
on a minimum-wage job

pundits pontificate on
the color-blind era
we live in
where race gets
thrown out of the class
                                   struggle
and intersecting systems
of oppression get no airtime

the world is a messed-up place
and you seem to be profiting nicely
noise-canceling headphones
blocking out ambulance and
police sirens in the faint distance

a Palestinian kid was shot in the back
the bullet subsidized by your tax dollars
the guy you used to deliver your weed
was just sentenced to eight years
in prison with no priors

the drone buzzing will be heard
one day over Brooklyn, but it will
skip your gentrified neighborhood
you have nothing to worry about
we don’t want this
messed-up world
to crash your baby’s lullaby


SOURCE: Before the Next Bomb Drops: Rising Up from Brooklyn to
Palestine
, poems by Remi Kanazi, Haymarket Books, Chicago, Illinois,
USA, 2015.

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Poetry Corner

ARCHIVES
FEATURED POETS

BRAZIL

CARIBBEAN
GUYANA

UNITED STATES
REMI KANAZI is an American
poet, writer, and organizer
based in New York City. Born
in 1981, he is the son of
Palestinian refugees who fled
Palestine before the state of
Israel was established in 1948.

In 2004, Kanazi began
writing spoken word poetry
after attending a Def Poetry
Jam on Broadway. He
considers the form an
effective means of sharing his
political message with the
younger generation. His
political poetry addresses
such topics as human rights,
Palestine, Iraq, and
Islamophobia.

Kanazi has taught poetry
workshops from Oklahoma to
the West Bank, given talks
from New York City to
London, and has performed
at hundreds of venues from
New Orleans to Amman.

He is a Lannan Residency
Fellow and is on the Advisory
Committee of the Palestinian
Campaign for the Academic
and Cultural Boycott of Israel.

His published works include
an anthology and two poetry
collections:
~ Poets for Palestine (2008),
editor, anthology of hip hop,
poetry, and art;
~ Poetic Justice: Writings on
Resistance and Palestine

(2011); and
~ Before the Next Bomb
Drops: Rising Up from
Brooklyn to Palestine
(2015).

Remi Kanazi is one of the most courageous voices of this
generation.
Before the Next Bomb Drops is a beautiful
but urgent clarion call for freedom, justice, and
resistance in every pocket of the world, from occupied
Palestine to gentrified Brooklyn.
MARC LAMONT HILL, CNN COMMENTATOR AND HOST OF HUFFPOST
LIVE AND
BET NEWS.

Remi Kanazi asks whether his words "hurt more than
bombs dropped on Gaza?" They may not, but his words,
which combine art with a burning desire to narrate, to
shout, to shake, to shame and to humanize, create a
lasting, almost self-regenerating mind image of the
bombs dropped, the houses demolished and the
communities uprooted. Kanazi's haunting poems are not
written to be consumed; they reserve a place in one's
conscience, in one's memory, and--hopefully--in one's
praxis.
OMAR BARGHOUTI, PALESTINIAN HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST AND
COFOUNDER OF THE BDS MOVEMENT.

SOURCE: PRAISE FOR
BEFORE THE NEXT BOMB DROPS: RISING UP
FROM BROOKLYN TO PALESTINE,
POETRY COLLECTION BY REMI
KANAZI, HAYMARKET BOOKS, CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, 2015.

BEFORE THE NEXT
BOMB DROPS
RISING UP
FROM BROOKLYN
TO PALESTINE
POEMS
REMI KANAZI

HAYMARKET BOOKS / USA
2015
Remi Kanazi - Palestinian-American Performance Poet
Front Cover - Before the Next Bomb Drops by Remi Kanazi