Poems and Texts

“Q: What Happened?” by Cheena Marie Lo

Q: What Happened?

Q: What happened?

Q: Were you born in the United States or some other country?

Q: Which of these categories best describes your origin or descent?

Q: Who is missing?

Q: Is it simply a question of leaving out?

Q: Should we move to higher ground?

Q: What does disaster look like?

Q: What is the cause?

Q: What is the effect?

Q: Did this take place in your own neighborhood or somewhere else?

Q: Did this take place in the street or on the sidewalk?

Q: Did this take place outside, for example, in a yard, area surrounding a building, a park or a parking lot?

Q: Did this take place in or near a public housing project?

Q: Did the [OFFENSE] occur in [CITY]?

Q: Did the [OFFENSE] take place inside a building?

Q: For what other authorities are you being held?

Q: What is important to you?

Q: Who is to blame?

Q: Are you not being held for any federal, state, or local authorities other than this jail?

Q: Who?

Q: What is the context?

Q: Do you expect to ever be released from jail or prison?

Q: Say there is a massive flood and you have a rowboat with enough room to row yourself and three others to safety, who do you choose?

Q: How do you choose?

Q: Which is the most important reason?

Q: What happens to everyone else?

Q: When were you most recently admitted to jail?

Q: What is your plan?

Q: What counts as a crime?

Q: How much did you, your family, or friends pay?

Q: How much was returned?

Q: How much money is spent on prisons a year?

Q: How many schools have been shut down this year?

Q: What harm has been done?

Q: What needs have been created?

Q: Who is responsible for repair?

Q: Power.

Q: Who has the answers?

Q: Who has the longest life expectancy from birth?

Q: Who has insurance and access to care?

Q: Who delayed or did not receive needed medical care due to cost?

Q: Who are the fittest in the struggle?


Cheena Marie Lo

Born in Manapla, Philippines, Cheena Marie Lo is a genderqueer poet based in Oakland, California. They co-founded the Manifest Reading Series, which featured mainly queer experimental artists and writers. They currently coordinate a youth art program at California College of the Arts, and co-edit the literary journal, HOLD. Their first book, A Series of Un/Natural/Disasters is forthcoming from Commune Editions in April 2016.

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