vocalisms #14: Khadijah Queen


vocalisms is a regular feature that presents selected tracks from voca, the Poetry Center's online audio video library of more than 800 recorded readings, spanning from 1963 to today.

photo of Khadijah Queen

This reading by Khadijah Queen from I’m So Fine: A List of Famous Men and What I Had On mixes levity and gravity as Queen critiques the continued commodification of women. Queen’s prose poems sound like a teenager’s stream-of-consciousness accounts of the world, and she uses this form to devastating effect. One moment I’m laughing at her mom’s love for Billie Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian, the next I’m as horrified as Queen was by the barely dressed 13 year old girl trying to enter a party hosted by Tupac. Queen chooses her details precisely, pulling the rug out from under readers in the same way it was pulled out from under her in these experiences.