‘Not my corona’: Read Abdul Fattah Ismail’s poem ‘The Life of Quarantine’

‘Not my corona’: Read Abdul Fattah Ismail’s poem ‘The Life of Quarantine’

House of Abundance Poetry’s four-year anniversary event fell in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. In absence of the physical gathering of this mighty community, ALL ARTS partnered with House of Abundance Poetry and introduced an ongoing series with a single-word prompt for each writer: quarantine.

Abdul Fattah Ismail is a poet and spoken word artist based in Brooklyn. His debut book — available in print and as an audiobook — is titled “Extended Syllables.” Published in 2016, the poetry collection draws on personal experience to view music history, romance, race, class, the Cold War, finance and politics through a deconstructionist lens. He joined the House of Abundance Poetry community in 2017 and loved to attend consistently, hear poems from a joyous audience and share his own work.

Here is his submission, “The Life of Quarantine.”

“The Life of Quarantine,” by Abdul Fattah Ismail

Looking through the window solo
Desktop launched
Flex your dreams
Not my corona
Grifters knew it then
Passed on the kits
Wants us sick, wants us dead
Not my corona
Wash your hands thorough
Soap in palm
Fingers laced
Not my corona
Rotate your rubbing
Rub up top
Rub up back, rinse it slow
Not my corona
Work it from the home
Phones ring up, colleagues first
Friends to fam
Not my corona
Hit the grocery store
She wakes up
Up and out
Not my corona
Six feet away
Meters too
Measured tape
Not my corona
Tap the card straight down
Apple Pay
No contact, hold the cash
Not my corona
N-n-n-n-n-n-not my corona
Not my corona
Quarantine ‘til over
Not my corona

Find a full schedule of poems, to be released weekly in partnership with House of Abundance, here. For more information, future events, and general updates from the community, follow House of Abundance on Instagram at @abundancehouseof.

Top Image: Abdul Fattah Ismail, House of Abundance Poetry.