“Newsquiz” by Amit Majmudar

Amit Majmudar


Are you up on current events? Take this fun quiz to test your knowledge!

The woman wove the wicker basket

a.)    to hold the flecked eggs she found orphaned on the lawn

b.)    because her fingers deprived of this over and under would reach for a cigarette, or a gun

c.)    to carry her infant downstream into Pharaoh’s household

d.)    so the hot air balloon could float the hunted man to safety

Where the stress falls

a.)    is wherever the knee does

b.)    the structure fails

c.)    batons spondee against advancing riot shields

d.)    all of the above, just last night, downtown

An obelisk is a monument

a.)    to a slaveowner beloved for his false hair and false teeth

b.)    to the first victorious general who when begged to become a king said no

c.)    shaped like a lighthouse stranded far from the sea

d.)    and a lightning rod and the point of a spear

While the city center burned

a.)    the rocket launched the latest iteration of white flight

b.)    Nero fiddled on his phone

c.)    the suburb went for a bike ride

d.)    the prizewinning poet posted a paragraph lamenting her privilege and promising to listen more

Before you could see your country on your phone at all times, you

a.)    cherished your circadian rhythm

b.)    climbed more trees

c.)    interrogated your surroundings no further than sixth grade Social Studies

d.)    thought of kneeling as an act of humility in a cathedral

e.)    thought of getting down on one knee as how a man humbles himself before the woman he’s asking to marry him

f.)    floated down the river of your days in an oblivious wicker basket past triumphal obelisks built by slaves

from Poets Respond
June 9, 2020


Amit Majmudar: “This poem responds to the complex, longstanding, and only-now-expressed catastrophe that has been playing out in cities across our country. This poem’s ‘online quiz’ format allowed the collapse, into one poem, of the violence and anguish, and the safety and frivolity, that coexist in different parts of America right now—the tumultuous cities, and the serene suburbs; the rubber-bullet brutality of real life, and the word-brutality of online life.” (web)

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