Franny Choi in The Adroit Journal
"... Yes, in another life, it’s someone else’s sister
who climbs to the roof that night. In another life,
the boys rise darkly from the asphalt to choke
the engines of cruisers, and no one gives birth
chained to a hospital bed, and no one’s child washes
blue, ashore. Sure. You can have these worlds."
Franny Choi's poem "Introduction to Quantum Theory" has recently been featured in Issue Twenty of The Adroit Journal -- and I cannot stop reading and rereading it.
If you haven't had your mind blown yet, you can click here to see it in The Adroit Journal, where the poem is accompanied by an audio clip of Choi reading her poem.
Franny Choi is a spoken word artist and author of Floating, Brilliant, Gone, a collection published by Write Bloody Publishing in 2014. Her more recent work includes the chapbook: Death by Sex Machine, published in 2017 by Sibling Rivalry Press. On her website you can read more about her accomplishments as a slam poet finalist, fellowship winner, and her adventures as a Project VOICE teaching artist.
I think what I love most about "Introduction to Quantum Theory" is its ability to constitute an empathy for balance in the universe. So often when we experience great grief in our lives, our first impulse is to wish it away. We never really think about what it would mean if we were successful; if our wishes came true, where would the grief go? Would it become someone else's grief?
Sometimes we don't consider where the grief would go because we don't care - just so long as it exits from our lives, it doesn't matter where it ends up. "Introduction to Quantum Theory" forces the reader to care. Effortlessly, Choi's words elicit empathy for those who adopt our abandoned hardship, showing us how pain and suffering can manifest in all kinds of ways, across all kinds of universes.
The poem does not ask the reader to be grateful for their sorrow, or even to stop wishing it away. It only tells the reader that there is balance in the universe, and though there may be a reality in which your loved ones have never been hurt, so too is there still pain in that reality. The poem asks the reader to accept this balance, and with acceptance comes a certain kind of inner piece.
"Introduction to Quantum Theory" is a fantastic poem, and I recommend it to poetry readers of all levels and tastes.
If you're interested in reading more of Choi's writing:
To learn more about The Adroit Journal, click here!