“Can I kick it?”
“Yes you can!”
—A Tribe Called Quest


Situated squarely in the oral traditions of hip-hop and BreakBeat Poetry, Idris Goodwin’s work bridges the divide between the reader and the poet. Combining the tongue-in-cheek and the irreverent with the melancholy and incisive, Goodwin’s poetry samples and re-purposes pop-culture—from Back to the Future to Prince, Missy Elliot to Dominique Wilkins—in order to reflect and remix the stories we tell ourselves and each other in order to live.


Can I Kick It is an essential text, not just for its imagery, or its lyric, or its commitment to history. But, most importantly, for the way Idris Goodwin, once again, builds worlds. Yes, of course the wordplay is as on point as ever—incisive and playful and still not to be played with. But I can also feel the walls of the house party. I can feel myself in the seats of old movie theaters. And that is the true gift of this book. It creates spaces worth longing for, even if you don’t remember the time when you longed for them.”
—Hanif Abdurraqib, author of Go Ahead in the Rain: Notes to A Tribe Called Quest

Idris Goodwin is the Chicago cousin of Motown, Hip Hop, and B-Ball. His literary scriptures are rooted in the BreakBeat Poets pedagogical theory and soar in the spirit of the boom bap, the one-two and the cross over. Goodwin's contemporary emboldened eulogies cipher the forgotten founders of hood politics, the crooners in the corner of the juke joint with a precision so clean, his readers sway between the syntax as both witness and worship. These poems name our rising stars (Of the Lord) and our unsung deities (An Ode to Lotion). This text is beyond the truth. This text is a book of questions that will center and servive the political body surviving both PSSD & PTSD, one stanza at a time.” 
—Mahogany L. Browne, author of Black Girl Magic, Smudge and Redbone

Can I Kick It? by Idris Goodwin

  • Haymarket Books 2019

    New paperback

    100 pages