Amiri Baraka Online Poems Essay Research Paper

Amiri Baraka: Online Poems Essay, Research Paper

Preface to a Twenty Volume Suicide Note

Lately, I’ve become accustomed to the way

The ground opens up and envelopes me

Each time I go out to walk the dog.

Or the broad edged silly music the wind

Makes when I run for a bus…

Things have come to that.

And now, each night I count the stars.

And each night I get the same number.

And when they will not come to be counted,

I count the holes they leave.

Nobody sings anymore.

And then last night I tiptoed up

To my daughter’s room and heard her

Talking to someone, and when I opened

The door, there was no one there…

Only she on her knees, peeking into

Her own clasped hands



In Memory of Radio

Who has ever stopped to think of the divinity of Lamont Cranston?

(Only jack Kerouac, that I know of: & me.

The rest of you probably had on WCBS and Kate Smith,

Or something equally unattractive.)

What can I say?

It is better to haved loved and lost

Than to put linoleum in your living rooms?

Am I a sage or something?

Mandrake’s hypnotic gesture of the week?

(Remember, I do not have the healing powers of Oral Roberts…

I cannot, like F. J. Sheen, tell you how to get saved & rich!

I cannot even order you to the gaschamber satori like Hitler or Goddy Knight)

& love is an evil word.

Turn it backwards/see, see what I mean?

An evol word. & besides

who understands it?

I certainly wouldn’t like to go out on that kind of limb.

Saturday mornings we listened to the Red Lantern & his undersea folk.

At 11, Let’s Pretend

& we did

& I, the poet, still do. Thank God!

What was it he used to say (after the transformation when he was safe

& invisible & the unbelievers couldn’t throw stones?) "Heh, heh, heh.

Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows."

O, yes he does

O, yes he does

An evil word it is,

This Love.



Notes For a Speech

African blues

does not know me. Their steps, in sands

of their own

land. A country

in black & white, newspapers

blown down pavements

of the world. Does

not feel

what I am.


in the dream, an oblique

suckling of nerve, the wind

throws up sand, eyes

are something locked in

hate, of hate, of hate, to

walk abroad, they conduct

their deaths apart

from my own. Those

heads, I call

my "people."

(And who are they. People. To concern

myself, ugly man. Who

you, to concern

the white flat stomachs

of maidens, inside houses

dying. Black. Peeled moon

light on my fingers

move under

her clothes. Where

is her husband. Black

words throw up sand

to eyes, fingers of

their private dead. Whose

soul, eyes, in sand. My color

is not theirs. Lighter, white man

talk. They shy away. My own

dead souls, my, so called

people. Africa

is a foreign place. You are

as any other sad man here





“A closed window looks down

on a dirty courtyard, and Black people

call across or scream across or walk across

defying physics in the stream of their will.

Our world is full of sound

Our world is more lovely than anyone’s

tho we suffer, and kill each other

and sometimes fail to walk the air.

We are beautiful people

With African imaginations

full of masks and dances and swelling chants

with African eyes, and noses, and arms

tho we sprawl in gray chains in a place

full of winters, when what we want is sun.

We have been captured,

and we labor to make our getaway, into

the ancient image; into a new

Correspondence with ourselves

and our Black family. We need magic

now we need the spells, to raise up

return, destroy,and create. What will be

the sacred word?



Monday in B-Flat

I can pray

all day

& God

wont come.

But if I call


The Devil

Be here

in a minute!



Wise I

WHYS (Nobody Knows

The Trouble I Seen)


If you ever find

yourself, some where

lost and surrounded

by enemies

who won’t let you

speak in your own language

who destroy your statues

& instruments, who ban

your omm bomm ba boom

then you are in trouble

deep trouble

they ban your

own boom ba boom

you in deep deep



probably take you several hundred years

to get





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