Poems by Amiri Baraka

Amiri Baraka makes me want to be a better poet. His flow and subject matter appeal to many generations. When I heard him speak in person some seven or so years ago, I was not only impressed by his words, but his overall aura as an artist. Amiri Baraka's controversial work has at times been noted for being anti-woman, homophobic, racist and anti-Semitic. While I don't agree with all of Baraka's ideas, as a writer, I respect his voice as a fellow poet. Enjoy.

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

+ + +

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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