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nUkiEmOLe poetRy of Others #17/ 13 fEb 2020 Short Speech to My Friends, by Amiri Baraka

nUkiEmOLe poetRy by Others #17/ 13 fEb 2020

Short Speech to My Friends, by Amiri Baraka


Amiri Baraka (October 7, 1934 – January 9, 2014) was one of the most prolific African American writers of the 20th century. Baraka, formerly known as LeRoi Jones and Imamu Amear Baraka, was an acclaimed poet and the Obie-winning playwright of Dutchman. His long list of writing credits includes: Blues People; Home; Social Essays; Black Fire; Selected Poetry of Amiri Baraka / LeRoi Jones and Selected Plays and Prose of Amiri Baraka/LeRoi Jones.  Up until his passing He continued to be active in the struggle against racism and capitalism, to organize artists, and to participate in the struggle for Black Liberation.


In July of 2002 Baraka was appointed the 2nd Poet Laureate for the state of New Jersey. After a public reading of the poem “Somebody Blew Up America” at the September 2002 Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival. The poem was accused of being anti-Semitic (completely missing the point of the poem – judge for yourself).  The outrage was so intense Baraka was asked to step down as Poet Laureate by the Governor. When Baraka refused the state passed legislation to eliminate the position. Baraka is the father of the current [2016] Newark Mayor, Ras J. Baraka


Short Speech to My Friends


A political art, let it be

tenderness, low strings the fingers

touch, or the width of autumn

climbing wider avenues, among the virtue

and dignity of knowing what city

you’re in, who to talk to, what clothes

—even what buttons—to wear. I address

                                                                        / the society

                                                                        the image, of

                                                                        common utopia.


                                                                        / The perversity

                                                                        of separation, isolation,

after so many years of trying to enter their kingdoms,

now they suffer in tears, these others, saxophones whining

through the wooden doors of their less than gracious homes.

The poor have become our creators. The black. The thoroughly


                  Let the combination of morality

and inhumanity




Is power, the enemy? (Destroyer

of dawns, cool flesh of valentines, among

the radios, pauses, drunks

of the 19th century. I see it,

as any man’s single history. All the possible heroes

dead from heat exhaustion

                                                   at the beach

                                                   or hiding for years from cameras

only to die cheaply in the pages

of our daily lie.

                             One hero

has pretensions toward literature

one toward the cultivation of errors, arrogance,

and constantly changing disguises, as trucker, boxer,

valet, barkeep, in the aging taverns of memory. Making love

to those speedy heroines of masturbation or kicking literal evil

continually down filmy public stairs.


A compromise

would be silence. To shut up, even such risk

as the proper placement

of verbs and nouns. To freeze the spit

in mid-air, as it aims itself

at some valiant intellectual’s face.


There would be someone

who would understand, for whatever

fancy reason. Dead, lying, Roi, as your children

cane up, would also rise. As George Armstrong Custer

these 100 years, has never made

a mistake.


“Short Speech to My Friends” from The Dead Lecturer (1964), reprinted in S O S: POEMS, 1961-2013 © 2014 by The Estate of Amiri Baraka; collection edited by Paul Vangelisti; recorded with the permission of the publisher, Grove Press, an imprint of Grove Atlantic, Inc. Previously published in Transbluesency: The Selected Poetry of Amiri Baraka/LeRoi Jones (1961-1995) by Marsilio Publishers, 1995.

Bio-sketch (2-27-16)…

I started into believing that I would be able to show my data and my photogRapHics in 1996. By 1998 I was learning computers would gain ascendant methods thru technics of programming for a future connected to data and information. That was nuclear-Molecular finding(s) to share and my personal-Activism w first account specifics and engendering(s).

As cameras went 'digital-Tech' I fond that editing was also to follow in 2004. Then, in 2005 my first digital camera had replaced usage(s) of s.l.r. 35 mm's. I have no mercy nor pity for the thieves who have stolen my hard werk, as anxiety of what I allowed was mid-stReam--anyway! Those asshole-Pukes have cost me $1,000's on a fixed income and I remain single, sole-Survivor of two-Families w.o. offspring!

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