(Copyright © 2002 The Blacklisted Journalist)

(Photo by Myles Aronowitz)
(Copyright © 1997 Myles Aronowitz)

[This poem originally appeared in THE FIRST OF THE MONTH, a newspaper of the Radical Imagination]


(Copyright © 2001 Amiri Baraka)

Criss cross the jism & the jasm. They do not

Want to be fount out

So they sigh and lie and criminalize silence

With the dead pants of shaking in their boots.  They

Are afraid of the just gone and don't want to

Return, cause they didn't know what to do

When everybody was so animated and fly.

They thought, after all, you can understand

Hiding under the piano, looking for a Victrola

Or a Defeatrola, you see, that-there was too fast

A thing happening, and the Chinee screaming

"Revolution Is The Main Trend".  And that rhythm

effected the jungle bunnies with no papers

and motley whites who went along with the

Everything stuff.  And we know, the devil who is

provost of my heart, and I, we nose grows.  We rose

to say, ok, I don't know how to be angry, but I can be

profound as a hammock in the good room.  You see

we got a degree in degreeing and a Ph.D in Ph.Ding.

We can fake anything but emotion and you don't need that

In collitch,lesser do we need it at university, we is very white

If that's still permissible after all, and we can stall instead of   answer

Any question with polyvapid bullwinks, like we sd "Post-Modern", when we

understood the righteousness of Road Warrior and the Dead Cities

In which we cd pontificate that what is ugly is not and what is icy is hot.

We sd "Post-Modern Post-Modern" and the big guy in the sky pent house

Heard us and signaled with a shiny coin of dismal that we were up to the task

Of lying to hide the flaccid timidity of our mendacity.  We cd not be Cats

Or Dudes, or Hippies.  We like jazz, but only lying down.  We are the Kenny G's

Of poetry, but without the spangles.  We make a verse that dare not jangle or

Tangle with the grim questions that crush the many fools who want to be unleashed

We hold our peace except to say, "Post-Modern", which if you understand THAT'S

IT, The "Language", stripped of any diseased opinion, which is bourgeois like

Meaning and stories and decision and snappy politics like the Colored Stalin's

That threaten to define us as ignorant as Crazy Eddie, the colleague

Stupid enough to give interviews to restaurant owners on how they waxed

dey fadder and socked it to dey mudder, and put a trope in each dey eyes

So they could describe a world no one understood, but we could analyze as

Ambiguous with decency.  We sd then, "Language" (but smelled funny) to hook it

up with Czechoslovakia

And the wordy birds of no it has nothing to do with the world, there is no world

Except behind the dead patches where my self used to crawl.  Language!  Pure

Language, don't you understand?  As if you could be a Note Musician and away with

all pests like what it mean or what it say or who it help.  We are text ridders and

trope conceivers, we are more Dizzy than Gates and we ain't Lionel Hampton.

"Language" for us, as long riders on the purple sage of the campus, where buxom

Whatnames twist and shout and Little Richard will one day be chair of there.

Because by saying merely "Language", and halting the shit right there, we could

Make the chairman of our department stare off into his last check what the heck

I didn't understand Allen Tate, either at first, nor why Faulkner was not just

A sticky racial mole, hanging on the unborn George Wallace Pen-is this interesting

or not?  Without having to be weighted down by a goddamn narrative and

dismissing the notion that what is writ has a writer, again we washed away the bourgeoisie

Except ourselves hiding inside the dumbness of our square misunderstandings.

We would be racists but that's been 'done. We hate Ginsberg and those guys because

they said impossible things.  You see we are textual, Bush 2 and the group.  By dis-

­missing saying something we could creep neatly away from commitment or tiptoe

with stunning graceaway from cranky values like Keats' mistake of Truth for

A roof over your head and Beauty which as everyone knows is what the Pirates

Got for stealing the election.  Money helps if you got some.  It's one reason I don't

Really go for Negroes, they don't have no money.  And don't think our sprint away

from what is this after all, just more bullshit?  Means we're type cast. Though we,

think the idea of caste is jealously profound.  Like Seven Types of Amos and Andy.

Our sense of humor spends as well as money.  But Niggers, of course, being oral

And less than graduates refuse to think we funny, even if they say we funny, they

mean to be insulting, and we are, after all, the neatest things to emerge since

The Fugitive Kind.  We were right to kill Robert Redford.  Who is Tennessee

Williams anyhow, but the nasty (I realize this is not politically correct, but that's

the kind of humor that boils under our paper lips, we are not, like the colored guy

said opportunists or big drags writing dull ignorant bullshit) “fag" who keeps insisting

things are ugly Down Home, We are the ghost of Halloween past and Halloween yet to

come. We are reclaiming with Post-Modern, the reactionary smells of De Manns

and the Yale condoms of slightly shiny murderers.  Sieg Heil!  We think all struggle

except to be obscure is, frankly, rude.  And poetry with some subject or objective

description of anything, except our next raise, our tenure tete ta tetes, my recent

article in the The Exasperated Hinie, lewd.  And there you see how droll and

fantastically empty.

We need no one's sympathy we got tenure and a car.  We got trips sabbaticals to

anywhere, so we can scribble like the Ish Kabibbles of the unreadable.  Remember,

Post-Modern is a hip way of saying “The World Is Rotten & Must Stay Rotten To Be

Metaphorically Ignored, Though Funny If You Gettin Paid" and All you creeps even

some of my colleagues are stupid for trying to change any things unless they

offer you a better office!  Post-Modern is what Rudolf Hess said to the people he

invited to meet Himmler.  Don't you see how stunning?  Language!  Without

Meaning.  Without Narrative, Like a clever chum of mine, who pointed out that

Balzac cdn't be a Realist because there was no such thing as reality.  "Language", just

the Woids, like ancient Neanderthal Boids.  With no one to claim it, or defame it.  Or

name it.  Who cares for Brecht anyway, blood is not real except mine, and I take my

consciousness very Un and very Dry.

  5/21/01  ##



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