“A Poem Some People Will Have to Understand” // Amiri Baraka

Dull unwashed windows of eyes

and buildings of industry. What
industry do I practice? A slick
colored boy, 12 miles from his
home. I practice no industry.
I am no longer a credit
to my race. I read a little,
scratch against silence slow spring
I thought, before, some years ago
that I’d come to the end of my life.
Watercolor ego. Without the preciseness
a violent man could propose.
But the wheel, and the wheels,
won’t let us alone. All the fantasy
and justice, and dry charcoal winters
All the pitifully intelligent citizens
I’ve forced myself to love.

We have awaited the coming of a natural
phenomenon. Mystics and romantics, knowledgeable
of the land.

But none has come.
but none has come.

Will the machinegunners please step forward?


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