Notes From A Talk By Amiri Baraka


Wise Elder Revolutionary Black Panther,

Still with a soft spot in heart for Frank O’Hara,

Says he cried first time reading “Howl.”

He mentions Mark Twain

Same breadth as Fredrick Douglass. Roi sez

Both belong to Black Arts Movement History.

The key is to Organize, like Sun-Ra, who left for the Future

Only to come back to say he’d left, who evoked

Lost civilizations, used Strangeness to

Open feeling as intelligence.

You got to present a United Front.

Thought is trivialized to the extreme for commodification.

Art shows we were not just slaughtering one another.



9 July 2010



[Published in The Groundless Ground: Poems 2010-2014.

© 2014 by Jim Cohn.]





The Groundless Ground: Poems 2010-2014
(MAP Publications, 2014)