October Poem 39: These Four Walls

These four walls with their white textured surface

And the wooden strips that cover the seams

In the presurfaced sheets of drywall. These

Four walls, the blank canvas painting my life.

These four walls, will your shabbiness leach in

My morning cup of coffee like so much

Leaded paint? Will it fill my lungs like the

Black mold that brings men in hazmat suits to

Cover the neighborhood in plastic tubes

Only to have the anniversary

Release with FBI men’s guns replaced

By walkie-talkies like E.T.’s PC

Police run amuck? These four walls that give

Me support. These four walls blocking me in.

September Poem 20: Prosody: A Response to Amiri Baraka Lecture on Revolutionary Poetry July 6 1994

The dissident, the activist, the PC police are ignored, pushed to the sidelines and discredited. They only find themselves an echo chamber of likeminded maniacs. They insulate themselves, differentiate themselves, and separate themselves from the mainstream. They create a world where they are the outcast, where they are oppressed, where their words have no power falling not on deaf ears, but on angry argumentative assholes.

 

Only the whore, only the sellout, only who is reinforcing the status quo can change the world, does change the world. They work within the system. They speak to people who listen. They create the larger society as their echo chamber. Only they are not echoing society, it is echoing them.

 

You change the world by increments in the language of the majority, as the majority. You lead a following of the patriarchal racist establishment to the world you want to live in. You do this as art for art sake, Language for language sake. Your words are personal for personal sake. No one need listen to the content because the content does not matter. Only it does matter.

 

Those exposed to your words, that hear your words, those that made you their whore are not turned off to what you say, do not argue against you, do not close their minds. They hear. They follow. The sheep change the world. Don’t be so full of yourself. You have no power to change the world if you separate yourself from it. You must make yourself a whore. To lead the sheep, you must become a sheep. Join the heard. Follow the sheep.

 

Amiri Baraka’ s lecture can be found here: https://archive.org/details/naropa_amiri_baraka_lecture_on