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The Little Review
littlereview

Poem for Friday, Inspector Lewis, Henry Jousting


Allegorical Baraka
By Anne Waldman

"the tongues of dying men / enforce attention like deep harmony."
                                                                —W. S. Shakespeare

in memoriam LeRoi Jones / Amiri Baraka 1934–2014

who wakes you up
bad scenic tapestry
dove barely escaping hawk
villains bandits robber barons
slave traders
an excuse for progress?
who wakes you up
biblical, literal or
actual rips
in bright kente cloth
or black today
symbolizing "intensified
spiritual energy"
enigmatic dreams
get made with you
enfolding your selves
o man of social action
lift consciousness
to teach us ugly deeds
toes keep a thrum
upon the body politic
"survival dancing"
& deconstruct for us
"state control"
harrowing acts of cruelty,
intricacies a Byzantine
cloak and dagger
morality play gets made of
tragic events unfathomable
fury fury fury
or redemption
in verbal spells
(contagious elegance's
controversial logic)
such sweetness too
in a man you love
turns poetry from
dangerous toy to weapon
lament or dirge
or love song
skillful means, upaya's wit
rhetoric of praise
& ceremony
or un-censorable blame
jazz riff toward
visionary plateau
whose time is come
this is the way it sounds
griot's call
who's a daemon?
griot calling
it sounds & poetry
is your gospel
truth who was target
a whole long life
in the struggle
for syntax of revolution
be these accidents or
miracles that bind us
be this friendship
& love
who told it as it is, love of
human freedom is a love supreme
is this buried, mere ornament
poet
saying to one coming up on stage
read like your ancestors are on fire?
chivalric banner guilds
bowstrings
obligatory joust
reluctance in the cities
in the suburbs
but ready to rise
a surreal riddle's surprise
flee? escape?
surrender?
fight back?
consistency
in the man
looking back…
and moving forward looking back
though he break hearts
he never forgets arke
history & purpose
twin dynamics
for a new-to-come action-poetics
with post-post-post-post
medieval exegesis
who was this journeyman
plangent messenger
good dark angel Amiri
and could be wrathful too
not about accordance
the whole range is
transcending
human suffering, you dig?
his gleaming steel
uncompromised
brilliance our reward

--------

Thursday didn't feel like September; it felt more like August. I took a walk early before it got too hot, then worked on a Voyager review while reading tributes to Star Trek on its 50th birthday. It was a lot of fun because I know a great many of my friends because of Star Trek -- from Kay in middle school through people I worked with at AnotherUniverse and TrekToday to people I met on LiveJournal and Facebook -- and most of them had something to say!

In the late afternoon, Maddy and I went to A.C. Moore to get cooking supplies and Halloween stuff. We had African sweet potato stew for dinner. Then PBS reran two of the last three episodes of Inspector Lewis, so that was our evening TV, since we were at the beach when they first aired here. Here are some photos of the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire jousts, set on Henry VIII's inauguration day, in which King Henry himself rode and fought the villains:















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