Poets Walk: "ground opens"
Location on Poets Walk Map: 55
Preface to a Twenty Volume Suicide Note by Amiri Baraka
(For Kellie Jones, born 16 May 1959)
Lately, I've become accustomed to the way
The ground opens up and envelopes me
Each time I go out to walk the dog.
Or the broad edged silly music the wind
Makes when I run for a bus...
Things have come to that.
And now, each night I count the stars.
And each night I get the same number.
And when they will not come to be counted,
I count the holes they leave.
Nobody sings anymore.
And then last night I tiptoed up
To my daughter's room and heard her
Talking to someone, and when I opened
The door, there was no one there...
Only she on her knees, peeking into
Her own clasped hands.
Amiri Baraka, "Preface to a Twenty Volume Suicide Note" from Transbluesency: The Selected Poems of Amiri Baraka/LeRoi Jones, 1961-1995. Copyright © 1995 by Amiri Baraka. Used by permission of SLL/Sterling Lord Literistic, Inc.