Poets Walk: "ground opens"

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.