Amplify: Something in the Way: A discussion of Amiri Baraka’s ‘Something in the Way of Things (In Town)’

*UPDATE: Now with video!*

 

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Knows me? You knows Amiri Baraka is the grounding voice. Fascination. inspiration. Baraka’s work shows the way forward—we so often lose the way. Freedom.

“The real problem is you don’t know the real problem.” Remind us: Keep peeled.

A great podcast was released sometime: William J. Harris, Tyrone Williams, and Aldon Nielsen join Al Filreis (always generous) to discuss Baraka’s “Something in the Way of Things.”

I’m delighted Filreis chose to play the version of the poem from the Roots’ 2002 album “Phrenology”. The album—I bought it from the Staten Island Mall on day one—was essential in showing this young introverted weirdo that his suspicions about people being easily defined was specious—contrary to everything my small island peers had suggested. Punk. Rap. Poetry. R&B. Soul. Sound collage. Techno. Profoundly compelling instrumentation. Music as preparation. As runway.

Hard to conceive I first heard Amiri Baraka’s words 16 years ago.

Anyway, the podcast discussion is accessible and criminally brief.

After I listened to it, I was sent back to my bookshelves to hunt down a collection of Baraka’s work from 2014—the year he died—SOS.  The hardcover version of the work collects some of the poet’s final poems. That’s how I’ll be spending my night.

I had to share it with all of you in hopes you might share it as well. Be well.

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For further study:

Three Portraits

Wikipedia Poem, No. 823

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Chicago, 1910

and have general charge of the trees in the treetsnd have general charge of the trees and have general charge of the trees and have general charge of the forester were to advise and assist persons wishing to advise and assist persons wishing to advise and have general charge of the trees and have general charge of the trees and assist persons wishing to advise and have general charge of the trees and have general charge of the trees in the trees and assist persons wishing to advise and have general charge of the streets the trees and assist persons wishing to plant trees

Venice, 1507

in venice for one ducat in venice for one ducat in venice for one ducat in the year 1507 venice for one ducat in venice for one ducat in venice for one ducat in venice for one ducat in the year 1507 ducat in the year 1507 one ducat in venice for one ducat in venice for one ducat in the year 1507 ok i bought in venice for one ducat in the year 1507 1507 the year 1507 ducat in the year 1507 the year 1507 i bought in venice for one ducat in the year 1507ght in the year 1507r one ducat in venice for one ducat in venice for one ducat in venice for one ducat

Cairo, 1817

to grow upon her the sudden elevation of an any he allows wings to grow upon her the destructions to grow upon her the destruction of persons to station of an any he allows wings to station of an any he allows wings to grow upon her their means or capacities may often cause their means or capacities may often cause their means or capacities may often cause the sudden elevation of persons to grow upon her their ruin if god proposes their means or capacities may often cause their means or capacities may often cause their ruin if god allows wings to grow upon her their means or capacities