Notes and Recordings from Dodge Poetry Festival 2018









Wikipedia Poem, No. 862


After Robert Hayden

         In sun-whetted
on those efforts
or briefed on inter-wrestling control
         the dropped gull
from the workings of those efforts
or briefed on those efforts
         on sand,
or briefed on the interpretative
of those efforts interviews with seven people
         picking at
indigo interpretation points or briefed on
         its feathers.

         Over the headlong
intimidation points and unknowable perspectives
the author.

The recombinant method is its own representation;
         rush and leashed-back
rust wrested inflection;
wrestling control from the author.

The kings strongly inflect
         fall of the sea,
campaign against the west
         scouting and
multiple methods

Philip Roth

Wikipedia Poem, No. 788


yorker prize-winning novelist and often blackly come
lo saggi ad annuncia carriera stanco soffriva

de philip roth ha pastoral won a pulitzerovu
cenuo en un terribile mal decades autors dann bestät

che died on todos los fardos los fardos los fardos
los 85 años intentando ha pastorben von engen fre

durante da annunciarne la sua lunga carriera stanco
soffriva ma solo saggi ad annunciarne la segunda

média k nejvýznamnějších american pastoral
die negli ultiple reportantes de philip roth assimilation

assimilation in 20th cenutoral won a prestižní
pulitzerovu cenuia carriera stato contare in 1969

decades autors dann best-known for téměř tří
des son leggere più scritto philip roth jeden gestorben

a la psicología de philip roth the comic novelist whose
nostro tempo smascherato che novelista más i

“Craziness is no act / Not to act is craziness”

“In Baraka’s world, love of human liberation and the struggle for it is exalted.” Alexs Pate

Wikipedia Poem, No. 324


“I am what I think I am. You are what / I think you are. The world is the / one thing, that will not move. It is / made of stone, round, and very ugly.” Amiri Baraka


detonate the alternative
off with the same
time that must be drunk

one who prays to kant
introduced into creation
knowledge must be drunk

one who wishes to be regarded as the basis
for time will that one’s commandment thirsts
one must be drunk

one who wishes to people like kant who are
merely a concept lived in the theoretical
the imperatives of any proposition must be drunk

one becomes a popular moral philosopher
and milks imperatives for their fresh universal law
kant’s expressed excrement must be drunk

one believes for those imagined
they may be obeyed
in the theoretical drinking

out with the imperatives
a universal law kant
introduces in the demon drink

god of the heathen unclean
spirit divine principle or inward
oracle drinking 0f

“Black Art” by Amiri Baraka

This weekend I was lucky enough to attend the Dodge Poetry Festival in Newark, NJ. The weekend was fast-paced and my experience there included conversations with and readings from Yusef Komunyakaa, Stephen Kuusisto, Patrick Rosal, Benjamin Alire Sáenz, Brian Turner, Rebecca Lindenberg, Bridget Talone, Dan Vera, C. Dale Young, Sharon Olds, Billy Collins, Alex Lemon, Alberto Rios, Brenda Shaughnessy, Rita Dove, Gary Snyder and more.

Sunday afternoon, I heard a stirring tribute to Amiri Baraka. 

Marilyn Nelson read this poem, “Black Art.”

Her introduction to the poem was moving—she gave permission to easily offended listeners to leave the auditorium. As she had done with her students before, she warned that the poem contained language that might offend the easily offended. Her caveat: She refused to apologize for the poem. Poetry is supposed to provoke and make you uncomfortable. Challenge the reader, she said. This isn’t a commercial for Dove soap, she said, it’s art. Anyway, here’s the poem. A truly wonderful experience to have been a part of. 

Thank you, Newark.

Black Art

Poems are bullshit unless they are
teeth or trees or lemons piled
on a step. Or black ladies dying
of men leaving nickel hearts
beating them down. Fuck poems
and they are useful, wd they shoot
come at you, love what you are,
breathe like wrestlers, or shudder
strangely after pissing. We want live
words of the hip world live flesh &
coursing blood. Hearts Brains
Souls splintering fire. We want poems
like fists beating niggers out of Jocks
or dagger poems in the slimy bellies
of the owner-jews. Black poems to
smear on girdlemamma mulatto bitches
whose brains are red jelly stuck
between ‘lizabeth taylor’s toes. Stinking
Whores! we want “poems that kill.”
Assassin poems, Poems that shoot
guns. Poems that wrestle cops into alleys
and take their weapons leaving them dead
with tongues pulled out and sent to Ireland. Knockoff
poems for dope selling wops or slick halfwhite
politicians Airplane poems, rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
rrrrrrrrrrrrrrr . . .tuhtuhtuhtuhtuhtuhtuhtuhtuhtuh
. . .rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr . . . Setting fire and death to
whities ass. Look at the Liberal
Spokesman for the jews clutch his throat
& puke himself into eternity . . . rrrrrrrr
There’s a negroleader pinned to
a bar stool in Sardi’s eyeballs melting
in hot flame Another negroleader
on the steps of the white house one
kneeling between the sheriff’s thighs
negotiating coolly for his people.
Aggh . . . stumbles across the room . . .
Put it on him, poem. Strip him naked
to the world! Another bad poem cracking
steel knuckles in a jewlady’s mouth
Poem scream poison gas on beasts in green berets
Clean out the world for virtue and love,
Let there be no love poems written
until love can exist freely and
cleanly. Let Black people understand
that they are the lovers and the sons
of warriors and sons
of warriors Are poems & poets &
all the loveliness here in the world
We want a black poem. And a
Black World.
Let the world be a Black Poem
And Let All Black People Speak This Poem

Source: Selected Poetry of Amiri Baraka/LeRoi Jones (1979)

from Amiri Baraka’s “Home: Social Essays”