Thursday, March 27, 2014

Amiri Baraka's "Getting Less & Less Safe Out Here" (The Baffler Pulled It, Last Minute)




Getting Less & Less Safe Out Here
(Tin Tin Deo, Diz)
                               by Amiri Baraka
The world is less safe
without Hugo Chávez, imagine not, reality
Is ill enough. The world
Is less safe
Without the poets Jayne Cortez, or Louis Reyes Rivera,
Or Sekou Sundiata
much less safe without Arafat or Rabin,
A much more dangerous place
We in, with mouths closed by death, assassination. With
Chávez
We wonder is it the planet’s imperialist police
That killed him, like Arafat, some secret ugly
Shit, like you know they got
With Malcolm and Dr. King
The crazy white folks was screaming so loud
They shd die, there was even some negro zombie preacher
In Chicago, boy, joined with them at the hip
Who screamed and hollered and wallowed
On the sidewalks, they wanted to run Dr. King’s street
In front of his dope dispensing south side joint.
But Chávez, I swear I think
They killed him. Some kind of death ray white
poison like they slipped Arafat. With Cabral and Biko
The animal sounds of the racists
Allowed them to shoot straight out,
They cd take off Touré with the “gone to Europe
For medical treatment” tip
but Chávez I know they killed, Ditto
Arafat. Imagine
Rabin being stalked by a right-wing Israeli nut
A Patriot, Lieberman or Netanyahu might say, imagine that
The cries from money and a new edition
Of white supremacy canceled out opposition.
They tried to get Fidel for so many years
But Fidel being Fidel walked through the flail
with the wail of an organized people, and they failed
But Chávez, we gotta know
Imperialist death science is my feeling
They always either killin or stealin
____
Amiri Baraka, 2013/2014.  (Amiri Baraka, 1934 to 2014)

I have the proof page / pdf of this poem as it was to be published in The Baffler. Really classy layout. The Baffler pulled the poem at the last minute. Thomas Sayers Ellis, Poetry Editor of The Baffler (then, maybe now), offered to email the pdf to any who requested it. And so.

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