“The Terrorism of Abstraction” by Amiri Baraka

Amiri Baraka


Why disappear & lie
      We can see you
          Why cover everything
                  w/ the sad victory
                        Of silence?

      Why pretend to see
And only advertise blindness. Why
      Claim a tongue, ears, a
            Mouth & instead produce
                  A tiny heart too jittery
                        To beat. Why costume
                              Feeling with bone shine
                                    & shallow glitter?

Why lie an “I” & vanish
Into parsed diction. Why
Enhance an empty place
With fantasy furniture
& say it is the truth?

Why not tell us something
Other than the sound effects
Of impotent evasion?

Why make believe poetry
Is about arrogant pretense
& social denial. Why
Try to trick us you can sing?

Why make words dull
To conceal passive
Submission to
Weak regret?

from Rattle #37, Summer 2012

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