I was looking for this poem online the other day for a class I'm teaching, and couldn't find it anywhere, so, here it is, because I thought you should know about it:
(For Elvin Jones and Bob Thompson)
A host of loves is the city, and its memory
dead sense traveling (from England) on the sea
for two hundred years. The travelers show up in Japan
to promote peace and prosperity, perhaps a piece
of that nation's ass. Years later, years later,
plays rework the rime of lust. As history, and a cloud
their faces bang invisible notes, wind scribbled leaves
and foam. An eagle hangs above them spinning. Years and travelers
linger among the dead, no reports, gunshots white puffs
deciding the season and the mode of compromise. The general good
has no troops or armor, subtly the books stand closed, except
sad facts circled for unknown hippies carrying the mail.
I leave it there, for them, full of hurt, and hope. All the poems
are full of it. Shit and hope, and history. Read this line
young colored or white and know I felt the twist of dividing
memory. Blood spoiled in the air, caked and anonymous. Arms opening,
opened last night, we sat up howling and kissing. Men who loved
each other. Will that be understood? That we could, and still
move under cold nights with clenched fists. Swing these losers
by the tail. Got drunk then high, then sick, then quiet. But thinking
(and of you lovely shorties sit in libraries seeking such ideas out).
I'm here now, LeRoi, who tried to say something long for you. Keep it.
Forget me, or what I say, but not the tone, and exit image. No points,
or theories, from now on, just me and mine, when they get me, just
think of me as typing with a drink at my right hand, some women who
love me . . . and the day growning old and sloppy through the window.
--Amiri Baraka/LeRoi Jones, from Transbluesency