LeRoi Jones – “In Memory of Radio”

September 6, 2008 at 5:43 pm (Poetry & Literature, The Beats)

aka Amiri Baraka…


Who has ever stopped to think of the divinity of Lamont Cranston?
(Only jack Kerouac, that I know of: & me
The rest of you probably had on WCBS and Kate Smith,
Or something equally unattractive)

What can I say?
It is better to haved loved and lost
Than to put linoleum in your living rooms?

Am I a sage or something?
Mandrake’s hypnotic gesture of the week?
(Remember, I do not have the healing powers of Oral Roberts…
I cannot, like F. J. Sheen, tell you how to get saved & rich!
I cannot even order you to the gaschamber satori like Hitler or Goddy Knight)

& love is an evil word
Turn it backwards/see, see what I mean?
An evol word. & besides
who understands it?
I certainly wouldn’t like to go out on that kind of limb

Saturday mornings we listened to the Red Lantern & his undersea folk
At 11, Let’s Pretend
& we did
& I, the poet, still do. Thank God!

What was it he used to say (after the transformation when he was safe
& invisible & the unbelievers couldn’t throw stones?) “Heh, heh, heh.
Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows.”

O, yes he does
O, yes he does
An evil word it is,
This Love.

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