Preface to a Twenty Volume Suicide Note by Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones)

The year is officially starting. Well, for me, that is. I tried to delay it for a few days but I had to face reality sooner or later. I am feeling pretty optimistic, but the melancholy is there at the edges. I can feel it. But I resolve to be much stronger. Wonder, T., wonder. It exists.

Preface to a Twenty Volume Suicide Note
Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones)

Lately, I’ve become accustomed to the way
The ground opens up and envelopes me
Each time I go out to walk the dog.
Or the broad edged silly music the wind
Makes when I run for a bus…
Things have come to that.

And now, each night I count the stars.
And each night I get the same number.
And when they will not come to be counted,
I count the holes they leave.

Nobody sings anymore.

And then last night I tiptoed up
To my daughter’s room and heard her
Talking to someone, and when I opened
The door, there was no one there…
Only she on her knees, peeking into

Her own clasped hands

4 Comments

  1. Thank you so much for posting thi poem! –I’ve been searching –rather desperately– for it! –found it by way of those “clasped hands” at the end; I remembered something about “praying” (at least from the outside), and then I recalled that it was a poem by Le Roi Jones, and that led me to this blog, and gratitude I already expressed! (By the way, I nearly died in July 2011 when a cranial aneurysm ruptured; astonishing that I’m even alive! –and even more astonishing that I can speak!)

  2. people are amazing creatures of resilience. we get used to the most horrible, miserable heartbreaks and adapt and endure and live on. it can be sad.

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