Poem Today : In Memory of Radio

by 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.

a book nook takes on kindle-ing


OK. Now we’re talking.

I would buy this device. I know it only does books — a one trick pony. But it let’s you lend your books to oth­ers and it does­n’t look like a Texas Instru­ments cal­cu­la­tor. This device looks like BN hired some prod­uct design­ers and some inter­face design­ers, and a mar­ket­ing crew that knows how to do point-of-purchase.

Barnes and Noble have lis­tened to the crit­i­cism of the Kin­dle and have brought a more sophis­ti­cat­ed and attrac­tive device into the fray.

  • The price is rea­son­able from the start.
  • Design is clean.
  • Mul­ti-touch.
  • Col­or nav­i­ga­tion pan­el (for swip­ing through book cov­ers, a la iTunes)
  • You can buy it in a BN store. (many dis­tri­b­u­tion points — one a few blocks from me)
  • You can browse dig­i­tal books
  • You can lend your book to oth­ers on a num­ber of devices
  • It has a mem­o­ry expan­sion slot
  • It can play MP3’s
  • It can read PDF’s (essen­tial)

Did I men­tion that the design is clean? The device is a bit thick­er and weighs more than the Kin­dle. The oth­er impor­tant part is mov­ing away from pro­pri­etary formats.

Lend­ing is good.

I’ll be head­ing down to the Barnes and Noble to check it out. I’ll let you know if I am as impressed when I can touch it.


society reorganized

” We are not liv­ing through an eco­nom­ic reces­sion, but a reor­gan­i­sa­tion of our society.”

I believe this quote is true what about you?

” We are not liv­ing through an eco­nom­ic reces­sion, but a reor­gan­i­sa­tion of our society.”

I believe this quote is true what about you?

Poem Today : Fever 103°

Pure? What does it mean?
The tongues of hell
Are dull, dull as the triple

Tongues of dull, fat Cerberus
Who wheezes at the gate. Incapable
Of lick­ing clean

The aguey ten­don, the sin, the sin.
The tin­der cries.
The indeli­ble smell

Of a snuffed candle!
Love, love, the low smokes roll
From me like Isadora’s scarves, I’m in a fright

One scarf will catch and anchor in the wheel,
Such yel­low sullen smokes
Make their own ele­ment. They will not rise,

But trun­dle round the globe
Chok­ing the aged and the meek,
The weak

Hot­house baby in its crib,
The ghast­ly orchid
Hang­ing its hang­ing gar­den in the air,

Dev­il­ish leopard!
Radi­a­tion turned it white
And killed it in an hour.

Greas­ing the bod­ies of adulterers
Like Hiroshi­ma ash and eat­ing in.
The sin. The sin.

Dar­ling, all night
I have been flick­er­ing, off, on, off, on.
The sheets grow heavy as a lecher’s kiss.

Three days. Three nights.
Lemon water, chicken
Water, water make me retch.

I am too pure for you or anyone.
Your body
Hurts me as the world hurts God. I am a lantern——

My head a moon
Of Japan­ese paper, my gold beat­en skin
Infi­nite­ly del­i­cate and infi­nite­ly expensive.

Does not my heat astound you! And my light!
All by myself I am a huge camellia
Glow­ing and com­ing and going, flush on flush.

I think I am going up,
I think I may rise——
The beads of hot met­al fly, and I love, I

Am a pure acetylene
Attend­ed by roses,

By kiss­es, by cherubim,
By what­ev­er these pink things mean!
Not you, nor him

Nor him, nor him
(My selves dis­solv­ing, old whore petticoats)——
To Paradise.
Sylvia Plath, “Fever 103°” from The Col­lect­ed Poems of Sylvia Plath, edit­ed by Ted Hugh­es. Copy­right © 1966 and renewed 1994 by Ted Hugh­es. Reprint­ed with the per­mis­sion of Harper­Collins Pub­lish­ers, Inc.

Source: Poet­ry (August 1963).