Why You Do It

The artist’s role is to raise the consciousness of the people. To make them understand life, the world and themselves more completely. That’s how I see it. Otherwise, I don’t know why you do it.

–Amiri Baraka

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The Pressures.

(Love twists

the young man. Having seen it

only once. He expected it

to be, as the orange flower

leather of the poet’s book.

He expected

less hurt, a lyric. And not

the slow effortless pain

as a new dripping sun pushes

up out of our river. )

And

having seen it, refuses

to inhale. “It was a

green mist, seemed

to lift and choke

the town.”

–Imamu Amiri Baraka