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

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. )


having seen it, refuses

to inhale. “It was a

green mist, seemed

to lift and choke

the town.”

–Imamu Amiri Baraka