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   Jacket 31 — October 2006        link Jacket 31 Contents page        link Jacket Homepage
Robert Creeley

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Amiri Baraka


This piece is about 2 printed pages long.

The United Front against academic poetry was best sounded by Charles Olson’s Projective Verse, The Open Field: “always one perception must must must MOVE, INSTANTER” upon instanter.

Allen Ginsberg gave me William Carlos Williams’ “American Speech,” the “breath phrase” ( Le Fou, p32 for Charles)). But that teaching from WCW (Lion & Dog p 28) a more dissembled metaphor of Thought Knowledge Action (See intro to Selected Poems, p xxi) A Poet of “Love” & “Words” to say that précised “What must be sd”.

The convergence of Creeley & Olson is gigantic ideation of the world. Going in both directions past through here. The Pre Sent (from there, the past, the present passes) Creeley names Pound, Zukofsky, Williams as mentors, included bigly Olson & the wealth of the assembled Levertov, Duncan DORN, Wieners, McClure, Ginsberg, peers. Words Love, (The Sentence, p 26; The Immoral Proposition, p36; I Know A Man, p 40; The Whip, p 45: The Hill, p 71) Language Complex & Simple.

But what we shd be keenly aware of is that the THEY we know to be animatedly evil , has now, to confirm DuBois’ Sisyphus Syndrome, which he ascribed to the Black Liberation Movement is, in fact, the response  imperialism, national oppression, makes to any form of rebellion or assertion of an alternate way of living or thinking.

So that of the great & glorious phalanx of ourselves in the post-McCarthy 60’s, for at least until the late 70’s, all that rush of poetry & music, that would be the beast’s response. Even though there was always the tit for tat answer to our struggle to advance human life & Mind. Through all our advance, Kennedy, Malcolm, King, Kennedy were gunned down, apparently by those forces that sit in the Caucasian Crib at this very moment!

So they have tried to cover & obscure all we have done. Who but the few of us knows Creeley’s work? Even fewer know the great Charles Olson. Allen Ginsberg is given notice, but in this age, given a debunker’s analysis. Check out The NY Times Review of Howl: The Poem That Changed America.

They have even told us recently that Richard the 3rd was a good guy & now Judas is rendered hip. All a reflection of the time we live in. The post 911 world of 911 lies, false wars, now completely privatized except for the dying. (Plague, p33; Ever Since Hitler, p 344)

Two stolen elections testify to the post democratic obviousness of this, our country, which, in truth, says DuBois, “has never been a Democracy”.

When Malcolm was murdered I thought there should be (there was) War. And so I moved away from what AG called “the era of Good Feeling” which was Greenwich Village & the Lower East Side, ending with the flight to Harlem. And so ignited, with others, The Black Arts Movement. Because in M X’s murder which followed JFK’s it seemed to me (we) that the Racial Fascism that we had always known & thought as I got older and met intellectual  & Artist friends that that horror cd be transcended. But alas, it has merely grown into Globalization, Tsunami’s Katrina’s, Iraq, Guantanamo’s.

But during that passing time there was between a few of us AG, Dorn, Creeley Joe Early, &c and what passed for a “New Left” some useful connection. Read CO on his reflections on AB at the time of the Cuban revolution. Read Creeley’s review of AB’s Transbluesency, there is in all that dimensions of a changed and changing world.

Now they have endeavored to obliterate &/or lie about everything valuable from that time of  a mass willfulness not only to break out of the  money jungle of obscene America Monopoly capitalism and imperialism  politically, but of a generations attempt to poet  its way out of the colonial prison of American Academic Anglo stoogism. In this nation’s rightward plunge that single phrase “the 60”s is used more and more by the enemies of humanity to represent things obscure, ugly or irrelevant. Best we resist this as we would resist our own murders.

 Amiri Baraka May 20, 06   Buffalo, NY