The Last Laureate of Newark: Oakland Local Article- Remembering Amiri Baraka.

 The Last Laureate of Newark

(A Love Supreme)

There is no laureate poet

in Newark as he ascended

to jam with the out and gone

went to where the lore

of funk come from left

his undreamed dreams

un struggled struggles

his memories of woman

daughters and sons to fly

to the sun burning black fire

so bright he still light the way

of negroes still negro still won’t

know but he do still drumming

them fingers, naming the tune &

then drawing the gun that was his


Slaying ignorance

interrogating rude reality

naming naked emperors

dancing on dumbness

let all tongues confess the

king became a prince and

hid in a pen no laureate

in Newark now or ever again

because poets are more

dangerous than truly freed

niggas say umm Mau Mau

A poet will slice your throat

with a thought


riding black horses casting

spells that shatter comfortable

tormenting liars with naked truth

They do speak voodoo they do

speaking to Lazarus trapped in

the whirlwind tap-dancing with no legs

poets speak life into dead revolutionaries

so that ideology don’t die

they breathe fire into minds

casting embers that turn to infernos

so we burn through illusion to see

what we have shielded ourselves from

with corner offices with views

german beers and private schools

so we can pretend we are in the crowd

that got passes and wipes they asses

on the rest of us fodder caged like

cattle in a plantation nation

comfortable commodities

Poets speak to our dis-ease

they see something

and you do too but you

won’t name it but

poets do there is no laureate

in Newark the last one known

for fingers that drummed

da dah da dah

(a love supreme)

da dah da da

left in a cold spell

spelling the alpha omega of laureate-ness

loud as Jungle Jim beating on

his chest after failing his

American screen test

He left funk in the air

business undone

poems unwritten

shuffled off the coil of humanness

became infinite

forever on the breath of poets &

casters of black spells of memory

humming in the wind

flirting with old ladies hems

as they pray for nickel eyed men

worn like skin

bleeding black ink from black fingers

hiding in Coltrane’s pocket

like a lost glove

an undiscovered melody

waiting to be discovered by black

tongues like guns in the pockets

of brown babies

still in projects

still full of lead

in prisons

still more crowded than schools

that still teach lies

Waiting to be reborn on unborn tongues

da dah da dah

(a love supreme)

da dah da dah

let all fingers drum the gospel

of laureate-ness risen like

black prayer in flames

may he be remembered

recited & revered like

fire black fire burning or

the ocean of blood that unites us

in our wounded perfection

our broken beauty

our savage ugly ignorance

our blinding brilliance

our dance without steps

with too many steps

shoeless footless dancing

with death for a broke ass

living without the laureate

of Newark

now spread on skies

painted on memory

buried in hearts

waiting to be borne

again in words not yet

written dah dad ah

recited with music

that has never been sung

dah da dah

inspiring thought that

has never been thought

da dah da dah

da dah da dah

da dah da dah

a love supreme

a love supreme

a love supreme

joined a stream of consciousness

slipped into the upper room

to discuss Lenin & Marx with Marley

to string bows with Geronimo

to invent a funkier funk with JB

to argue ideology with Garvey

to become rain

to become a bar in a real hip hop song

to become the rift of a horn

the beat of the drum

a primal scream

da dah da dah

da dah da dah

da dah da dah

a love supreme

a love supreme

a love supreme

da dah da dah

da dah da dah

rest in peace grandbaba

may your sun ever rise on the one

da dad da dah

a love supreme