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Poetry in English

A poem by Amiri Baraka


They say its some terrorist,

some barbaric

A Rab, in


It wasn’t our American terrorists

It wasn’t the Klan or the Skin heads

Or the them that blows up nigger

Churches, or reincarnates us on Death Row

It wasn’t Trent Lott

Or David Duke or Giuliani

Or Schundler, Helms retiring

It wasn’t

The gonorrhea in costume

The white sheet diseases

That have murdered black people

Terrorized reason and sanity

Most of humanity, as they pleases

They say (who say?)

Who do the saying

Who is them paying

Who tell the lies

Who in disguise

Who had the slaves

Who got the bux out the Bucks

Who got fat from plantations

Who genocided Indians

Tried to waste the Black nation

Who live on Wall Street

The first plantation

Who cut your nuts off

Who rape your ma

Who lynched your pa

Who got the tar, who got the feathers

Who had the match, who set the fires

Who killed and hired

Who say they God & still be the Devil

Who the biggest only

Who the most goodest

Who do Jesus resemble

Who created everything

Who the smartest

Who the greatest

Who the richest

Who say you ugly and they the goodlookingest

Who define art

Who define science

Who made the bombs

Who made the guns

Who bought the slaves, who sold them

Who called you them names

Who say Dahmer wasn’t insane

Who? Who? Who?

Who stole Puerto Rico

Who stole the Indies, the Philipines, Manhattan

Australia & The Hebrides

Who forced opium on the Chinese

Who own them buildings

Who got the money

Who think you funny

Who locked you up

Who own the papers

Who owned the slave ship

Who run the army

Who the fake president

Who the ruler

Who the banker

Who? Who? Who?

Who own the mine

Who twist your mind

Who got bread

Who need peace

Who you think need war

Who own the oil

Who do no toil

Who own the soil

Who is not a nigger

Who is so great ain’t nobody bigger

Who own this city

Who own the air

Who own the water

Who own your crib

Who rob and steal and cheat and murder

and make lies the truth

Who call you uncouth

Who live in the biggest house

Who do the biggest crime

Who go on vacation anytime

Who killed the most niggers

Who killed the most Jews

Who killed the most Italians

Who killed the most Irish

Who killed the most Africans

Who killed the most Japanese

Who killed the most Latinos

Who? Who? Who?

Who own the ocean

Who own the airplanes

Who own the malls

Who own television

Who own radio

Who own what ain’t even known to be owned

Who own the owners that ain’t the real owners

Who own the suburbs

Who suck the cities

Who make the laws

Who made Bush president

Who believe the confederate flag need to be flying

Who talk about democracy and be lying

Who the Beast in Revelations

Who 666

Who know who decide

Jesus get crucified

Who the Devil on the real side

Who got rich from Armenian genocide

Who the biggest terrorist

Who change the bible

Who killed the most people

Who do the most evil

Who don’t worry about survival

Who have the colonies

Who stole the most land

Who rule the world

Who say they good but only do evil

Who the biggest executioner

Who? Who? Who?

Who own the oil

Who want more oil

Who told you what you think that later you find out a lie

Who? Who? Who?

Who found Bin Laden, maybe they Satan

Who pay the CIA,

Who knew the bomb was gonna blow

Who know why the terrorists

Learned to fly in Florida, San Diego

Who know why Five Israelis was filming the explosion

And cracking they sides at the notion

Who need fossil fuel when the sun ain’t goin’ nowhere

Who make the credit cards

Who get the biggest tax cut

Who walked out of the Conference

Against Racism

Who killed Malcolm, Kennedy & his Brother

Who killed Dr King, Who would want such a thing?

Are they linked to the murder of Lincoln?

Who invaded Grenada

Who made money from apartheid

Who keep the Irish a colony

Who overthrow Chile and Nicaragua later

Who killed David Sibeko, Chris Hani,

the same ones who killed Biko, Cabral,

Neruda, Allende, Ché Guevara, Sandino,

Who killed Kabila, the ones who wasted Lumumba, Mondlane,

Betty Shabazz, Princess Margaret, Ralph Featherstone,

Little Bobby

Who locked up Mandela, Dhoruba, Geronimo,

Assata, Mumia, Garvey, Dashiell Hammett, Alphaeus Hutton

Who killed Huey Newton, Fred Hampton,

Medgar Evers, Mikey Smith, Walter Rodney,

Was it the ones who tried to poison Fidel

Who tried to keep the Vietnamese Oppressed

Who put a price on Lenin’s head

Who put the Jews in ovens,

and who helped them do it

Who said “America First”

and ok’d the yellow stars

Who killed Rosa Luxembourg, Liebneckt

Who murdered the Rosenbergs

And all the good people iced,

tortured, assassinated, vanished

Who got rich from Algeria, Libya, Haiti,

Iran, Iraq, Saudi, Kuwait, Lebanon,

Syria, Egypt, Jordan, Palestine,

Who cut off peoples hands in the Congo

Who invented Aids

Who put the germs

In the Indians’ blankets

Who thought up “The Trail of Tears”

Who blew up the Maine

& started the Spanish American War

Who got Sharon back in Power

Who backed Batista, Hitler, Bilbo,

Chiang kai Chek

Who decided Affirmative Action had to go

Reconstruction, The New Deal,

The New Frontier, The Great Society,

Who do Tom Ass Clarence Work for

Who doo doo come out the Colon’s mouth

Who know what kind of Skeeza is a Condoleeza

Who pay Connelly to be a wooden negro

Who give Genius Awards to Homo Locus


Who overthrew Nkrumah, Bishop,

Who poison Robeson,

who try to put DuBois in Jail

Who frame Rap Jamil al Amin, Who frame the Rosenbergs,


The Scottsboro Boys,

The Hollywood Ten

Who set the Reichstag Fire

Who knew the World Trade Center was gonna get bombed

Who told 4000 Israeli workers at the Twin Towers

To stay home that day

Why did Sharon stay away?

Who? Who? Who?

Explosion of Owl the newspaper say

The devil face cd be seen

Who make money from war

Who make dough from fear and lies

Who want the world like it is

Who want the world to be ruled by imperialism and national

oppression and terror violence, and hunger and poverty.

Who is the ruler of Hell?

Who is the most powerful

Who you know ever

Seen God?

But everybody seen

The Devil

Like an Owl exploding

In your life in your brain in your self

Like an Owl who know the devil

All night, all day if you listen, Like an Owl

Exploding in fire. We hear the questions rise

In terrible flame like the whistle of a crazy dog

Like the acid vomit of the fire of Hell

Who and Who and WHO who who

Whoooo and Whooooooooooooooooooooo!

—Amiri Baraka Copyright © 2001, all rights reserved, amirib@aol.com

Note from the Editor: True to his reputation of being a «messager de l’Histoire cachée» (a messenger of the hidden History), as I once called great poets of the caliber of Aragon, Neruda, Césaire, Laraque or Baraka, Amiri Baraka—this genius of great intellectual integrity and revolutionary flame—returns today with a poem that tells it all, with his unique, reviviscent style. In these moments of general cowardice and sad conformism, Baraka’s courage and clarity are very refreshing. —Tontongi November 2001

Poems by Joe Davis


What conspicuous nature operates
the thin apertures of belief and omission
that represent the truth
facts and strange companions
press between the 10,000 sheets
fingerprints peeling from the long record of days
page after page of philosophy
and threads of history
and footprints of councilors and ants
step by step
tooth by tooth
one by one
termites and angels slide out of heaven together
in big 4-doors
they drive nice cars
down through the high ways of paradise
where living things gravitate and disappear
with articles of faith
down in dark rooms of the obscure camera
where good friends and gathering dogs return
the fruits of flesh and blood
but it is apple flavored
one-time slash and burn operations
taking out Brazil
for cheap power and cold-blooded pleasures
there are 10,000 terrorists in paradise.

(Cambridge, November 10, 2001)


The Earth has always held its breath
as he bends to work
his magic is defined as art
three letters
the same as god
who knows? perhaps he is
one who first drew forth a piety
from our walls
his magic never fails to attract attention
and though it is not his intention
he will get the choicest wowan
the tribe can offer
the softest morsel
served on the flattest stomach
and he will eat
as the Earth holds its breath
hoping in the end
his magic will rise up
destroying death.

(Cambridge, Nov. 10, 2001)
—Joe Davis is better known as a sculptor. When asked why doesn’t he publish more in poetry, he replies, “I like to remain an incognito poet because there’s less pressure.” Joe is a regular contributor to Tanbou, thanks mainly to the persistence of its editor who chases him in dark bar rooms to solicit poems, some of them written on the spot!

A turbo-prop plane refueling at the Tenerife airport in the Canary islands.

A turbo-prop plane refueling at the Tenerife airport

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