Preface to a Twenty Volume Suicide Note

Lately, I’ve become accustomed to the way
The ground opens up and envelops me
Each time I go out to walk the dog.
Or the broad edged silly music the wind
Makes when I run for a bus –

Things have come to that.

And now, each night I count the stars,
And each night I get the same number.
And when they will not come to be counted
I count the holes they leave.

Nobody sings anymore.

And then last night, I tiptoed up
To my daughter’s room and heard her
Talking to someone, and when I opened
The door, there was no one there…
Only she on her knees,
Peeking into her own clasped hands.

– Leroi Jones (aka Amiri Baraka)


I love the imagery in this poem, the ground enveloping, the stars being counted, then the holes they leave being counted.
You can read more about Leroi Jones here and here.

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