little brown jug

by Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones)

Version 2

Who are you?
A lost brother.
A singer. A song
I lost, almost, sat up
one night, itched
till it came
to me, cried
one night, happy
that it played
through me.

Little Brown Jug. Nigger Brother.
Dust singer in
the shadow of old
fences. Companion, of melody
rhythm
turned around heart runs
climbed & jumped screaming
WE ARE GODS, as we
sailed years through the firmament
landing beside a
garage, Dear brother, song
slides the streets, circles the cold,
sweats on summer fruit, Oh I
love my black energy &
lost brother father serenade
me, as world-solo, the spirits
bubble, loft, & say
where you are. I suffer
to hear you so tough
& know all the spooks
who need to.

In the 1964 essay “Hunting is Not Those Heads on the Wall,” Amiri Baraka (as LeRoi Jones) famously wrote: “Art is one of many products of thought. An impressive one, perhaps the most impressive one, but to revere art, and have no understanding of the process that forces it into existence, is finally not even to understand what art is.”

“Little Brown Jug” is from Black Art, published in 1966.

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