SECTION THIRTEEN
POETRY PAGE ONE


sm
COLUMN FIFTY-EIGHT, APRIL 1, 2001
(Copyright © 2001 Al Aronowitz)

[Amiri Baraka wrote this poem for the 90th birthday of his father, Deacon Coyt Jones, and recited it to the audience at his father's 90th birthday party.]

PULLMAN CAR HISTORIES

Remember the front room, the living
room, the dining room, the
Buffet, the big bed with the saddle
the dog, the fig tree, the old white
man
Doyle, next store, Mary Ann Notare
       on the other side.  Remember
       Walter Page, how he was fat
       and sucked his thumb and
       Board and the Davises a little
       band of us remember how it
       smelled underneath the porch.  

Now remember who that is and the
       was of what you remember,
       member you bur'memb'a, and
       Sandi, my sister, oh in side me
       tears and laughter range like
lasting and
We was making sandwiches, mommy
         Sd
not
Sammiches
And we sure was not making no
Sangwiches
 

Tho we was in Newark
Family got here
In the twenties
Ran outta Alabama
By "Jealous Crackers"
Burned my Granddaddy's stores,
1st rebuilt, then the other
Then he built a funeral parlor
Clown told him they'd put them
All in there.  So they left
Went to Beaver Falls, Pa
Before Namath was born.  

Steel town was too stark,
Went East to Newark
Opened a grocery store
Had a piano, my uncle
Got funky on, in between
Delivering them groceries.  

    But the Depression came
And my grandfather went broke
Closed the store and got a republican
Gig night watchman in the election
          machine
Warehouse.

But remember the sandwiches, of
           my uncles Pullman stock
When the white folks dry numbers
                         ran out

   GL wd pull his colored ones out
     Remember them sandwiches
         We all had to make em
    Momma and Nana and Elaine
     And me.  After school and on the
                           week ends
        Was when that cooperative
                        production
                     Went on
          What did we talk about?
              How did we feel?

We talked about America
       Old folks talked me and my sister
         Listened.  That's where I learned
                                                 about
   Slavery racism jealousy and greed.    

            It was a Master Class
   Mayonnaise, spiced ham, on white
                              bread
      And a whole lotta laughin and a
                                whole lot
       Of real teaching still reaching
                Where it has laid
                  All these years
                  Inside my head

I remember them sandwiches, Jim,
                                      oh yeh...

Amiri Baraka 11/00  ##

* * *

LOW COUP FOR BUSH 2

    THE MAIN THING

               WRONG

             WITH YOU

                     IS

           YOU AINíT

                  IN

                          JAIL!  ##

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