Incident Poem by Amiri Baraka


Rating: 3.9

He came back and shot. He shot him. When he came
back, he shot, and he fell, stumbling, past the
shadow wood, down, shot, dying, dead, to full halt.

At the bottom, bleeding, shot dead. He died then, there
after the fall, the speeding bullet, tore his face
and blood sprayed fine over the killer and the grey light.

Pictures of the dead man, are everywhere. And his spirit
sucks up the light. But he died in darkness darker than
his soul and everything tumbled blindly with him dying

down the stairs.

We have no word

on the killer, except he came back, from somewhere
to do what he did. And shot only once into his victim's
stare, and left him quickly when the blood ran out. We know

the killer was skillful, quick, and silent, and that the victim
probably knew him. Other than that, aside from the caked sourness
of the dead man's expression, and the cool surprise in the fixture

of his hands and fingers, we know nothing.

Rajnish Manga 19 May 2016

This is a wonderful narrative poem maintaining its suspense till the very end. Such incidents are not uncommon and the end result is almost the same. Thanks,

2 2 Reply
Syed Sarwar Hussain 19 May 2016

shockingly surreal! The poem is remarkable in its horrid details.

1 2 Reply
Valerie Hutchinson-morgan 29 September 2018

A shocking, vivid description of a tragic end. Sadly all too common in these times.

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Bushra Mulla 07 August 2016

I think Baraka wrote this poem keeping in mind all the terrorist attacks which took place at that point of time .

2 1 Reply
Jayatissa K. Liyanage 19 May 2016

Meticulously narrated incident, turning out o a eye brow raising poem. Not every one is capable of. Well deserving achievement. Thanks for sharing.

3 3 Reply
Jasbir Chatterjee 19 May 2016

This reminds me of a stabbing incident I witnessed at a bus stop many years ago in Delhi. It was so sudden, unexpected, and executed in such a cold-blooded manner. The aggressor's face was absolutely expressionless while he committed the act...Thanks for sharing this poem and congrats on being poet of the day!

2 2 Reply
Edward Kofi Louis 19 May 2016

Sad! ! Of the dead man's expression. Thanks for sharing this poem with us.

2 2 Reply
Amiri Baraka

Amiri Baraka

Newark, New Jersey
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