“Use it and Lose it: The Amiri Baraka Reader”

And I’M not guilty of this, but somehow I have a way of just attracting attention. When I had the Amiri Baraka reader checked out from the library last time I noticed this silver-dollar sized hole in the back cover that looked like a big dog bite, so I said on facebook something like, “Atta boy, Fido! Taking the phrase ‘Hunger for knowledge’ to a whole new level. This ain’t the back of a Maeve Binchy novel, that’s for sure!”

There, I just recited exactly what I put on facebook six months ago, that’s how in love with myself I am. Much to my chagrin, though, I went back into the library to check it out again, I wanted to soak in once more Baraka’s closing paean to the beats in which he proffers a pro-black feeling he’s got. Tragically, the book was no longer in circulation, they’d taken it off because of that giant hole in it. And I just broke apart my copy of Vanity Fair by reading it one time — granted it was an old copy, but now it’s totally in shambles, whereas it was in used selling condition when I started reading it. The binding’s shot, and the pages are in like eight different pieces. Never trust an old paperback that isn’t in ruins. ‘Cause it means those words aren’t dynamite — it’s work to read it, it’s a favor to the author to read it, it’s not something that sticks up in your blood like misbegotten mitochondria.



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