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Tom Ass Clarence

by Amiri Baraka

Ask these knees if there’s
a negro attached
to them
Ask these knees
who they belong to
& how long they been here
pinned to the

“These knees can talk, child!”
1st time I seen knees talk.
But these knees can talk
These knees can cry
These knees can even lie

Only knees had a program on tv
Only knees married to
    a pornography of naked nuns
Only knees can exist w/o anybody
    w/o no legs or thighs
         or feet or anything

Only knees can exist
         of anything
         by themselves

these are
Self made knees
prosperous knees
proud knees
shiny knees

These knees are
  Knee grows

  Like I said
  These knees
  be on television
  They got they own



Amiri Baraka is the widely published author and activist who now teaches African Studies at SUNY, Stonybrook. (1994)

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