Ah, how I would like every word of mine
to maintain a double meaning,
and all the elements of my verses to be optional!
Instead, this is not the case: I spoke seriously
with a clean and neatly dressed apostle of the S.D.S.
in a dining hall at Queen’s College. This spoiled kid didn’t hear a word.
A deep civic pain depresses me
when I see, in a corridor at 100 5th Avenue,
an official of the SNNC completely abandoned and ignored.
On the left I see a line of divided chairs, etc.,
and on the right a wall with a map
of the continent of Africa. The scene
could not have been more self-righteous. It is an empty gesture.
They have all the traits of NICE FELLOWS
but in me the ENGAGED POET suffers,
programming a certain quantity of double-edged meanings
and optional elements in an arrangement that has become
as arbitrary as the existing power structure.
Nothing is possible anymore. The spirit
of the antibody has exhaled all of you
and the antiseptic power of those in authority has won.