I was in juvenile detention center, and I was in Rikers Island. And there was an anthology written by the inmates called ‘The Pen,’ and I – you know, I had a crush on a girl, and she left me when I was incarcerated. And I found this poem in this anthology that talked about having your heart broken and being incarcerated.
My mother took great relish in introducing me as ‘This is my son – he’s a doctor but not the kind that helps people.’
I was a victim of a stereotype. There were only two of us Negro kids in the whole class, and our English teacher was always stressing the importance of rhythm in poetry. Well, everybody knows – except us – that all Negroes have rhythms, so they elected me class poet.
There’s no reason for the establishment to fear me. But it has every right to fear the people collectively – I am one with the people.
To me in my childhood, elves and fairies of all sorts were very real things, and my dolls were as really children as I was myself a child.
If a man urge me to tell wherefore I loved him, I feel it cannot be expressed but by answering: Because it was he, because it was myself.
Forgive, O Lord, my little jokes on Thee, and I’ll forgive Thy great big joke on me.
To correct a natural indifference I was placed half-way between misery and the sun. Misery kept me from believing that all was well under the sun, and the sun taught me that history wasn’t everything.
For me sport was a religion… with religious sentiment.
When I was younger, I was so crazy about poetry that I didn’t notice who was noticing. It seemed to me so tremendous and large.