ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes


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How hungry I was to know / what he felt and how afraid

of my father's hunger I became.



All that could go wrong

By E. Ethelbert Miller


now fills my life.

The face of my father

is now my own.


My hands now show

their age and not what

they have built.


I cannot sit at the

kitchen table without

thinking of him.


Head bent over his

meal and feeling the 

heat of it against his brow.


How hungry I was to know

what he felt and how afraid

of my father's hunger I became.


A man in my own house

with my wife's back to me.

In bed where I might have


slept alone if it was not

for some sense of duty

to death or marriage or


whatever comes next in this

life which kills so slowly

and every breath is his breath.

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Source: E. Ethelbert Miller. How We Sleep on the Nights We Don't Make Love. Curbstone Press, 2004.

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The 5th Inning by E. Ethelbert Miller

The 5th Inning is poet and literary activist E. Ethelbert Miller's second memoir. Coming after Fathering Words: The Making of An African American Writer (published in 2000), this book finds Miller returning to baseball, the game of his youth, in order to find the metaphor that will provide the measurement of his life. Almost 60, he ponders whether his life can now be entered into the official record books as a success or failure.

The 5th Inning is one man's examination of personal relationships, depression, love and loss. This is a story of the individual alone on the pitching mound or in the batters box. It's a box score filled with remembrance. It's a combination of baseball and the blues.

To see a clip of Ethelbert reading The 5th Inning click here:

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Ancient African Nations

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Negro Digest / Black World

Browse all issues

1950        1960        1965        1970        1975        1980        1985        1990        1995        2000 ____ 2005        


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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

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update 2 August 2008



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