An impressive collection of brief poems by a young black poet, acute, personal statements, discoveries of self both as a black and as a woman. Miss Clifton sounds the depths of an acrid promise in an eyeblink of perception as in ""The 1st"": ""still/ it was nice/ when the scissors man come round/ . . . fire spinning in the air/ and our edges/ and our points/ sharpening good as anybodys."" A ghetto riot is penetrated as two warriors (one twelve years old) call out their challenges, but at the close: ""war over/ everybody gone home/ nobody dead/ everybody dying."" As a black woman the poet ""admonishes"" the boys: ""what you steal/ I will conceal/ my private silence to/ your public guilt/ is all I got."" Miss Clifton's rhythmic line is her own, unlike the derivative ""soul"" montages of sound which mechanize much black poetry. Original, potent and highly promising.