Lizard’s shade turned torch, what thorns I bore
Nomadic shepherds clipped. Still,
I’ve stood, a soldier listening for the word,
Attack, a prophet praying any ember be spoken
Through me in this desert full of fugitives.
Now, I have a voice. Entered, I am lit.
Remember me for this sprouting fire,
For the lash of flaming tongues that lick
But do not swallow my leaves, my flimsy
Branches. No ash behind, I burn to bloom.
I am not consumed. I am not consumed.
I want to answer their questions
Tell them the dead man’s name
But I cannot identify the broken body.
Even I don’t know who he is.
His poems are home to the hardest questions: Can a boy love the father who whips him? What’s the best way to injure, after departure, the person one loves?
How best to hurt you.
Fling a pitcher of sweet tea.
All the lights on.
Phone your mother
And threaten cremation.
Jericho Brown's voice is a whip. A deft delivery of poetry, Please is smart, sad, beautiful, musical. I love the way in which the Tracks organize the book and music informs the poems. Song of absence. Man as song. Music as love. So many moments of inspired connection feel like keys turning. Rich full-circle gestures, fascinating lines drawn. I admire the original, organic synchronicity of the persona poems.
In general, these po...more
Especially loved the poem "Tin Man." So many different ways to read it, none of them being the "right" way--endless interpretations!