Prelude to Bruise (Paperback)
New York based poet Saeed Jones will leave you floored. You really, really nead to read this collection of poetry. It offers beauty as a reading of the black body, instead of pain and violence. Or rather, beauty despite pain and violence
Boy reads about the myth of Ganymede. One moment, Ganymede is just a beautiful boy standing on a hillside. The next, Zeus descends upon him in the form of an eagle and takes the boy to live among the gods. The book uses the word abducted.
Boy wonders who wouldn't want to be abducted.
Praise for Saeed Jones:
-Jones is the kind of writer who's more than wanted: he's desperately needed.---FlavorWire
-This book leaves your body transformed in a way that poetry should.- --ElevenEleven
-I get shout-happy when I read these poems; they are the gospel; they are the good news of the sustaining power of imagination, tenderness, and outright joy.---D. A. Powell
-Prelude to Bruise works its tempestuous mojo just under the skin, wreaking a sweet havoc and rearranging the pulse. These poems don't dole out mercy. Mr. Jones undoubtedly dipped his pen in fierce before crafting these stanzas that rock like backslap. Straighten your skirt, children. The doors of the church are open.---Patricia Smith
-It's a big book, a major book. A game-changer. Dazzling, brutal, real. Not just brilliant, caustic, and impassioned but a work that brings history--in which the personal and political are inter-constitutive--to the immediate moment. Jones takes a reader deep into lived experience, into a charged world divided among unstable yet entrenched lines: racial, gendered, political, sexual, familial. Here we absorb each quiet resistance, each whoop of joy, a knowledge of violence and of desire, an unbearable ache/loss/yearning. This is not just a -new voice- but a new song, a new way of singing, a new music made of deep grief's wildfire, of burning intelligence and of all-feeling heart, scorched and seared. In a poem, Jones says, -Boy's body is a song only he can hear.- But now that we have this book, we can all hear it. And it's unforgettable.---Brenda Shaughnessy
-Inside each hunger, each desire, speaks the voice of a boy that admits 'I've always wanted to be dangerous.' This is not a threat but a promise to break away from the affliction of silence, to make audible the stories that trouble the dimensions of masculinity and discomfort the polite conversations about race. With impressive grace, Saeed Jones situates the queer black body at the center, where his visibility and vulnerability nurture emotional strength and the irrepressible energy to claim those spaces that were once denied or withheld from him. Prelude to a Bruise is a daring debut.---Rigoberto Gonzalez
From -Sleeping Arrangement-:
Take your hand out
from under my pillow.
And take your sheets with you.
Drag them under. Make pretend ghosts.
I can't have you rattling the bed springs
so keep still, keep quiet.
Mistake yourself for shadows.
Learn the lullabies of lint.
Saeed Jones works as the editor of BuzzfeedLGBT.
About the Author
Saeed Jones is the author of the chapbook When the Only Light is Fire (2011, Sibling Rivalry Press). His work has appeared in Best Gay Stories 2013, Guernica, Ebony Magazine, The Rumpus, Hayden's Ferry Review and West Branch among other publications. Jones received his MFA in Creative Writing at Rutgers University - Newark and is the recipient of fellowships from Cave Canem and Queer / Arts / Mentors. He works as the editor of BuzzfeedLGBT and lives in Harlem.