Tuesday, April 22, 2014

National Poetry Month Poem of the Day: ‘Prelude to Bruise’ by Saeed Jones

(from flavorwire.com
by Jason Diamond)


To celebrate National Poetry Month, Flavorwire is posting a poem a day throughout April. For today’s poem, we’re pleased to present you apoem from one of the collections we’re most excited about this year, Prelude to Bruise by Saeed Jones, which is out this September on Coffee House Press.

“Prelude to Bruise” by Saeed Jones

In Birmingham, said the burly man –

Boy, be
a bootblack.

Your back, blue-black.
Your body, burning.

I like my black boys broke, or broken.
I like to break my black boys in.

See this burnished
brown leather belt?
You see it, boy?

Are you broke, or broken?
I’m gonna break your back in.

Good boy. Begin: bend
over my boot,

(or I’ll bend you over my lap–rap rap)

again, bend. Better,

butt out, tongue out,
lean in.

Now, spit-shine.
Spit-polish.

My boot, black.
Your back, blue-black.

Good boy.
Black boy, blue-black boy.
Bad boy–rap rap.

You’ve been broken in.
Begin again, bend.

Excerpts are reprinted by permission from Prelude to Bruise (Coffee House Press, 2014). Copyright © 2014 by Saeed Jones.


*Blogger's note: From all the ones on Flavorwire this month this really hit me the most down deep. I would love to read more by this author.