Prelude to Bruise

Prelude to Bruise

By Saeed Jones

Coffee House Press, Paperback, 9781566893749, 124pp.

Publication Date: September 2014

Praise for Saeed Jones:
"Jones is the kind of writer who's more than wanted: he's desperately needed.""FlavorWire"
"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 historyin which the personal and political are inter-constitutiveto 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, a 2010 Pushcart Prize Nominee, received his MFA in Creative Writing at Rutgers University-Newark. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in publications like Bloom, Hayden's Ferry Review, StorySouth, jubilat, West Branch, Weave, The Collagist, and Linebreak. His blog, "For Southern Boys Who Consider Poetry," is dedicated to emerging queer poets of color.