Read Please by Jericho Brown Online

please

Poetry. African American Studies. LGBT Studies. PLEASE explores the points in our lives at which love and violence intersect. Drunk on its own rhythms and full of imaginative and often frightening imagery, PLEASE is the album playing in the background of the history and culture that surround African American/male identity and sexuality. Just as radio favorites like MarvinPoetry. African American Studies. LGBT Studies. PLEASE explores the points in our lives at which love and violence intersect. Drunk on its own rhythms and full of imaginative and often frightening imagery, PLEASE is the album playing in the background of the history and culture that surround African American/male identity and sexuality. Just as radio favorites like Marvin Gaye, Donny Hathaway, and Pink Floyd characterize loss, loneliness, addiction, and denial with their voices, these poems' chorus of speakers transform moments of intimacy and humor into spontaneous music. In PLEASE, Jericho Brown sings the influence soul culture has on American life with the accuracy of the blues....

Title : Please
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781930974791
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 69 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Please Reviews

  • Mia Tryst
    2018-12-01 09:26

    Dear God, Please will hurt you - in a good way. It's a very physical and lyrical book of poetry that just goes right through you with one seamless poem followed by another. Think of an extended metaphor, music as the medium, in which we are allowed to experience the speaker's pain in bass; joy, with its fierce undying love, ("Sean"; "Betty Jo Jackson"; "Like Father") sung in soprano until you are spent; and, throw in nothing less than a beautiful voice laced with male eroticism, its bluesy, smoky undertones and you'll end up with poetry so fine it rises to operatic heights. Lastly, let's not forget the title, Please, with its loaded innuendos and you've got a compelling book that begs to be read. What is the most interesting part of reading this book is the voice, how intimate it is with the self: i.e., I get the feeling the speaker is speaking mostly to himself rather than intimating to a perceived audience. Think of the word, "intimate" as a verb rather than as an adjective. These poems speak to some deeper core of existence - where the "you" becomes the "I" and the distance becomes neglible. Also, the poems' strengths lie in their immediacy - we cut to the chase with not a lot of build up, or false starts and bookend conclusions; immediacy is, in essence, what makes the poems strong and instantaneously rewarding - that "aha yes!" moment. In fairness, the weakest two poems are "Autobiography" and "Tin Man." These two poems read too much like lists. Aside from those two experimental poems the rest are tight and well executed. Pick up a copy of PLEASE and please read it so you can dispel the notion that most of today's poetry is dreck. You just have to find the good poetry and finding takes some searching - a little work on the part of the reader. I have done some of the work for you with Please.Sample Poem:Track 1: Lush LifeThe woman with the microphone sings to hurt you,To see you shake your head. The mic may as wellBe a leather belt. You drive to the center of town To be whipped by a woman’s voice. You can’t tellThe difference between a leather belt and a lover’sTongue. A lover’s tongue might call you bitch,A term of endearment where you come from, a kind Of compliment preceded by the word sing In certain nightclubs. A lush little tongue You have: you can yell, Sing bitch, and, I love you,With a shot of Patrón at the end of each phrase From the same barstool every Saturday night, but you can’t Remember your father’s leather belt without shaking Your head. That’s what satisfies her, the womanWith the microphone. She does not mean to entertainYou, and neither do I. Speak to me in a lover’s tongue—Call me your bitch, and I’ll sing the whole night long.

  • leynes
    2018-12-12 13:38

    This poetry collection overwhelmed me. I can sense that there is something in there. Something. In there. I am confused. So instead of trying to give you a sense of what Jericho's poems are about, I will let the text on the back cover speak for itself:Please explores the points in our lives at which love and violence intersect. Drunk on its own rhythms and full of imaginative and often frightening imagery, Please is the album playing in the background of the history and culture that surround African American/male identity and sexuality. Just as radio favorites like Marvin Gaye, Donny Hathaway, and Pink Floyd characterize loss, loneliness, addiction, and denial with their voices, these poems' chorus of speakers transform moments of intimacy and humor into spontaneous music.So, this book really wasn't written for me. I'm not African American. I am not male. I am not gay. I wasn't raised in a strongly religious southern environment. However, the themes of loss and loneliness are so universal, that I couldn't help but connect with most of what Jericho had to say. And even though I didn't have to suffer through the things he has suffered through, even though I didn't have to witness my dad beating my mum senseless, I felt like I was there with him. And it wasn't a pleasant feeling. Some of his words will punch in the face, claw at you, and not release you until you give blood. I am honestly amazed that this is Jericho Brown's debut collection, I mean, it doesn't get much more badass than that. Please plays like a mix tape of old standards, R&B, and a little rock 'n' roll. Every poem is a track on that disc that provides the background music to your life. It has a unique rythm. It flows. It hurts. In a 2009 interview with Open Source's Christopher Lydon, Jericho said, “I wanted to hit other people on the back with a belt, and make them like it, too.” Well, that he achieved.Track 1: Lush LifeThe woman with the microphone sings to hurt you,To see you shake your head. The mic may as wellBe a leather belt. You drive to the center of townTo be whipped by a woman’s voice. You can’t tellThe difference between a leather belt and a lover’sTongue. A lover’s tongue might call you bitch,A term of endearment where you come from, a kindOf compliment preceded by the word singIn certain nightclubs. A lush little tongueYou have: you can yell, Sing bitch, and, I love you,With a shot of Patrón at the end of each phraseFrom the same barstool every Saturday night, but you can'tRemember your father's leather belt without shakingYour head. That's what satisfies her, the womanWith the microphone. She does not mean to entertainYou, and neither do I. Speak to me in a lover's tongue—Call me your bitch, and I'll sing the whole night long.I don't know what it is about his poetry, but on the one hand I feel like I don't understand what he's trying to communicate, and on the other hand I know exactly what he's talking about. It is terrifying, but also somewhat comforting? The tension of the subject matter is mirrored in the tension of the beat. There is a constant tease of iambic rhythm in the lines mixed up with frequent stressed syllables to create a kind of syncopation like a snare drumbeat in the background of Jericho’s song. The heavy beat is underscored by his use of pauses. Every line except the first and last is enjambed. This, combined with full stops in the middle of the lines, creates a breathiness to the work, like a singer performing a slow tune in a dark nightclub.The collection is organized in four sections, Repeat, Pause, Power, and Stop. I picture not a fancy digital CD machine but an old tape player, buttons worn from constant use, tape looping and looping as the poems in Please loop and often come full circle.Repeat is filled with reflections from childhood and with the inevitable imprint childhood leaves on the present. With the constant interweaving of childhood and the present, Brown seems to be saying that we are condemned to repeat the patterns of our childhood in our present relationships.In Pause, the poems deal with relationships, with failed and lost love. They speak of anger, love, and lust with brutal honesty. Brown said in his Open Source interview that he was interested in, “the music that was playing in the background while history is being made.” But his poems do not stay in the background. They jump out from the page. They burn skin.Whereas in Pause, many of the poems feel like laments written from a place of powerlessness, the love poems in Power are often playfully wicked and vengeful. Clearly, he is no longer the man standing barefoot in a field of glass splinters, watching in silence as his man leaves. Here, Brown has the power; he is breaking the glass.From divas to crickets to his parents’ snores, everything sings in Jericho's lines, and each of his poems opens a door into this world of music. The final section of the book is called Stop, the “liner notes” for the songs in this mix tape. These notes speak of the tumultuous and tragic stories of the singers Brown has chosen to write about as well as the tumultuous times in which the songs were born. But as brutal as his work is, he does not leave the reader on the floor, grasping for breath. He gives something back. Something that is in there. In this collection. I am overwhelmed.

  • Laura
    2018-12-03 16:37

    The Burning BushLizard’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 spokenThrough 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.

  • Kent
    2018-11-30 16:21

    What gives most pleasure in this book is its willingness to struggle with identity, and to embrace the fact that struggle consists of actions that bring him closer to understanding. Or maybe a more appropriate way to say it is that the struggle makes him more fully human.

  • Saeed Jones
    2018-11-19 09:36

    I love this book because Jericho put some much love into it. Drawing from his personal experiences as well as his love of R&B, he's created quite a collection.

  • Heather
    2018-12-01 17:18

    There are three sections of poems in this book, with each section titled after a button on a stereo, though obviously they’re also words with resonance: REPEAT, and PAUSE, and POWER. Music, both as trope and as thing, the idea of song and actual songs and musicians, figure heavily. As for the poems themselves, I like how they’re smart and conversational, I like their wryness, and I like that they’re poems that tell stories. There’s casual violence in these poems, a father beating his son with a leather belt, a backhanded slap across the cheek, and racism and dirt and grit and cockroaches teeming in the kitchen, but that isn’t to say they’re unpleasant to read.

  • James Grinwis
    2018-12-06 10:32

    Jericho Brown is going to be a huge, big, voice in American poetry. Some sublime lines throughout the book, and, while I normally don't go for this, the performance oriented boldness of the poems gave it all the right kind of muscle.

  • secondwomn
    2018-12-10 11:17

    a lot to like, a brave book

  • Lucas Sierra
    2018-12-03 12:14

    La experiencia poética parece atada, desde Rimbaud, a aquella imposible paradoja de lectura encapsulada en el "yo es otro". La experiencia de lectura, y toda lectura literaria es, en el fondo, una lectura poética, se atraviesa con ese sentido de la otredad, y debe, entonces, permitir al lector oficiante una expansión de su ser, por vías de olvido y evasión, como ocurre con los narradores realmente entretenidos; o de constante señalamiento y confrontación, como ocurre con los poetas reales, como ocurre con este libro de Jericho Brown.La intimidad consignada en Please consigue crear un espejo en el lector. La experiencia del poeta, condensada en las cuatro partes del libro, se estructura en forma de melodía (de ahí que las cuatro partes sean "Power", "Pause", "Stop", "Repeat"), para incitar, por medio del canto, el abandono de los límites entre éste y quien lee. La música como espacio de comunión es, deliberadamente, uno de los centros temáticos de los poemas. El jazz, el R&B, la desgarradura del blues; pistas de interpretación sobre los mecanismos emulados por el poeta.En general, Please es un libro sobre el amor y el dolor, ninguno de los dos teñido con ecos del romanticismo. No, aquí no hay un genio infuso en elucubraciones platónicas ni en consternaciones metafísicas. Hay un cuerpo, negro y homosexual, enfrentado a la soledad al rechazo tanto como a la violencia doméstica, a las relaciones tóxicas, al sexo inmensamente ligado a la agresividad y la ternura.La familia, la pobreza, el desamor, la muerte, la esfinge de la figura paterna. Los temas permiten cercanía, generan un temblor sustentado, afortunadamente, en un lenguaje potente. La traducción de Andrea Cote se esmera en la literalidad del mensaje, a costa, claro, de cierta musicalidad. Por fortuna, el libro incluye los originales en inglés, y puede hacerse, entonces, una lectura-relectura afortunada en ambos idiomas, comprobando, en cada caso, la exigencia oral en la escritura de Brown. La partición de los versos, la entonación en los yambos, todo aparece propicio para la lectura en voz alta. Ni siquiera mi terrible acento de antioqueño hablando en inglés consiguió arruinarlos, y eso es decir mucho.Les dejo este Family portrait, para que se animen a leer a Brown:FAMILY PORTRAITMy breath is also releasedAs I shiver onto my boyfriend's backThen open my eyes to the facesOf my children, faintlySketched in white swirlsOn brown skin-the only placeHe can carry them. Out of my body,They look less like meThan like my mother and fatherWho will die when I do. Their mouthsPoised to blame, I wipe them awayBefore they can speak. (120)Y la traducción de Andrea Cote:RETRATO DE FAMILIAMi respiración también descansaMientras me estremezco sobre la espalda de mi novio,Entonces, abro los ojos a los rostrosDe mis hijos, débilmenteEsbozados en remolinos blancosSobre piel marrón-el único lugar dondeÉl puede cargarlos. Fuera de mi cuerpoSe parecen menos a míQue a mi madre y a mi padreQue morirán conmigo. Sus bocasYa preparadas para culpar. Las borroAntes de que puedan hablar. (121)

  • Anne Crow
    2018-11-26 14:17

    This was harder to read than his second book, grittier yet also more veiled. There were lines I shuddered at, from both pain at what he was saying and pleasure in how he could say it. But there is a rhythm to his work that draws me in.

  • Ingrid
    2018-12-06 09:12

    His writing is aggressive and beautiful, and the content of the poems is powerful and personal. Some poems slipped past me but overall a Work of Art. I should reread at a later point in my life. Favorite poem is for sure “Herman Finley Is Dead.”

  • Frank Karioris
    2018-12-11 13:39

    Rereading. Heard him speak in Michigan in April. Sometimes you just need some poetic beauty - and pain - in your life. Still hearing his voice.

  • alex
    2018-11-15 09:13

    jericho brown is absolutely incredible, especially when he reads his poetry live.

  • Open Loop Press
    2018-11-25 16:18

    Jericho Brown promises no revelations. His poems are tight, trimmed of excess, lyrical and lonely.I want to answer their questionsTell them the dead man’s nameBut 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.Leave All the lights on.Phone your mother And threaten cremation.Set fire to your cassettesBrown says, “Write what you can’t stop thinking about. Write what’s on your mind.” For him, this is love and the complication of loving. It is the fact of violence, and the conflict in forgiveness. It is, especially, the strange tension between nostalgia and suffering — the way the poet transforms that tension into art.We learn to listen to musicOver hollers, throughSmoke. Her soprano comes acrossA photograph in giggles,But ends up crying,Save me. We think we’d like thatKind of love, sad and steepedIn trumpets, though a block upThe entire decade shootsFor words to put in the dictionary:Crackhead, drive-by. LossJericho Brown converts life’s tragedies to rhythmic stories about family, about love and home, about Southern culture’s ragged edge. These poems wake the reader from reverie. They place him at the moment of rupture. If poetry is a literature of the heartbeat, then Brown’s poems are the blood that infuses its song. They fuel the poet, in the middle of the stage, holding the final note, proving by raw emotion the universality of human kinship.~Carlin M. Wragg, Editor, Open Loop Press

  • Jennifer Chapis
    2018-11-12 12:29

    “If the red sun rising makes a sound, / Let my voice be that sound.”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 poems are no doubt delivered straight from the soul. Each reading feels like two. ("Like Father!") Some poems that had an especially profound impact:"Again," "Pause," "Idea for an Album: Vandross, the Duets," "Turning 26," "I Have Just Picked Up a Man," "Lion," "Betty Jo Jackson," "Dark Side of the Planet," "Runaway." "Track 8: Song for You" made me cry. "Prayer of the Backhanded" is my favorite. I suspect it will resonate with me always.

  • Justin
    2018-11-23 14:32

    Absolutely excellent poetry. There's something about the rhythm and lyricism of each of the poems that just makes them come alive. You never really know where each one is headed, and it's great to read them over and over, while still being able to pick up new things. A lot of the poems are persona poems, so it's helpful to have a basic understanding of who the speaker is each piece (there's a short reference guide in the back to help with this). As it says on the back of the book, the work is mainly about the history and culture that has surrounded the African American male, but you don't need to be either of these things to enjoy Please. Themes of love, violence, depression, loss, and happiness, speak to everyone.I was fortunate enough to have Brown come to my class and do a reading, which really helped bring the poetry to life. There are some readings on YouTube which I recommend listening to as you read through this excellent collection. Highly recommended!

  • Renee Alberts
    2018-12-02 12:27

    Jericho Brown’s poetry collection Please is organized into four sections: Repeat, Pause, Power and Stop. Brown continues the musical theme throughout a cycle of poems whose titles are all numbered tracks and whose content references song lyrics. Other poems refer to characters from The Wizard of Oz and slide fluidly between elevated verse and rhythmic slang. These devices serve as entry points for Brown’s intimate explorations of love, violence, and the lines where they intersect. Sometimes those lines fall between lovers, sometimes between father and son, sometimes within crime-ridden neighborhoods. All of them result in verse as immediate as it is well-crafted, strung with such arresting lines as these from “The Burning Bush:” “Remember me for this sprouting fire…/No ash behind, I burn to bloom. / I am not consumed. I am not consumed.”

  • Patricia Murphy
    2018-12-05 11:41

    This book shared a lot of resonating themes with another book I recently read (also published in 2008): James Allen Hall's Now You're the Enemy. This made me think about the effect of braiding in a poetry collection; pulsing back to topics and images to weave a story rather than marching through it chronologically. It's a skill I need to practice. These poems are tightly wound narratives with strong images and details that do so much work. Here are some of my favorite moments from the book:"She does not mean to entertain You, and neither do I.""And forgive my forgetting the love of a hand.""What must this fieldfeel for the plow?""How to shake the night's hand in confidence.How to trust that no star will talk?""A rubber band binds the morning paper."

  • James
    2018-12-05 17:24

    Really fresh. Although the poems feel plainspoken and direct, Jericho Brown is okay with being occasionally oblique. While he retells stories of his hardworking family, his tough-loving parents, and an uneasy childhood--he also mixes in some sly commentary on the act of telling: "I should have told you this / Lines ago" ("Again"). My favorites are the poems for partners and lovers, which seem to me as if they tread new ground in gay poetry, because they are romantic and sexy but not campy, outrageous, or provocative. Maybe we've finally arrived at a poetry that presents sexuality for what it is, without excuse, exaggeration, or apology.

  • Derrick Carr
    2018-11-15 09:30

    You would not believe me if I told you/ I met a man called Joshua./ I am not a city nor a saint./He knew where my body had been.This book is worth reading for "Burning Bush" alone, but there's so much texture to this book throughout. (I lowkey worried Jericho Brown needs/needed more healthy, loving relationships but I'm not this man, soooo... ). My favorites:+ Prayer of the Backhanded + Scarecrow + Pause + Fall+ The Burning Bush+ Betty Jo Jackson+ Dark Side of the Planet+ David+ The Gulf+ Track 8: Song for You

  • Darin Ciccotelli
    2018-12-05 15:25

    I'm biased, as I know Jericho from my time in Houston. But in re-reading this book, I remembered how much I admire these poems. My favorite moments are the most defiant ones, and for all of the singing and praising that happens in the book, I'm most moved by the poet's anger. But that probably says more about me than it does Jericho's poetry. Anyway, if people haven't read this collection yet, they ought to.

  • A. Hotzler
    2018-11-23 13:17

    I fluctuate between three and four stars; there are a number of poems in which I have no contextual foundation for understanding, but there are a few poems (Detailing the Nape and Prayer of the Backhanded) are absolutely tour de forces of poetic expression. I've had the pleasure of listening to Brown read his work--and talk with him personally--and I'd highly recommend, when he comes to your town or a reading: GO. SEE. HIM.

  • Bitchin' Reads
    2018-11-23 09:31

    A testament to the innovative and exploratory writers. Exploring his homosexuality, his race, family relationships, Brown delves into the dark side of humanity, attempting to find understanding and peace.Especially loved the poem "Tin Man." So many different ways to read it, none of them being the "right" way--endless interpretations!

  • Jonterri
    2018-11-27 13:31

    this is one of my favorite books in any genre. i carry it in my purse. lend it to students and make them promise to return it. these poems are so brave and honest. that's why i keep it with me. it reminds me to be fearless in my own work.

  • Poets.org from the Academy of American Poets
    2018-12-10 13:31

    Prepare for the 2010 Poets Forum in New York City (October 28-30) by reading Brown's newest book of poetry, and check out the Poets Forum 2010 bookshelf for the latest collections by each of the poets participating in the Poets Forum. Happy reading!

  • Christopher
    2018-11-26 13:18

    Read this while vacationing at Hammonasset Beach this weekend. Really liked some of the poems, but had a hard time relating to most of them.

  • Thilardiel
    2018-12-08 16:30

    I am with Terrance Hayes on this one--I could never say all I love about this book.

  • Momtaza Mehri
    2018-11-23 09:16

    Rich with all that is tender and raw. His work is very musical and sings off the page/your bones. Thanks to all those who recommended!

  • Reginald
    2018-12-06 14:12

    This has got to be one of the best poetry collections I've read all year...Brown not only makes me wish I were a poet, he makes me wish I were a good poet...I heard music on these pages.

  • Doralee Brooks
    2018-11-23 15:29

    This is an extraordinary book. The range of theme and form is dizzying, and the language, magnificent.