jericho brown partner
I was only a few weeks away from turning 25.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. “I’m a queer elder,” she said with a laugh, though it wasn’t a joke at all. The consistency of structure could reflect the reoccurring moments in Brown’s life. After logging in you can close it and return to this page. The sound of joy happening — even if it was without me — felt as peaceful as falling asleep as a kid during a parents’ dinner party. Fifty years after the first Pride March, the authors Jericho Brown, Carmen Maria Machado and Thomas Page McBee reflect on a complicated moment for the L.G.B.T.Q. The last word of a stanza becomes the last word on the first line of the next. MLF and Picador present four stunning, innovative poets whose work speaks to the times we are living in. Jericho Brown’s Pulitzer Prize winning collection The Testament considers the normalisation of evil and explores masculinity, fatherhood and freedom. Even in something he loves, ‘A poem’, the use of personification implies a controlling relationship.

The bathroom had a single posted flyer adorned with three words: “CORPORATE PRIDE,” preceded by a four-letter expletive. From here, I am dedicated to honoring my lineage by insisting on our existence and fighting for the recognition and protection of all bodies, equal in our right to live freely and without fear in these United States of America. There is a reason that the Philly Dyke March — held the Saturday before Pride — is my and my partner’s event of choice. And I love how introspection can lead to the memory of a parade, to gratitude for the ones I’ve seen and excitement for the ones on the way. Two words stand out in this line for me, the first being ‘gesture’, the second being ‘home’. Much in the same way I’d once thought, I’m peeing in Canada!, because for me the moment I urinate in a new place is the moment it becomes real. Brown argues that emotional abuse has impacted him in a similar, but more subtle, way than the psychical. His second book, The New Testament, won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award and was named one of the best of the year by Library Journal, Coldfront, and the Academy of American Poets. I’m spending my quarantine life bearing witness to that history, far from my queer origins, in the mountains outside Los Angeles, where I currently live with my wife. People seem surprised when I tell them how I came to my own sense of pride. Metrical pacing is incredibly important in a poem, Brown using this to place emphasis. Pride was a protest. But I also knew my choice: capitulating to or standing up to that hatred. He was an artist and was known for it throughout the city. No somber songs. Though I eventually returned to the fold, I avoided Pride for those confusing first few years between worlds, my history no longer telegraphed in my haircut or my swagger. On Monday, the Supreme Court ruled to uphold employment protections or all L.G.B.T.Q. It is from this place that I celebrate Pride today, a few months before my 40th birthday — a veritable trans elder. Brown’s first book, Please, won the American Book Award. I wasn’t in a phase. I was 20 years old and five years into a queer life defined by protest politics, postmodern gender theory and queer punk bands.

Abuse seems to be a constant in Brown’s life, occurring over and over again.

Jack is undertaking a degree in World Literature and joined the Poem Analysis team in 2019. He asked me to stand on the back porch while she got whatever she needed. More color.

I was new to New York , witnessing an adult future made thrillingly, queerly visible for the first time in my young life. This begins with his ‘last love’, who it seems was also abusive to him. I began to understand: Not only does queerness not protect you, it does not absolve you. What excites me most about those marches is how they give us a chance to so wildly show who we are in the crowd while we get to be together in the crowd. The most powerful kind of pride, to me, is the pride of ancestry. I’d recite a poem. It was 2001. Another theme that Brown explores within Duplex is memory. Perhaps by reimagining what “pride” even means. Every single person that visits has helped contribute, so thank you for your support. Brooklyn Book Festival, Inc. and Brooklyn Book Festival Literary Council, The Center for Black Literature at Medgar Evers College, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. History has opened a door for you. That, I figured, was what being queer meant.

I even had a friend with an apartment that overlooked the parade route. Brown suggests that it has changed him, ‘none of the beaten end up how we began’. In the fifth stanza of Duplex, Brown points to the impact of emotional abuse.

Light rain hits easy but leaves its own mark, What's your thoughts? We’re here, we’re queer and, even if you can’t see us, we can’t be erased. Even though I skipped the main event for protest marches, Pride was a parade: of red plastic to-go cups topped off at strangers’ parties, of ashtray-mouth kisses, and the promise of summer on our own terms. I even took a journalism job that brought me back to New York, where I took cold comfort in the sense that the yawning gap between my “butchness” and who I really was had finally closed like a wound.

My guide that summer was Lisa, a big-hearted butch in a motorcycle jacket. Jericho, West Bank town that is one of the oldest continuously inhabited settlements in the world and thus also a site of great archaeological importance. The story, each time it circled back to me, always included less clothing and more graphic descriptions of sex I never had.

‘Light rain’, representing little moments of emotional abuse, still also ‘leaves its own mark’. If you are beloved by your police force, by your government, by straight people and cis people and white people, you have nothing to be proud of. Jericho Brown is a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard, and the National Endowment for the Arts, and he is the winner of a Whiting Award. After all, we think of Pride — capital P — in terms of community: men, women and nonbinary people loudly claiming their existence, their contribution to society and culture, and their ability to love. By continuing, you consent to use of all cookies.

The inescapability of memory is displayed through the repeating structure of Duplex. and working in the mayor’s press office. Use the same water semantics as the ‘hailstorm’ of abuse, Brown explores a differing form of abuse. For example, ‘He’d leave marks./ Light rain hits easy but leaves its own mark’, the repetition of ‘mark’ demonstrating the repeated abuse Brown suffers. In his 2005 book, “In a Queer Time and Place,” J. Jack Halberstam writes that queer cultures produce “alternative temporalities,” or “queer time,” by allowing us to imagine futures for ourselves outside birth, marriage, reproduction and death, those “paradigmatic markers of life experience.”. When I began my transition in 2011, my internal sense of time grew increasingly nonlinear, even associative, as I tried to bridge a coherent sense of self across bodies and lifetimes. Each of these stanzas has two lines, the poem measuring a total of fourteen lines. As I write that, I’m reminded how, today, we all live in a new era of risk related to touch. Brown suggests that those who survive through abuse are plagued by reoccurring memories. At 21, I moved to the Bay Area and went to my first Pride parade.

Much ink has been spilled on the topic of corporate endorsements during large Pride parades, the way that capitalism has sprawled itself over the day and co-opted Pride from its radical queer roots. I saw in his hangdog expression a familiarity I did not want to acknowledge, and so I kept my distance, a regret that still sits hard in my gut, nearly two decades later. Brown explores his experiences with abuse in these stanzas.

The most important technique that Brown uses when constructing the poem is repetition. That sweltering summer before Sept. 11, I would shout “Stonewall was a riot!” from windows and stoops and across subway platforms at other kids with purple hair and pink triangle neck tattoos. It feels important, somehow, that a pandemic abolished the old Pride — the one boasting corporate floats and swag and friendly police officers, the one with a schedule and a permit — and gave us a call to action: room to reimagine what it means to be queer, and to act accordingly. So how do we find pride without Pride?


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