The New Testament by Jericho Brown – Tolase Ajibola

TITLE: The New Testament
AUTHOR: Jericho Brown
PUBLISHER: Copper Canyon Press
GENRE: Poetry

What Jericho Brown has done with the biblical imagery employed is profound, he relates with every black ‘brother.’ He is black, obviously, and relates with the vices that lurks in every corner waiting for a black body. Jericho Brown like Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the world and me questions the significance of the black body in America.

What Angel of Death flies by each house, waving
my brother’s soul in front of windows like toys –

Jericho Brown is dauntless, a black gay poet may be assumed to be positioned on the wrong side. Though there is a thin line between what is vulgar and what is erotic, vulgar is offensive and erotic is art. Brown’s art is clear off the line, he steered clear of vulgarism when he discussed the romantic love of brothers. His erotic poems are sensual and powerful. In What the holy do he was not soliciting for equality in issues or sexual but equity.

We wrote our own Bible
And got thrown out of church.
Then I saw one of us again—a man
Pushing into him
From behind.

The New Testament is a good read. The author dared to speak unfiltered truth delivered in a coat of music.


By Tolase Ajibola

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