Beyoncé – Crazy in Love
It starts with negation: a series of nos that lead the way to something more tangible—a promise forgotten in a quiet room; the stomach sink of leaving your glasses at home when you are more than halfway to a lover’s house. I know the song that was sung here: how it poses a question on the air about the ownership of women & the desire to sleep in a bed that is not their own—hands under flat pillows, every bone curved to the mirror’s edge. & yet the answer is no—that if there is a denial of beauty, of new dresses, furs & tennis shoes, this could all seem rational: that there is a problem to be solved, that there are variables beyond the way the grayness of the day can be seen before either of us set foot outside. I am scared of these things: of how I have seen brilliant men do things that scare them—I mispronounce your name more times than I would like to admit. Soon, I will start slurring all words together: a string of peaks with no breaths inbetween. I will ramble. I will hope you understand what no one else can.
MGMT – Fated To Pretend
I shall forever remain faithful to the notion that there is something here that is beyond what balloons can tell us: that when we tie a ribbon around our wrist we will not be the ones who float towards the sky, spiraling. We are older now & this is what you need to know: that who we are is who we will be—make no mistake. There is no room for anything other than the pressing of cheeks against cold window panes so that the warmth of sickness leaves us, that we will forever be flushed as long as there is love: dizzyeyed & coagulated—please do not hold it against me that I do not know what terms are left to describe the moments before; the concept of a breath on a fireplace that has no fire: a pile of pillowcases inviting you to slide into something that makes you want to sleep, makes you want to breathe smoke—leave the fire to the professionals, leave the fire to the adults. Here is something I disagree with: there is no end to any of this—we are beautiful in our everythings, we are endless in our dazzle. If there is anything left to grow old with, let it be something we cannot possibly miss: do not take away our soil, our houses. We will need them where we are going.
As of 2014: Brian Oliu is originally from New Jersey and currently teaches at the University of Alabama, where he is the Associate Director of the Slash Pine Press internship. He is the author of So You Know It’s Me (Tiny Hardcore Press, 2011) a series of Craigslist Missed Connections; Level End (Origami Zoo Press, 2012), a chapbook based on videogame boss battles; Leave Luck to Heaven, an ode to 8-bit videogames; and i/o (Civil Coping Mechanisms, 2015), a memoir in the form of a computer virus.