EXCERPTS FROM "DANCEFLOOR" by Brian Oliu The Next Episode (2:44) – Dr. Dre
Here is a warning: a series of patterns, lines in sand to let us know that what we are looking for is elsewhere. The cage, of course, is above us, hovering like a broken umbrella: holes big enough to let the water pour through. We talk about the future because the wheels are about to fall off: this is the end of the line, sparks flaring from where we once were. Instead, we have ghosts to guide us away from where we will end up, to say this is what will happen, white spaces, gaps in fences, cracks in teeth, holes in the ladder where our feet should go. There is a fine line here, let me spell it out for you: the coming back is as important as the getting back, that this is where we belong and how we belong—complete in our coding, a hand with the proper amount of fingers. You tell me to leave so that you can come visit: line after line, yet I don’t count them the way that you do—take some chances, skip a few. If you cannot read this, I am here to tell you that what is here was never good enough, that out of town lies the chronicles of success: a listing of towns that I have never been to, towns where you want me—alone in a new apartment in an old bed we never shared. This is what comes next.
We Found Love (3:36) – Rihanna
There is nothing to be found, what is found is already in the sand—there was a city here, once, we have seen paintings. We have seen sketches in charcoal from the ash left over and we have heard accounts of towers blocking out the sun. The spires that cast shadows before the doors were opened to let the sunlight in. We’ve heard of marble, of granite, of things that could not float no matter how much we tethered it: the rope will not save you, there is science to prove faith wrong.
When it is time to rebuild, it is done slowly: there is the digging, of course, the landscape of holes large enough to fit a wine bottle, a place where we can lay as the storm passes over us.
& then, building again, trenches that hit bone. We keep the debris under fingernails, we hide the duct work in the hair. Heartbeats should not be here: there is no patience—all itches scratched, all blood let.
I turned into a city and you drove to work. You cursed the traffic on my roads, the splits in veins, the clogging of a soft heart. I cannot see where you live, spinning dizzy in the mirror trying to find it, to reach it with my crowded fingers. Look: how the hair on my arm rises to the sun to greet warmth when it gets cold, how the wind weaves through the houses and trees.
The city is alive, but it is hopeless: objects are lost in cut knuckles, sinkholes where the earth opened without warning. The people whisper there is a diamond under the tongue but we must not go there yet there is nothing but abscess: skin raised & white with death. I’ve got to let this gravity go—these shoes at the foot of my bed must become unstuck & float elsewhere, to wish, to hope, to be blessed though I am not.