The Drop

by Iván Brave

And Ilya knew by now what was happening, three artists who had borrowed from one another fought on center stage for the iron heart of the audience tossed there for only one to grab. But none would win. Bon Iver wrestled James Blake who hog tied Sam Smith who himself locked the first musician in a choke. And between them lay the heart. Yet why only one could hold it and not all three share it is the same reason why we have only ever thought of one at a time. But what is this mash-up? The three musty-tears made out, then argued who was brighter, who was darker, who was phater, who had the best mids. Recall the reverb. Delay the satisfaction, drop everything and dance, as you condense audio and hit tubular bells with Shure mics.

Above, though, neither name nor flame burned, no nothing, only fame, the silent truth, the nameless, the voweless, the YHWH. The urge suppressed to move unleashed itself and Ilya freed himself from time into the infinity of infinities, onward, boyod, voivode!

Feeling like a true Girl Talk this mute boy lassoed the three musicians and whipped them into single-file, then politely asked them in Indian style to sit rudely, before rude boy was a thing. Before words lost their weight. After they dropped dead, done for, turned around, tuned in, dropped out. Timothy Lorax. Parcel Most. Pebbles of Madeline crumbled into a Mary Flintstone. Das Effecks.

Delete. Push. Enter. MIDI boxes. Hot laptops. Ear Aches. Bobbing heads. Sweaty pits, sweaty tits. Neon wristbands. Suicide scars hidden by festival bands. Zippable bags, marks of the trade, aids of bands, plastic generation. Clean-ex, ex-clean, Stacy-ex., Ecstasy! Mofo, the copyright mouse! Mighty Mikey Mousy. Aristotle Chipotle, Chipotle Aristotle. Beer can, bacon. Downshift, upgrade. Shaved heads. Booty pimple popper. Status symbols. Saturnalia regalia, carnival systems, divided by one: lines upon lines upon lines in time. And yet but not a damn thing funny, got to have a con, or be gone, in the land of milf and honey bees. Those creatures who dance to communicate where the treasure at. Grandfather flash.

Inside the bag, blue meanie-whiles, a white Ilya inhales exhalations from within in a nightmare of biblical proportions, the reign of rains, a song full of gongs, making you groove to prove how smooth the criminal in you will be right back, the time of times, fractal-ly malfunctioned, maleficent fratboys, since the time of last, paste past passé. Terrance Malchik, Terry Macintosh, M.I.A-missing you, I am, Cut, Copy, and paste “Far Away,” Jeff Marshall Airplane’s 80s body moves, while Larry heard you say Deep, then Yesus took you to Chi-Raq, in a sermon of sirens busty, saving days. A tale with tail, a story with beat, a bribe with breasts, a plot with chest hair, and the rest. A trick. È only a trucco.

My heart, sexy heart, cuz music’s gunna set you free. Move your pumping sexy heart. Shake your booty body, sexy central nervous system body toosh. Rock a mind, my mind, nacho mind, but mine. As I yours do. As yours I do. As I do yours, Stan. Kazakh!

Before now and then Ilya got on stage, back then, right now. He put his hands on the laptop, his mixer cueing two incoming tracks that were spinning on either side, a pedal on the floor for whammy crunch, his hands firm on the laptop for a chord. They asked for a happy song. He played it. They asked for a sad song. He obliged them. They asked for a third and he played the most beautiful composition of his own, like Orpheus Rex.

After that, they pulled him off the stage. But before that, he hit the E-key, the key of his name. So into shreds he was made, passively, though the most violent act it was, actually.

Down with the clown, down, down. Drop.

Iván Brave lives and works in his hometown of Houston, Texas, where he begins his PhD in Spanish Creative Writing this fall. His work can be found or is forthcoming in Tilted House, Copperfield Review, Corvus, Bureau of Complaint, Acentos Review, and many more, including two published novels available on Amazon, about youth, pop music, and the artist struggle. Learn more at