Updated: Jul 19
By Evan Wang and Ziyi Yan
“The desire to hear about your day relentless as a fetish.”
Closer Baby Closer is a departure from Brown’s apocalyptic and spiraling second collection, Sweetdark. Here, instead of craning the reader’s neck downward toward a bleak tomorrow, Brown sits with the reader to approach something both uncertain and visceral. The poems in Closer Baby Closer are like fingertips—reaching almost too close for comfort, tracing "the pale underbelly of the arm” and running "fear-chopped through the throat." They are dipped in wine—drunk on their feet—blurring the boundaries between pain and pleasure, love and lust. In this collection, "The ground wants you," but "a cyberspace-based taxpayer” wants you just as much. Brown’s poems are kaleidoscopic, moving through lens after lens, while still lingering on unapologetic confessions. They vibrate at their highest frequency when they tell us that love is both being "as stupid and bold as an alarm programmed to wail hold me" and watching your partner, asleep in the morning, "wantless and still." Ultimately, Closer Baby Closer is for people who see "the part of the statue that everyone touches for luck," who have "words left in my notes app when I was too eager and soon," and who wholeheartedly believe that "to want is to be humiliated." Here is Brown giving us a full view of her most vulnerable– touch it while you can.