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So You Know It's Me

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So You Know It’s Me is a collection of lyric essays that were posted on the Tuscaloosa Craigslist Missed Connections board over the course of 45 days. On the 45th day, in accordance to Craigslist policy, the essays began to erase themselves.

52 pages, Paperback

First published June 1, 2011

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About the author

Brian Oliu

27 books22 followers
Brian Oliu teaches, writes, and fights out of Tuscaloosa, Alabama. His publications include three chapbooks and five full-length collections of nonfiction, ranging on topics from Craigslist Missed Connections, to computer viruses, to the arcade game NBA Jam. He has two projects forthcoming in 2021: a collaborative chapbook on the Rocky films with the poet Jason McCall, “What Shot Did You Ever Take,” by The Hunger Press, and a full-length collection of essays, “Body Drop: Notes on Fandom and Pain in Professional Wrestling” by The University of North Carolina Press.

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5 stars
44 (56%)
4 stars
20 (25%)
3 stars
11 (14%)
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3 (3%)
Displaying 1 - 17 of 17 reviews
Profile Image for Karen Foster.
666 reviews2 followers
September 28, 2022
Just so freaking gorgeous. A collection of linked lyrical, super short essays (nano fiction?), that were posted as Craig’s List m4w Missed Connections. Beautifully observant, poignant and moving…. Oddly voyeuristic yet strangely romantic. Disappearing after 45 days as they did…. Such a unique way to tell a story.
Profile Image for Farren.
193 reviews51 followers
June 14, 2011
Profile Image for Mel Bosworth.
Author 22 books112 followers
May 30, 2011
I don’t want you to guess what I was drinking. I was drinking Earl Gray tea. I was drinking Earl Gray tea and I was reading Brian Oliu’s new book SO YOU KNOW IT’S ME when you and your strong lavender approached. You were wearing cut-off jean shorts. You had a thing in your hair, maybe chopsticks, scissored. You were squeezing a copy of a book about water. You had a funny look in your eyes, like your eyes were broken, dangling—maybe your eyes were cleaning windows on the skyscraper of you. I invited you to sit down, or at least I wanted to. I invited you to sit down and then I didn’t know what to say. I wanted to tell you how much I liked the book I was reading. I wanted to quote you things like this from FRIEND OF A FRIEND – FACEBOOK, TUSCALOOASA, AL M4W—

“She was kind. She serves as a reminder to tell the ones that we love that we love them, that we needed her to die to be reminded of this, to think about saying these words one day when the stereo in the car is off or the meal we ordered is taking longer than usual to get to us. Yes—we must shove dead girls in our mouths, swallow them, have them speak for us by not speaking. I wish I knew you better. You will be missed.”

—tell you that sometimes writing can be wonderfully refreshing, that things, models, cultural forms emerge, and it’s our job to push ourselves into them, onto them, to use them, wear them like awesome suits. I wanted to tell you that this is what Brian Oliu has done with his book. He has made beautiful exploding confessions. He has made beautiful exploding repetitions. He’s spotlighted the pure heart of the desperate. And maybe you wanted to tell me about your book, too. Maybe you wanted to ask if I’d read it. The answer would’ve been: Yes. I like water. But we didn’t talk much. We didn’t talk at all. You read your book and I read mine. I thought about the poetry of Brian Oliu’s book, the perfection of change and loss. I wanted to choke more lines from the book onto your skin. I wanted to quote you this from TASKA LOSA – THE PARK AT MANDERSON LANDING M4W—

“Here is a list of people who have drowned in the river: apple, bear, crush, dime, eagle, fire, fire, ghost, ghost, ghost, hair, iron, jab, kite, loss, lost, lose, me. Here is a list of what it sounded like when they were drowning: the rolling up of a car window when you know it is going to rain later that day, a gas-powered stove turning on in order to boil water for noodles, a hand feeling around an empty pocket.”

I finished my Earl Gray, and left. I stumbled into the parking lot, my nostrils clinging to your jasmine despite the hard cough of exhaust. I punched the sun on the cheek, thinking: They’ve done it again. They’ve gone and done it again. You disappeared behind the pages. I knew how to find you.
Profile Image for Jamie Grefe.
Author 18 books60 followers
March 16, 2013
Oliu's lyric Craigslist ads, taken in total, add up to the portrait of a deeply perceptive man whose gaze of the women he is fascinated by resonates long after this book is over. The front cover of our POV looking through a window at a party or gathering also plays into how these passages unfold: man seeking woman, man on the outside, man as stranger, as forgotten.
Profile Image for Allyson.
132 reviews67 followers
June 14, 2011
I read this in the morning while sitting in the garden.
June 14 in Arizona: high of 103° today--
and still I felt wave after wave of goosebumps as I made my way through this book.
It is a beautiful thing.
1,503 reviews46 followers
July 26, 2011
It's ridiculously stingy of me to mention this, but it needs to be said: of the purported 45 short essays Oliu posted on Craiglist, this includes only half, the odd numbered ones.

That said, the essays themselves, short and lyrical, are dynamic and moving, trying to reach out to connect with a figure, or several different figures-- the tone moderates between comic and more serious, but is more than that consistently inventive in the sentences and syntax Oliu uses. There is an echo of Martone's writing here in these very sentences, but the speaker is more engaged, more open to influence.

It's a good book, but also one of those that's hard to understand without reading for yourself. Best bet to land a copy right now seems to be LitPub, since Tiny Hardcore is currently sold out.
Profile Image for Neal.
81 reviews
June 8, 2011
I may be biased but it didn't really matter. I didn't really know what to expect getting into it. I just knew it was written via Cragslist's Missed Connections. At first maybe I was expecting it to be funnier than it came across. I think I thought they would all be fictional for humor's sake, but as I kept reading them I kept feeling more and more that behind each entry there really was a girl. It turned out at the end I was kind of right and it was also a little bit sadder than I was expecting. Either way, it was awesome.
Profile Image for Sara Habein.
Author 1 book64 followers
April 17, 2012
Oliu’s missed connections could be any person out there, a person receiving attention from someone who over-thinks a little too often and sometimes wonders if he remembers too much. The tone of each essay is slightly obsessive and sad, yet beautiful in their moments of sincere flattery. I enjoyed the book a lot, and though I appreciate the structure, I thought by the end, Ah, just let us have one more…

(My full review can be found on Word Riot.)
Profile Image for Robert Vaughan.
Author 9 books124 followers
January 17, 2016
I read this for the third or maybe fourth time this fall and thought, how does he do it? These pieces are so witty and amazing. One of my favorite books of short fiction, compressed like a master, and with a take-away longer than the Mississippi River. Don't wait, get it. And if you feel like "huh?" on the first read, give it a second shot. Take your time. Slow down. This book will make you want to.
Profile Image for Melanie Jennings.
59 reviews7 followers
November 5, 2012
So far, so spectacular. LOVING this. Short posts that originally appeared on Craigslist's "Missed Connections" site. Poetic, powerful vignettes that are blowing my mind and restoring my faith that great work is getting published (albeit by extremely small publishers).
Profile Image for J.A..
Author 17 books112 followers
October 10, 2011
These are quirky, demanding, pressing pieces that are, as a whole, a great example of how second-person narrative can work (it usually doesn't) and how accusatory language functions when it is in its prime (as it is in Oliu's hands).
Profile Image for Ursula.
Author 5 books30 followers
November 14, 2012
4.5/5 This book was so powerful, disturbing, and well-crafted. The form heightened the desperation so that by the end I could not lift my eyes off the page. I can't wait to re-read this gem over the weekend.
Profile Image for Layne Ransom.
5 reviews5 followers
July 14, 2011
Relentlessly sincere, glimmers with a musical kind of clarity; gut-punch after achy-lovely gut-punch.
Displaying 1 - 17 of 17 reviews

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