Paul, The Apostle, The Giant

They give you a new name when you arrive—something that states something apparent to anyone who will lay eyes on you. Our names could be used for something more: to reveal a secret that would remain hidden in silence. We know your name when things get serious: we cut through the pageantry to something real, you, named after an apostle who believed that his god was going to return in his lifetime—that despite evidence to the contrary, something that has already been risen once will rise again, to pull a shoulder up after the second knockout blow. The real story is that the father of the father of the giant died. The day after the funeral, the father of the giant was found not breathing in a hotel bed too small for his body. Later, the lineage was erased: your blood was no longer his blood. Your name was erased too—rising to the top of the cage before evaporating between the iron bars, as if it were all for show.


Brian Oliu is originally from New Jersey and currently lives and teaches in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He is the author of two chapbooks and four full-length collections, most recently the lyric-memoir i/o (Civil Coping Mechanisms), and Enter Your Initials For Record Keeping (Cobalt Press), a collection of essays on NBA Jam. Recent essays on topics ranging from long distance running to professional wrestling appear in The Collagist, Catapult, The Rumpus, Runner’s World, and elsewhere.