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1 poem

by MLA Chernoff

MLA Chernoff (@citation_bb) is a Jewish, non-binary pome machine and somehow a PhD candidate at The Neoliberal University of York University. Their first collection of pomes, delet this, was released by Bad Books in the spring of 2018. Their second collection, TERSE THIRSTY, is now available through Gap Riot Press. Have a nice day, please stay hydrated, and remember that your feelings are valid xo xo.

No, New York (Squelching for the Red of a Hook)

New York City, huge-ass ditty—

dishing out the egomaniac’s kiss,

an empirical sate of mind whose old colossus

treasures in the ancient synecdoche

of an all-pert carpet sidelining Beard Street,

where meatballs spryly fall from

the wry train of infinite resignation,

as though the city had never happened before,

its mild-wild eyes reprimanding reprimands

in the name of a monogamous nation-state,

shopping for a sectional on a date with IKEA

because it can’t stand itself.

We and Me wobble to the pizza box clocktower,

devour it devoutly in low-power mode, and coax out a

synthesis of hands, kisses, and other disses with which to

heave and flip their faces toward the jade-vexed sky

and really just swish it out in the name of compacted tourism

and other formalities preceding a prolapsed protest.


It’s here-where simplified filaments glissade around in

decked-out schillings to end their nine-to-fives:

grounded, sad, and tersed of squelch in overcharged

batteries, tunnels, and parks—real estate that

charges your rent rent, only to squelch into a perfectly

squared union of foolery where the grass leaves can’t

predicate themselves no more.


We and Me glower to the knowledge

that all class traitors are blue without blues:

payed-out parabolas pissing out the parlance

of a skid-marked tongue, re-colonizing the land

where the pig meets the mud and the sun      

meets the bun of a bodega-chopped long pome

that zounds a nation two-hundred years on.


In their bedroom before the war, it’s We and Me who piss

up the city’s supply of serotonin and refuse

the romantic antics of Bryant Park’s Whitmanian snuff club.

If Whitman were alive today, he’d misgender them loudly

in a back booth at Stonewall and eye them like twinks

in the twinkle of his constellated horny—

fuck yeah, they’d do it, if only to remember that

queerness can’t end imperialism on its own, that

this cock is a colonizer whose tip is not

speared enough to spare us the caprices of capital.


Any which way the eyes are in day—

it’s stark as mourning when stadium lights

mutate the boulevard into biopowered

landscapes of insomniac girders,

gridding families into economies of

solar-floundered sleeplessness, mobilizing

babies into the screeching cop killers they

have only ever reamed of—

in the pang of an open, red eye,

reduction begets induction and

crime begins to rhyme with some kind of

restfulness that flexes on the margins

of third-wave coffee, laughing

at the townhomes of a next-core

gentri-fucked borough, while dedicated ouroboros

crane their thick necks to sieve out a guttural

“fuck!” at the market’s arthritic paw—

it’s Toronto, uncleaned; it’s fascist and mean.


We and Me hobble into and out of the

morning of their slumber, while the city burns rubber,

ideates itself back into the closet, and

screams red alerts onto filmset squabbles. Miles away,

the downtown buildings unfetter suspired suspicions into

countersigned collected sighs, only to realize that the

post-9-11 mans has always knocked twice.


They finally admit it: they can’t land themselves—OW!

They offer this saxophonic truth to honour the

fractals of bridges, of buses,

and the fires they’ll seize in the palimpsestual thick

of a secret buried borough birthed by those

consigned to the quenched-out words of Emma’s

vandal—assemblages of rioters chuck petit bourgeois 

meat and perhaps matzah balls at their origin

until the dumbfuck rozzers ain’t nothing but satchels

of regret, pecked to death by egrets and more

sensible comrades who gunningly puzzle out the

space between unions and thin-lined regimes. 


Slacking in their slug-teethed gullets,

We and Me dig for memories of Zunes in

the dunes of a city-mold that quickly splinters into islands

of heart-things and recondite tantric antics,

unfounding paintings of nullified nexuses and

noodle-stuffed cups who signify snarls of

drummed electrolysis, plumping, instead,

for fricative fuck-faces,

brooming an unsmelt paralysis

to laugh up laps of paranoiac parodies of

their own damn industries.


On some velvet morning,

We leaves Me for a life of stolen lunch,

under the covers of a younger Jesus, who

espouses some no-name Kabbalah;

it’s goth as fuck, really.

Me leaves We for the hot Hassidim who

wouldn’t light a candle to their

nearly-goyish, queerly toyish ass.


That’s the thing about the large apple,

everyone stems to the core an unceded

precedent for the coldness of warmth;

No New York beckons the eunoiac sconce of

No, New York while the young and dumbassed adobe slabs of

Times Square finally crumble like goat cheese

on the hook of some world-famous pie.

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