by NM Esc
Neon (NM Esc) is a Brooklyn-raised poet, music writer, and nightlife worker. They write on collectivity, queer intimacies under the surveillance state, smashing borders of all kinds, and, occasionally, nü metal. They are currently working on a collection of gay noir.
We come to life in spaces of encounter
Our kingdom to whoever gets our name right
Retell a wisdom—
The highway system works because of love or,
I wake up every morning in this killing machine called america
It’s a very literal metaphor—money, bodies, elapsing time
Money / bodies without heads / hot bodies / america runs on—
how we walk down the street wet like hustle
Any other year, I would slide / into yr muscle memory /
but here / in the anticipation / I tended only to the rupture /
nourished it / committed to it fully / to its wreckage /
Prefigured our impending separation
In the first aftermath we talked about survival. Looked up running shoes.
Sneakers, mugwort. Apocalypse trade. Like washboard pecs but also gardening sustainably. I ride my bike fast past the warehouses. A drum beat and a length of chain. The moon half-mast forever. Timeless, infinite. A retro gatorade. Text all my midnight exes back.
All my makeup is corpse paint: Every angel is a spy. Every bat signal ? A cry for help. I wait for them to name the synthesis in ways I can inhabit. A glyph on every passport. For the sifting.
The angel in america has a vast array of genitalia, at least eight of each if you really wanna know, still goes by 'she,' still waits beside the window for a man-god to come home. He's out there riding earthquakes. Watching the humans fuck and kill each other in plain sight. She begs them to stay put, humans say no, and that’s how Brandy won “That Boy is Mine.” And that’s how I remember no one living agrees to temper their desire. Not even out of kindness.
A relic of someone else's politics
A Deer dragging a corpse uphill I
make a home in my tantrum
Circulate wage labor thirst traps
Who will pay for this new body ?
What I mean is the sky opened up and then flashes of light or,
by the train tracks rusted
I was a vehicle for everything at once
for everyone’s life stories to unfold around me
held to lather in that centrifuge
& now all I want is to sit with you
all night at yr shitty job
because you sit with me at mine.
What I mean is there is no redemption narrative
if the crisis & the lived urgency of bodies is leveraged
to weaponize our drama
Like, that shit is fake,
& YT lived in a storage unit
& the colors ran
& that olive drab becomes the realtree drag of commune, &
We broke ties for our health
But it’s worse not being held in your splendor.
In the ambient atrocity we’re nostalgic
for a sharp disasterpiece
at a comrades trusted hands
Inside yr hair like bat wings
I could wait all year.
Butch 4 butch flirting, like
Do u ride?
What kind of bike do u have ?
I mean, when's yr birthday?
Do u work out a lot?
A new life separate from pain
except for when it’s useful
Our shelters from the irl are so surveilled / we don’t even bother turning off our phones
before the meeting. Inside the google gaze we all turn exhibitionist. Upload your nudes direct—
to know your leaks—that’s how you know yourself. That way you don’t apologize for anything.
Techno windmills red-eyed up all nite
Burn corneal receptors on blue winter light—
They promised me a sunny day inside a droid / while California burns.
Amidst the constant threat of dehydration we chug water, frantically,
even our floaters orange. With the heat on and the windows down—
I WANT A FLAWLESS VEHICLE
This one sputters, overheats.
Runs out of air.