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1 poem

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


Demand annihilation

at a comrades trusted hands

Inside yr hair like bat wings

This apocalypse



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—




This one sputters, overheats.

Runs out of air.

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