In current weather conditions,
this content is only
available to subscribers.

One can wait for the weather to change —
or subscribe now for instant access.

Subscribe Log in

Palisade

Jeff Nagy

We were holding in Glasslands, crack-pipe tank top rotating turret lights
            Pureed over the guillotinesque can-cans of the second-coming
Second Wave ska band’s designated dancer skanking jack-knives
            Inverted on the stacked amps:
                                                                                    Turn up the volume on your dreams
The ones a balaclava cloud in panties circle-moshed from behind
            Us into. We were holding hands, the rubber band
On the glasspack’s bomb’s sticky candy, wristbands bracing us against
            The RSI of Love, faceplanting lark in the subway that makes ten
Boroughs of our fingers crush potted cream, a mutual fist in their synthesis
            Thesis the whip of drugs, antithetical rein of toleration, love livestreams

We were holding out in Crown Inn, we pulled up to the scene
            Ceilings missing, hand in drugs in hand, children en papillote at the window
                                                                                                                        steam open
Onto Franklin like peach ferns unclosing the flaps on a resealable packet
            After snowing lightly, happy ending to the brown grass, the Rockaway sand
Whip of arrogance and rein of gentrification, tiger balm for a martini
            ‘s bruised gin, detonating chaotic neutral spines for skeletons

In Haymarket. In Wonderland
            The heroine was wet, we had to snort it, we couldn’t snort it
Bag filleted on our key no hypo no real need
            We were holding taut the strap, children barricade the stalls
In the try-on rooms in the Baby Gap. We try to imagine child labor as just
            Like normal labor but Fun-Size, fireworks go up
Do not explode but hang there waiting for a quorum

That being used to fantasize
            Cats lick art work sucks, in that
Order to proper wake out not fuck up everyone who doesn't
            Believe in lucid dreaming
Receiving government funding, who tries
            Holding skin against slaughter
A beaded seatcover on hot leather with live
            Eels reforming our embouchure

                        & the futurist Arp swoop of our hands in our lap.
We were minding the gap.
            The question is still who is to be master
The Trapper Keeper
            With ten years of Kompakt on vinyl
And not the trap
            Walking up one step removed from our actual lives, half-a-dozen egg-shaped
                        Blister-pack asteroids lip locked
            On our nostrils’ third-rail to crush us in child’s pose on top
Of Doge Mountain, block public offerings on Snapchat to stun
            The Denver Mint into greyfielding its printers
The night is a mild champion, a recorded message like a sphinx no answer satisfies
            Dropping dimes from our eyes
                        Onto the outstretched hands of children, whose hands are just like those
            Of normal laborers but Fun-Size, the enthalpic demon Taylor Swift
                        Sorting individual grains of anthrax
            In your salt shaker, Maxwell’s gone post-clear past the breakers, watch the world die
The interest on rent rose, blood in the pipes went lax, the nose glows
            Clap clap to burn down heaven, dialectic reversing into wheel of samsara
Victims of compatible narcissisms, tips permanent French wave, all that crap
            It was serious but not yet fatal, a bulimic shark swimming backwards
In the wash to have room to eat you, your eyes
            Are not bigger than my stomach, 8-bit zombie formica bite
Of the rein of sadomasochism and the whip’s stinging nettle slap

It was fatal but not yet grave, breaking camp
            Down to kitsch, kitsch down to camp
                        A teppanyaki flight attendant playing the chromatic

Fish-scale of emotion seamlessly, crushing the leaderboard in hot pink
            Bled out in a mental slop sink with birth as convincing sunk cost
                        Where the students’ feeling etudes are, that book is always open

Forever 21 sucking sunsets like an egg in child’s pose
            On Holy Mountain holding close the light
The vertebrae of cloud rolling like a ball
            The door floats open though the lock is turned
                        Music has got to stop our hearts when there’s a good bridge, if the bridge is
                                                                                                                                                burned

                                                            Love will be compulsive or not at all

We were holding the mall
            Claire’s, JC Penney, Sears and Spencer’s
Liberty Plaza insurrection gallant stream Zucotti
            Panda Express dead fountain tri-level glass atrium and escalators
Prospect and Nostrand, MoMA the dead heat, the coat check and the subway seat
            We were holding them all

It was fatal. The new work is all fractal infarction, metarational
            We woke up in jail cells, fingering our fontanelles regained in palisading
                        Bathroom stalls for the new international will not be bite-sized

Whenever possible don’t drop the mic blow-up the PA
            If the crash is really inevitable
                        If the whip of love is the rein of love
                                    If it’s worth doing at all
            Don’t hold your breath
Let me if the intention is pure burn down heaven stretching a vowel
            If the world is still spinning that means you’re still on it
                        Karaoke plastique for one when the quorum fizzles
I came here and bled out in a car. It was fatal
            The sign on the last exit read:

                                                           Whatever you are welcome to is what you are