The Brooklyn Rail

NOV 2019

All Issues
NOV 2019 Issue

Five Poems from Pavilion


There’s joy I can’t pull down
Out in the open
Sky, a 70’s film cowboy-hatted operator
Slumped beneath the hard white bulb marquee
Against me— for the meals once he modeled
For this very simulacrum
I go where I can walk to
I was told
That you could walk here
Scared how little tissue pink & bleeding
left to yell at, feel ashamed of, examine all the pores of
up close
in my airlock:

Helicopters skimming from the conversations on the ground—

I exhume saints for jewels
In the summer
When the town becomes
These faded wing tattoos;

& sick of the invulnerable day
Beating my own hands to meat to sleep him


There was no corn in the world
Of Moses
My mother never came with us
To church
We sat together on the grass
That sense how
Our lunchmeats
I’m not gonna lie
I snuck the pistol all three of us
Shared into the Stardust
Ballroom it was broke
Before they made the avenue
Zigzag so you couldn’t cruise
It’s a tapped out world
You claim
It’s an evaporated bird god
A highly decorated jungle fowl
Fast & suspicious
Of magic


Neanderthal, Denisovan, Homo floresiensis?
One human depredation at a time, thanks…
This unrest— sock bunched up
From underneath & slipping
Down the work boot,
Work boot fished from vivisected orca—
It must have evolved twice,
Once within me, once
In Punta Cana’s
Marinarium of synthesized reef,
Sea more bleach than brine, the boats
No one’s moved to paint over, vague flags
I think translated this moisture-damaged broadside goes
It’s hard atop this planet / to behave as if I love you /
Stick with me / I’ll turn /
Your money green /
Your goddamn money

In choked out, pinned down
I’m drinking something
So denatured
Swear the man who cooks us late night snacks
Is singing it on
The American news this very moment,
Chyron (of invented words we do take seriously)
Captioning his name End Times
Expert-Consultant Who Of Course
Is Mired In Scandal Having To Do
With Baby Role-Play


Pain relief, acceleration of death, & criminal law.
It had fallen on me
To forgive Ms. H for writing reciprocity,
The word, into the otherwise sublime sad song.
I still don’t understand forgiveness; Ms. H’s star, so many years later,
Shows no sign of clawing up
My ravine,
So many years later I am only
Less merciful, a walnut heart
Slower to recover from a burn & up tonight
All night so the wife of my surrounding body
Won’t have to
Wake up like a statesman, one whose only love
Was ever horses


31 years ago the desert oozed across the pockmarked supercontinent.
It takes
Some horrific burn, a splash of ice or was I cut. That synapse
Pressing down, holding up
An entrance to the level of my heart. Remember that
In front of you’s a crossroads of invasive grazing
Mule deer who don’t live close to the
Fake western funeral saloon, a single poke bowl place.
My advice to them: save money. While you’re at it, get more income. Tell
Your doctor.
Wow a book that really says it all about literally all of us.
In English & Spanish. Sweet.
I have every intention of rebroadcasting
This content, brand,
Death parlance.
The desert I remember, dotted by the business
Card sized ads
For supper club communion with New York. Dixville Notch…
New Orleans had one: Antoine’s.
That was basically it for Trout Ammondine.
I’m trying to examine just which aquifer feeds the nightsweat prehensile life
Laid under.
What my neighbor orders masked in earth tone paper.
What my neighbor
Draws his curtains closed against.


Gabriel Palacios

Gabriel Palacios lives and writes poems in Tucson, Arizona, where he recently received an MFA in creative writing at the University of Arizona. Recent work can be found in West Branch, The Volta, Typo Magazine, Territory, Spoon River Poetry Review and Bayou Magazine.


The Brooklyn Rail

NOV 2019

All Issues