Poetry: "High Alert" & "Is it rude to stare?" by Niko Teixeira





High Alert

after barely escaping the draft,

after Nancy Walker stood up for TMS



Some are called to service. Those

in service are aspiring to be more.

I’m unable to identify place meant

for my subconscious. I discover it


only when dreaming. I’m occasion-

ally called out, away from my count-


try for bounty. I can’t believe what

chanced there (once?). I’ll never for-


get how hard I had to try to forget.

I was completely exposed, taking o-


orders, running around and around.

All must have ID for idea of the id


is to identify. Mother is bountiful. M-

other has a lot to carry. Tags are vital.


Mother is at high risk of having an @-

tack. All must subscribe. Mother knows


best. All must have ID. There’s no all-

alternative way of pricing. Tags are so


necessary. Mother will have to go thru

all the tags. There is no other way of i-


identifying a body. ID must be checked.

The armed service scared me as a teen-


ager. WAR bits are unforgettable. There

were many public service announcements


for teenagers to join the service. I was

perspiring to be more. I found my self


in need. I wanted to run away to a safer

keep— another bounty country. I grew


up to serve. To make people feel secure.

I must serve in the service industry. I deal


with the id. There is much distrust in the

unidentified. Mother has been on her feet


all day. Teenagers are set up. Put your best

foot forward. Teenagers must be served up


weapons to serve their bounty country. I

served alcohol without checking ID, then I


got served (citation) for attack of my bounty

country. Mother distrusts teenagers. Ill teens


were born ready to put their best foot forward. Mother is expecting a call. Some things

are unforgettable. I’m on call. I’m sweating. It never ends. I’m running around. I can’t


get the orders right. Mother can’t stop war - worrying. I’m in an endless battle providing

forgettable service. No body is getting what they ordered. It helps to drink on the job. E-


very one wants to know who’s in charge. Mother’s giving the brush-off. This ill career

creates drinking problems. Everyone wants to know who is in charge. The gun shot it’s


self. I could not help it. This isn’t what was

ordered. It’s cold. This isn’t what was order-


ed. All are walking out on me. Panic. That chef

in the cage. I’m sorry, but it had nothing to do


with me. It took a village. I was only serving to

do my part. I was (just) carrying out the orders.


It’ll all be cleaned up. Don’t you go worry. Pick

up the tip. Do it right away. Don’t forget, please.


Bill isn’t right. Take it away. I must stay in my place

none can take away from me. Keep orange onstage.





is it rude to stare?


(check) u’r not a robot after Shields

& Yarnell take a chance on TMS



on another vanishing line?

u descend underground &

Druidia blue dot ° wanes

for available out bound train.


to ur left n to ur right, as u

wait, every body is poised to

dive into his & her in-ground

rectangular pool of a phone.


polluted sea circus in a station of a

metro. subtle ¨drip· tunnel ˘drop,

u peek beyond the yellow bricks

@ an unbounded wet, black bough.


u consider negative space below

n wonder how effective the fall

could be in finding one direction

as light echoes w/in the chamber.


stand clear strangers trip thru space

home in other words fly honeymoon

like toys do when the children fall

fast asleep. two tremble umbrellas.


{ no one has ever not seen her

wearing some mask. no one ever

imagines how lonely he must be.

} u think he thinks all about her.

after her surrender under water loo

sewer, his top-broad droid-disinterest

absorbs; he mimes this is loudly w/in

power. she assumes line wax matrix.


he foresees more of his model robot.

he must like her transfer holding hand

across pane of laminated glass$$$$$

as u’all take cool next-stop cylindrical


ACE operatic cast-steel rail thru new

low, wrinkled cosmo-seamed cameos

fast forward>>>>

[FRAGILE] balanced on the biggest wave

jet/train/shuttle/sub/ship/way/tube

not a\clink\clink\clink\rollercoaster.

u hear no hum-mummering search to


seize sweet-spot blue pew/loco-motion

shindig *¡!ding¡!*!¡dong!¡* coin tap can

wonders @ ant pants limited service fault

suspended w/transfer available objective:


*union* *square* obfuscation. click \

clack/hiss))))howl))))~hyperspace~

whistle -coil- — screech %%halt%%

twinkle of +change drama approaching


u C { two must separate lines. it’s her

stop. poke her. must have known this

moment would come } (quill) (notes)

(hedgehog)(shields up)(hull)(sardine)(so


lo) routine saloon show holds cold pole.

rooster retch swill, brown-bag buckaroo,

& sarsaparilla-jelly snake masseur signals

for divorce. TikTok ads provide respite.


u observe { a brain arguing w/Frost

Glacier Freeze Gatorade decanter to

crack gumshoe vocal-range operative.

shadows sound safe in AirPod dome.


{ that seamstress thinks she isn’t for-

lorn, holding it down on eyed phone

w/a 4G mechanized isolation boom }

u grow stubborn w/in shrinking space.


laugh· no· long·err· norm·all· a·lone (·)

late-nite empire’s full wild hail outlasts

mountain-elephant rats scurrying off w/

lizard skin. gnawing cobalt moth grids


teeth on other side for looking @ him

funny. stand clear of the closing doors. wind

armored barman shuffles disconcerted,

tired of pretending his detachment} u

<<<< rewind?

wonder if he shifts passenger cars to

better sick hundred-dollar ... people?

ATTENTION there will be no service

because of an ongoing police investigation








Niko Teixeira is a Luso American queer of NYC. He received his BA from SFSU and his MFA from CCNY. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Another New Calligraphy, LandLocked, Cosmonauts Avenue, ArLiJo, MiGoZine, Juke Joint, Counterclock, Dream Pop, Surfaces, as well as Selcouth #1. You can find cyber remnants of his gay activity flying off the handle @muppoet.