Rigorous
Volume One, Issue 2


Poems by Laurin DeChae


when you die, i’ll play beats on your grave

after Flying Lotus

i feel your 80s gamer heartbeat plink
against mine, see your screen flicker.
i’m asking what do you believe in:
cosmic drama//cosmogramma
how things sound the same
but different in an electronic key,
organix quantizing grid
with hospital room sonics.
i didn’t want to forget that space,
you said, and i remember once
i watched a documentary claiming
that cheese encapsulated the erotics
of disgust, brought us closer to death.
subconsciously i will probably never be okay
thinking about bacteria and sterilization,
how will you ever shake the sound
of a respirator looped? how you called
her body a galaxy her breathing
transformed into starscape?
masochism//mastication
in the next room newborns make headlines:
twin babies born with different skin color.
let me eat my gamma rays and silicone cheese,
get my fill of you.




grace jones does her own shucking

“If you want me, this is me. there are other me’s I’ve not even thought of. But I’ll get to them.”

i know we’ve only just met,
but when you said i’m allowed
to change my mind, as if it were nothing,
because it was (is), i knew
that you didn’t see the future
measured in kims or ambers, but in angles:
you into a be like be like be like chorus me.

i know we’ve only just met,
but i know i like you because you do
what you want for the dare
and you don’t give a shit
if you’re “too tough” or if
they confuse you for a man.
role-switch, crush on tina turner’s

hips. laugh when they say, well, to be honest,
selling a black model in paris
is like trying to sell
an old car nobody wants to buy.
laugh.
let them shield their eyes
from you freed nipples in disney.
laugh because you can’t tell
if you’re tripping or not.

as much as i was muse, they muse
you said with a range two and a half
octaves. so they could hear you, really hear
you when they put you in that cage.
but when they call you wild
you answer to your name.




anatomy

after Janelle Monae

run on steam
from toe to head
a soundscape feverdream:
ankles cell phones
that ring,
shins ironing boards
folding out for you
in on our selves,
kneecaps radios
funking frequency,
femoral artery internet
connection by ether,
ovaries hologram,
gut forcefield,
spleen fusion rocket
taking off, leaving her,
kidneys microchips,
diaphragm washing machine
stepford wife clean,
ribs string lights
and skin that hides the glow,
shouldermeat silicone,
occipital lobe drone,
mouth air conditioner
always blowing,
skull solar panel
don’t say your cunt
is a gun.




daisy, daisy

after De La Soul

i am mash
i be thick
i am flavor
i be water
i am rhyme
i be fire
i am time
i be ticking
i am zenith
i be babble
i am nettle
i be birdie
i am sinew
i be crying
i am dew
i be holy
i am twice removed
i be lyre
you say i am forever
but today, today,
baby, turn on the news
i be dead tomorrow.


Laurin DeChae is a PhD candidate in Composition & Rhetoric at SUNY Albany, acting as the poetry editor for Barzakh. She received her MFA in poetry from the University of New Orleans. Her work appears or is forthcoming in Harpur Palate, Animal Literary, Pretty Owl Poetry and elsewhere.




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