Rigorous
Volume One, Issue 3



DJ Ashtrae


No one eats eggs, so sleep on, jacaranda. No one eats eggs, so sleep on, jacaranda. No one eats eggs, she lays out gov-issue blankets over the gates. Wind boys jack our set up so sleep on just like I used to. Viejas take two jacaranda. No one eats eggs ++++++++++++++++++++++ so foco taco stands set up before we close. ++ JUDY-T CALLS ME BAMBA ++ Everyone munches so sleep on under the tables ++++++++++++++++++++++++ since the mercurial wind is picking up. Votives, succulents, chickens fly jacaranda. No one eats eggs, mops. The floodlights fall so sleep on backwards. Disposable semis quiet while salient. No one eats eggs, young guys itching for cash go. Luckily the vans sleep on circled. Three men clinging a tarp get dragged into the pond, jacaranda. No one eats eggs, traffic NOW so thick hustler 99 and me drive with no headlights and trip on the fumes. She walks to the beach, working along the way, and arrives, so sleep on, $90 bucks richer. The Inland Empire is the way to go, jacaranda. No one eats eggs, so sleep on, jacaranda. No one eats eggs, so sleep on, jacaranda.




In the intersection I let out a friend who has become depressed on his way to becoming a hero. He gets bothered by my playlists. He loses sensuality to kale smoothies. It’s hard always being a little hungry around him. The new plantings are already haunting. Plastic overhangs flap. The streetlight depicts him as insane, his nose down to his elbow, eyes shimmer, torso logically impossible. His body fills the backseat. I pass a strip mall with shrines to ironed curls, boxing, payphones, sulfur, algae. Alert, he says some nonsense about summoning. He spends $200 bucks on hibernating, so he’d wake up slim fantastica, and for the feeling of reality returning to him in mere moments. At the beach I take off his jump suit, and then bury him below the neck, leaving him in the care of a raver, who will feed him seaweed and tea and bajaletes. He probably dreams of atomic accidents, breezes sans machetes. Such sacrament serves as a substitute for suicide, uniting us like death does, the bliss of being forgotten mixed with the will to survive. Angels, I wish you could exist. You’d wrestle my responsibilities and catastrophe.




Wind passes through young dreams, lumber yards, limbless dolls making waves in the ocean of my hair. We blaze in raves like death and all her friends.




Blue bits grow on your pickup, branches through windows and to the patio, chain-link fence slides as the mustard seedlings bring it down. Charcoal grey palm fronds lining wind factories, horizontal workflows, thrashings, echoes, rocky and dirty property. Engine sounds in atmosphere, subconscious, signage for legal pills, body help. Educational pavements sing, house after house after beautiful commercials after wildfire after graffiti washed by power hose. Drool on the rare flowers, sliding down Rubidoux slopes to refineries. Purple bits running under the electrical towers with archaic dimensions. Low hills covered with TVs, sunny seats, dried ketchup packets, the desert following for fun. Popcorn ruins the seats more than we, 5¢ lottery. Trees need even their dead leaves. A poster for necklaces has been pressed into the brickwork. Residents ease into the plaza of postcards, cacti and laundry machines. A few panels of corrugated tin shield out elements, living under the path of airplanes, Styrofoam space down right out of the hundreds, I haven’t had enough. Learn to shake bebidas Mexicanas, horchata, jícama. águia, habisco, perico, guava, foco chile, cockatoo, sandía. Bebidas Mexicanas, birds are Mexican.




Fixing holographic shades, 2 kinds of rose chapstick, magenta headband. After showering, I daze, have dried pizza, kisses on the carpet. Careless sun warms bashed in bushes lazy with July fat iguanas. Building another dimension was my solution to housing mewsyk. I’m addicted to the immaterial nurse. Wash bath bath wash. My boy has foco, rumors of five thieves, of many garlic haired loves in the basement making me and NYC.




Piñata

A man in Jersey said I was Mexico for Halloween.
Reality is lazy.
English isn’t even English.




He gets off at 3, having gone in at 5. He’s a doctor I met on le love app. We were supposed to see each other one Friday. That was years ago. We’re not dating or anything but just like two bachelors staving off bored fucked up Berkeley. He gets off at 3, having gone in at 5 in the breakout cold morning. The lights go on. His weight revolves around the bed, drifting, creaking on the carpet and into the kitchen. I squirm. I pull the blankets over me. The light moves as his weight does. The aroma of the coffee and cologne hurls me, seduces me, the already had yesterday lover. He says bye. I groan, Goodbye Carlos. I’m here because our schedules happen to overlap. He’s a bus ride away, a ride with homeless high school students and ear-muffed Oakland Hills people, fruit vendors. We don’t go on +++++++++++++++++++ dates. We got Burmese once and he was unimpressed. ++ MADONNA’S FIRE ++ He used to live in Brooklyn. Most nights we grab +++++++++++++++++++ snacks from the 7-11 across the street. I wait in a cul-de-sac off of College, where Julia Morgan homes sit next to the kind of trees they were made from. The automatic doors open but it’s not him. The automatic doors open. He comes out the south entrance. He’s in a white coat and hoodie, and Nikes. I’m in tore-up jeans and a soiled button up, a college student. I follow him around the corner, past the dumps and generators. He has me take off everything except my socks. I’m like don’t take too much off. He says nothing. He just rams into me, and works up a sweat. I’m like keep at it fellah! He holds my chest as he holds up my legs. He keeps ramming. And my back digs into the gravel. It feels good. It feels good. He leans in. He wants to kiss me. He hangs his lip over my nose. He strokes me. I moan and whimper like a broken VCR. After he cums, he slings his backpack over his shoulder and then goes for a cigarette, which gets lit by the time he reaches Alcatraz. I’m still on the ground, netted by my own plasma.




Backspin

Pink glyphs glow in the vista
The desert serrated
Peso by peso.
Us gay anti-gay burros in the backyard
Saturated in orange verve of
Classic cars, radishes, sparkling nails.
So many of us are of dusk, my friend tells me.
Avena steams. Cold chairs bang on the porch. The fridge cast la luz de Jesus.
Morning would recycle you too if you were awake.
Xiutecutli stirs pain with play.
The moon blesses our whacked-out appetite.
Little dipper seems to be okay with us,
vandals of time and space,
sitting as still as salt.
My friends scrap together my first winter.
Learning was beige, and the grass yellow, as clouds.
Pink glyphs glow in the vista.
The serrated desert is made of plastic.
She sees my leaves
Waking up waking up
My worn out shoes, my nothing numbers, my modern hair, my crazes
Waking up waking up


DJ Ashtrae: "I was the Dean's Fellow in Writing at the MFA Program at Bard College (Class of 2017). I was a Merit Fellow at the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California at Berkeley (Class of 2016). Caljforkya Voltage, my first chapbook, will be published by No, Dear/Small Anchor Press this September. I am a 2017 CantoMundo Fellow, and I live in Brooklyn."




Top of Page

Table of Contents






Visit our Facebook page          Visit us on Twitter          Subscribe to our mailing list


editors AT rigorous DASH mag DOT com
webmaster AT rigorous DASH mag DOT com