Rigorous
Volume Two, Issue 1



Jiwon Choi


Amen

Come Saturday
find me reading
Philip Levine’s take
on our loose and limp humanity––
I will be far from sober
freely crying into my cups
soon to be buckets
of gin

I strike out a lot
no great plays in my life
have I ever hit it up the middle
or slid into home base?

If you are looking at my negative
numbers, you must realize: no one would
have a job if we stopped counting losses.
My losses are your losses.

But here’s Levine on deck
promising one more broken bat
popping it up center field

always ready to play ball.




What a Diff’rence A Day Makes in My No Account Vermont Town

You in that shirt stained
from Thanksgiving’s gravy and me
blood shot in a dress Judith of Holofernes
would have worn while making that rooster
into a hen––that’s why they called her
Savior.

How is it that tonight is the first time
I’m noticing how many crooked teeth you have?
And it’s a log of whisky you drink
because you start at noon
but I was the one undone
when I ran out of nice things to say
about your mum, a nasty old bird
who tosses kittens into ditch drains.

Another pinball wizard gone
from my no account Vermont town
will make no headline here
because a desperate soul is a desperate soul
is good riddance.




Anything Can Happen

If the Evil Eye says, “You’re next”
you’re next. Nothing to keep you from choking
on a walnut with your windpipe clogged for all
eternity or the crosstown bus at 34th Street
come to drag you across asphalt all the way
to Waterside and don’t discount getting mugged
by a ne’er do well on Lexington Avenue, in daylight
no less! Or even worse
you could find a pinky in your Shasta and drop dead
from just how gross that is.


Jiwon Choi: "I am a poet, teacher and urban gardener. I teach preschool at the Educational Alliance, a multi-generation non-profit located on the Lower East Side of NYC. I am also a long-time urban gardener and membership coordinator for the Pacific Street Brooklyn Bear’s Community Garden located near Downtown Brooklyn."

One Daughter is Worth Ten Sons, published by Hanging Loose Press, is my first book of poetry. I live in Brooklyn, NY."




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