Rigorous
Volume Two, Issue 1



Shriram Sivaramakrishnan


Long-cut to Life

The easiest way to know what to do in life
is to ask Google about it. Google has answers
for questions you are yet to form.

But watch out when typing your doubts
in the infamous search box. Google suffers
from premature ejaculation. It leaks results

even before you have reached the climax
of your keying. What unrolls What time is it
and WhatsApp, while What to do attracts

everything from What to do when bored
to What to do in Bangalore. Changing the pre-
position helps. A little.

What to do with mutates into What to do with
kids
and What to do with leftover Easter eggs.
As far as the search results go, What to do with life

and What to do in life almost makes no difference.
But this is not the case with suggestions displayed
at the end of the page, relevant to your search query.

‘-with life’ throws what to do with life quiz,
whereas ‘-in life’ suggests you to consider what to do
in life when you don’t know what to do.


But for an engine that strings together sites
based on keywords, life can only be a collection
of pertinences its algorithm generates. A typo

and you will be provided with DOS commands
to delete a file. Better search for something you sort of
care about, does rigor mortis set in on a brown body?




Sonnet to an Unfortunate Spider

The issue with Spiderman-costume is that it lacks signposts. No zippers or back straps to say
this is a garment. It is an island one enters & finds himself stranded for life.
How does the guy attend to nature's call or fart in silence if there is no pee-hole?

The only way to wear it is to wriggle into it feet first & risk smudging the balls in the process.
The only other way is to be born with it, that is to say, born in it & thus grow-yet-
never-outgrow it, a gift wrapped forever. This is true of all the Marvel heroes.

The only fortunate guy is the one who has to use an Arc reactor all the time to stop a piece of
shrapnel from entering his heart. For him, a simple call, the way a fat lazy Friday man
engrossed in soccer, calls his wife for yet another omelette – Jarvis!

The intelligent artifice commands the mental parts of his metal costume to attach themselves
to the anatomical equivalents in his body – thigh to thigh, eye to eye – the way guilt
attaches itself to our skin, if we happen to kill a deer by mistake.


Shriram Sivaramakrishnan: "A poet from India, I recently completed my MA in Poetry from the UK. My poems have appeared in Lemon Hound, Bird's Thumb, Softblow, Camas, Allegro, The Mondegreen among others. I tweet at @shriiram."




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