Rigorous
Volume Two, Issue 3



Logan Wei


Old-Fashioned

After: Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut

Whereas, it is said and said, “Call me old-fashioned, but.”

Whereas it may be beautiful, should these lines slither their retreat back up the aperture of my pen to abide unsquandered, columnar, black and pluripotent.
Whereas it may be beautiful, should the cornerless sky consolidate opaque smoke into flame and insufflate it down the unctuous desert straws of erst Mesopotamia.
Whereas it may be beautiful, should Bikini Atoll, Chernobyl, and Hiroshima adopt the industry of retrussing nuclei, while all over, uranium and ammonium are taken from their cans and tucked shrewdly into deep holes.
Whereas it may be beautiful, should Reagan, King, Gandhi, Lincoln and others lift their heads and give, in quick achoos, little metal wedges to angry men so that their minds may cool by degrees.
Whereas it may be beautiful, should the hot rubble stack itself into a sudden Birmingham church, so alive with youth and song.
Whereas it may be beautiful, should those supinated on battlefields the world round stand hale and pine-upright, their coat-holes mended without seams, and about-face to go home where the craft of war is neglected.
Whereas it may be beautiful, should long whips cure dark, strong backs of their welts as the Atlantic spits dark bodies up and onto ships that sail rudder-first to the sunrise.
Whereas it may be beautiful, should Troy dilate and calve a great and solitary horse for Achaeans to render unto the woods before Hector and Achilles conclude their laps deft and imperforate.
Whereas it may be beautiful, should the New World tilth be overrun by wilderness and tall, whispery fescue.
Whereas it may be beautiful, should the fossils be plastered with meat that the dinosaurs may watch quizzically as the grandiose pebble is spat dramatic and warm to the stars.
Whereas it may be beautiful, should tiktaalik roseae resolve to take a superlative and solacing plunge.
Whereas it may be beautiful, should Eve fashion with her mouth a round fruit and hang it like an ornament on the bough of knowing.
Whereas it may be beautiful, should the cosmos retract bangingly into a darkness that is tremendous and cool.

Whereas, it is said and said, “Call me old-fashioned, but.”
Whereas it may be beautiful, should we retrace our steps through the old, again through the great.

Whereas Korematsu is yet alive and dead and alive, and dead.




Man Rand

An erasure of Ayn Rand’s The Virtue of Selfishness.
“The Psychology of Pleasure,” Nathaniel Branden,
Signet 1964, p. 61-67.

Mechanism for mechanism,
What a man feels is        a man.
He will urge him on
Toward himself, against
The intensity of the programming.
He holds a benevolent man for pleasure—
And a different kind of soul.
             (Is freedom in the vaguely
             Threatening works of billiards or women
             Being lethargic and dim?)
Longing still, the soul of man is motivated
By a love of man, of four men (and gaining three men,
Of murky pleasure, all different)
Who share his                 manipulate his
Neurotic reality.

A party!              A rational party!
And he can enjoy meeting new people,
Emitting             the vibrations of gay.
Guests wander around enjoying
The jerky bodies, all working, all very hard,
Projecting this cardinal fuel (of heroic satisfaction).
He can feel himself vibrate affirmatively
To the relish      of a man whose favorite play
Is Waiting for Godot. An unclouded tribute,
In his own person.

Thus, a man reveals he is a slut
Of principle, of meaning, of amelioration, of his own efficacy,
Of confirmation, of absolute, unremitting devotion.




Tourniquet Removal and the Meaning of Life
Or Fear of Telling Secrets

The release. Cup of my vision
Clouding by a milky white,
The flesh growing hot on a stove
Of biochemical torment.
Pounding in the amygdala.
Dangerous embers burning down
The panicked village of my lungs.
The rattlesnake applauds his tongue.
The lethal tattoo is keen red,
Another victory is his,
And the tall grass feels good for it.
My cheeks zoftig with death, my lips
Paling, my eyes unctuous with
The unknown, my back to the world,
My chest vying to the zenith
Of the sun at bad intervals,
My heels two fool dents in the land.
Kick, kick, and then nothing remains
But the astounding answer, so
Bewilderingly clarified
After all the stormy rubbish.
The meaning of it being just
A bright coin passed to the dying.
A gold coin to be tendered, then,
To the eternal ferryman’s
Open and most collecting hand.




Big Clean Windows

Yes okay but last night
Out your big clean windows
Glory the sky had a scrum with the earth
The air was bursting
Levying the maculate stuff
Marl peat turf salt soil dirt
The whole rancid splendor
Soaked plants loosing their twigs and leaves
Such abnormal shrapnel
The small post dropped the box again
Detonations shook the tenements
But the lush sound was worth the service dream
And the anthills were madhouses
Utmost madhouses just imagine
Drowning in a crowded tunnel

But now the sun’s up
Out your big clean windows
Wagging worms unload scrolls of goop
Making the asphalt glitter
In the bright bright air
Which is still thick like wino breath
The morning after a heady one
And can’t you see
The fanatical ants rebuilding
The middling trees discurling their buds
Just now the same way we reached
So ardent into the world
When first we were born
And right now that same roomy world
Is so wonderful and cruddy
And the petals look like candy
Look like candy that’s so goshdamned lovely
Out your big clean windows
And what I Kiddo want to know is why
Is it forgetting how to brush my teeth
The progressing salad of my diction
My imagination’s limbic screaming
Or did you forget your small promises
So now like a whiling clock I watch
The world only out your big clean windows
Inescapably scaling time because
You forgot how we chose the chair the one
With the good wheels




Ultimate Weeks

‘Poetry as therapy’? Tosh. I’m rummaging
Through the remains of my dwindling time—
The rhabdomantic snick of my pen
Aspiring to sedative, sanative rhymes.

I severally balk—attempting to sort,
But the milliard thoughts, o the milliard lines
Ramify, unify, dodge and distort—
More addled-agley than ever my mind!

I pass through the days, they pass through the me,
The minutes betiding with bovinity.
Now surd, now couth—so plastic’s my fettle!
I felt this alone till a prisonkith meddled:

“You’re not going balmy, you’re just getting out.
We’re all mickle daft in our ultimate weeks:
Orlando got placid, O’Meara grew loud,
Fore my first debouchment I sure couldn’t sleep—

I’m no Nostradamus but truth’s in my point
That the mind just gets antsy around its aroint.
Though freedom’s sublime, release ain’t a jest!
But, anon you’ll be fine, kid, you’re one of the best,”

He grinned, then annexed, sans changing his air
From that of a sapient, lilting confrere,
“And bequeath me your sneakers before you go free
Or sohelpmegawd you’ll get shivved while you pee.”


Logan Wei: "My spouse and I live in the upper Midwest with our hypertensive quadruped. I have worked with patients, students and the homeless. I bake, bike, and write as solacing and natural means of seeking matrimony between the two divaricating parties of reality and experience. My poetry has appeared in Pedestal Magazine, and will appear in Funicular Magazine and Ink & Voices."




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