Rigorous
Volume Three, Issue 1



Stuart Stromin


Sex Crimes

You followed darkness to the most sublime -
One step beyond murder to a sex crime.
You strutted through the streets like Jack the Ripper,
One hand inside your coat, one in your zipper,
Your aristocracy to get your rocks off
While thieves were prizing your apartment locks off.
You checked into a plush suite at the Ritz,
Your naked mouth on a transvestite’s tits,
And plunging into gooseflesh to the hilt
To taste original sin and common guilt.
And when the crooks were counting up your cash,
We found you on your knees behind the trash,
All bloody, beaten, calling on the Lord,
And groping, like a lost knight, for your sword.




Band of Thieves

You should know
that the band of thieves
did not elect me king
this season,
all my love affairs escaped,
and the cold desert air
of Las Vegas
sprang a siege
on the innocent night.

In these hotel rooms and elevators,
it gets as lonely as a peepshow cabinet,
or a ride along the Strip
in an empty limousine.
Electric lights flip-flop in drunken dances
on the marquees;
the restless moon
crosses the clear Nevada sky.

I’m coming back now,
for your husky voice
and that famous scorpion tattoo.
Before we give up crime forever,
let’s start one last rumor rolling
for the bloodthirsty cops and the assassins,
waiting in the street.


Stuart Stromin: "I am a South African-American writer and filmmaker, living in Los Angeles. I was educated at Rhodes University, South Africa, the Alliance Francaise de Paris, and UCLA. My work has appeared in Sheila-Na-gig online, River River, The Cynic, Blood Puddles, Alternating Current, 500 miles, and other publications."




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