Rigorous
Volume Five, Issue 1



Cristina Querrer


Pockets




How to Drink.

Do not drink and write because it will look like this:

Not a poem, or anything representative of anything. It will not be about dead relatives, syrupy sweetness, or the hard on. It will be about how ironically more clear things seem to be in this stupor. If everyone drunk just write a poem there would not be drunk driving, men beating their wives during the Super Bowl, mothers too drunk to watch their children, fathers slurring their speech and falling on their faces. The only crime would be letters not standing straight and the inclination of swerving off the page.




Suspense.

If you die before your parents, you will not know what it means. Though through the divorce, your children said that they experienced what it means. Having a stepfather made me feel duped, not whole. Yet, all over nature, many species are parentless at birth—have never seen who birthed them, to only repeat the intricate laced pattern of fending for themselves all their lives, existing just to have offspring who will never see them, know them.




Opposite of Beauty.

Because most times beauty is overrated. Beauty is bought and sold. Usually a girl/woman. Call me handsome. Love me not for my implicitness. Handsome means no femininity to amplify. Femininity=fuckability. I do not care anymore if you like me between my legs.

I used to be a person when I was 10, tilting into my sun/breeze, loud-mouthed, opinionated, with a big beauty mark behind my knee. No, I call it a handsome mole, beset with joy, running the boys ragged at their game.




Kerouac’s House in St. Pete.

I do not live too far from the Sunshine City, yet I want to stand before the house and imagine this broken man, this somber man so drunk from his daily trips to the Flamingo Bar, carrying his books into this town—made this place, a small block home in the Florida heat, the special place to drink to death.

###

This meager home with mid-century fixings, his smoky rock glasses among the tchotchkes on the cupboard, and the pink-tiled bathroom is where he threw his guts out before he died after drinking whisky at 11 in the morning. This house where literary fans have broken into to have parties, hold seances in his honor, evoke his spirit, is where I wish to live.




Pay Attention to the Shore.

Vessel in, vessel out. The fabled straight in every sea story is in a fisherman’s dream. The seaway is on the other side of night that speaks to speckled starfish scattered among the shells. Pay attention to the shore. It is continent-bounded. Mourning man-made vessels like the sailor is a risky venture. Down, down, down, they gently go. Be the one that quietly leads the moon. Pull the mainland in with your line. Let them pretend to man the ship.



Cristina Querrer: “I was born and raised in the Philippines, post-Vietnam War, during the Marcos regime, pre-Mount Pinatubo eruption, as a (US Air Force) military child. I graduated high school from former Wagner High School, Clark Air Force Base, Philippines, in 1985. I have two published books of poetry, By Astrolabes & Constellations and The Art of Exporting. I am a U.S. Army veteran, have an MFA in Creative Writing, and am a writer, artist, and podcaster. I received an honorarium as an invited reader and panelist to the 'Isang Mundo: Humanity, Diversity, and Resistance in the Arts' at the 5th Filipino-American International Bookfest held in San Francisco, October 2019 and received a Literary Champion Award to attend the 2020 Muse & the Marketplace Literary Conference held in Boston in April 2020 which was held online due to COVID-19. You can view my book publications and artwork at http://cristinaquerrer.com/bio. Listen to my art and literary podcast, and check out my songs.”




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