Rigorous
Volume Five, Issue 3



C.Lofty


like rum

i sip cold counter coffee
like rum - i pull it to pool

on my tongue (and sit) -
diving board into the swallowed end

there, underwater faces face
families portraits drowned

into the event horizon and live
forever - i have cried for them

three times today - since 9 am
they want to swim up through

the sewers - they told me last night
the earth's mantle is so heavy

we are all too tired to admit it -
just put the mug down




the carpenters with gold minds

carpenters with gold minds make up 21% of
the unemployed citizens in churchill
and i can’t remind you anymore
about the importance of listening
we must hush down the horns that call hairs to attention
the hurling brass section whose symbols
relocate our memories to sublime summers
subtract sundays from that nostalgia and we both
just burn differently these days. and these days we hum on
higher frequencies. reverb and reverse the measure
a slowed tempo but faster temper. the temptress
and empress meet up for coffee and empanadas
around 11:11pm. and i remember feeling the bitter
taste attack more this time. this time, with this new
fate, ill banish myself from your throne room
taking the gold and leaving your holy halo and hour glass glasses

the carpenters in gold mines

the carpenters in the gold mines
asked us to walk like pharaohs (left footed and lighter)
they said the tunnel walls of the under ground under
corpses are riddled with muddy hand prints
they talked about the dread.
how it descends like a meteor through space
too many coffee trees and damp roots give gravity a guide to our
suffering we think ourselves into cups and drink
there is space in the sky and place in the sky.
here comes anasi in the sky with mercury flying high some of heavens
swamp sing so silently in their sleeping, harmonies remind me of your
love that lingers less in these vectors where virginia virgins grow like nymphs
your love is not cooling tea on the counter
you are ready like grits. It is what hymns hide.
it is what i hid within me, under text
and what him’s hide rhyming regurgitates.




how does she do it

okay- so the congress of ‘78
all go on a vacation to cuba
okay- there’s a bullfighter in
the living room // stay there.

okay-so sterlen moved out last week
his printer still lives here, sometimes breathes // okay

watch - as the baby pigeon flies.
don’t mind my cousin still standing.
outside // in the rain // after the
funeral.

okay- keep watching as the
sun. slowly-slowly burns us.
all away. mamas die form the
heat//same as the babies.

the aunties die from the death of trayvon ‘08
(too much of emmett’s memory still tilling their minds)
nobody dies when transfolks die

they all just
transition back
to the dusk at
dawn

we run
we - run
across , maryland,
new jersey, philadelphia

atlanta, florida, virginia,
massachusetts & new york
just to stare at


lady liberty & scream
until she moves somehow
she is still more fierce then
we

& i can’t
blame her, she’s been
standing with her
hands up for so long.

how does she do it ?

le controle’




cuffed blue denim

in the engulfed lung. the morning clouds
roll out of the memory of the morning clouds
he looks just like the movies.

there’s nothing good from thinking in cornfields
the kernels wash up on the shower tiles

between soft and softer;
I am in the kitchens warm light

a comforter is comfortable.
the shadows of raw biscuits eclipse the kitchen's yellow;
living on the leg of my blue denim jeans



C.Lofty: “I am a black, queer, and southern poet who has recently relocated to Chicago. I recently completed undergrad in May 2021 at Hampshire College where I studied Critical Race Theory and Visual Culture. I am an active writer and poet. Through my poetry, I explore notions of identity formations, the quantum imagination, history, ontology and voodoo practices. I identify as a theorist, writer, and anarchist and in my free time you can find me brewing coffee, writing poetry and baking pastries.”




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