Rigorous
Volume Two, Issue 4



Trapt/$crewed Up (a series of mood logs)

Frankie Metro


Buon Coltello!
[ Happy June! ]

sei

I woke from a nightmare where the Batman Who Laughs was stalking one of my nieces. I loaded the pockets of my sweatpants with sharp objects, kissed my family goodbye and set out to find her. I woke up and the comforter was soaked with sweat; I threw off my Batman shirt but kept my sweatpants on-- I'm not progressing, not prospering like I originally conceived this time last year, I'm not making moves that I already haven't fucked up beforehand. Someone told me that even though I've been living on my own for the last few months and handling mine, I'm still letting those who hurt squat in my headspace. A$AP rocky says the acronym stands for always striving at prospering. I'm always striving to survive. As asinine as that sounds, I keep hearing laughter in this long pitch of silence, and I'm talking to myself more these days. The other side of this conversation is someone who reminds me that I'm not focused on what's important, that the laughter is a figment of my paranoia, that this parabolic high note I'm looking to reach is out of my vocal range and I'm at odds with the fundamental basics for leading a happy, productive life. I may be on guard to protect those I care for, but I don't care about myself like I should, and I'm sweating bullets because I'm afraid of auto thought patterns and they fester until I close my eyes in a uniform of fear, regret, and self-awareness.




diciotto

I've been off my meds for 3 days and aside from some bouts with instant irritability I handled it. My friends always ask why I haven't taken them when they hear this, and I'm not a martyr so I say I just forgot but truthfully Seroquel makes me feel distant from who I am inside and maybe that's the point, I've gotten too close to the unhealthy side, the place where illness runs in a pack of listless wolves (ambition, focus, diligence). The oldest of my delusions leads the way, flanked by 3 points in my life that COULD use the most attention, followed by a middle tier of trigger effects from traumatic experiences of my past, and at the end of the row trots those 3 inconsistencies to remind me that it doesn't matter if I'm ahead or behind all this aimless wandering in search of fair game




diciannove

My wife told me to get syphilis when I showed lack of concern about her new schedule and general query about the arrival of the divorce papers since I'd received toothpaste from Japan in a quicker turnaround than the process of what I had originally hoped wasn't going to be a messy divorce. I eventually replied with accusations and a bitter taste in my mouth even though we hadn't spoken irl much less seen each other in months. My therapist keeps giving me packets that talk about being mindful in the moment and my doctor gives me pills that are supposed to help me adhere to a schedule of placid reflection before speaking out of turn and when I go off my meds for weekends at a time I get hypertension headaches when I try to sleep and dream that my wife is still in the room or we’re on a date in a regular spot 20 years in the future and we’re remorseful for our harshness to each other or she's pregnant and I'm unsure I'm the father of another mistaken/confused identity. I keep listening to Drake’s redemption and loathing how much I relate with the lyrics and the lights of Denver proper blur and chop and screw while Westminster and too much distance, too many bitter days in the hot sun or the hailstorm of our outro raise alarm with house pets and the traumatic, sensory overwhelmed poor gods count up and roll with their feet hanging out suicide doors into a long black tunnel with who knows what lying at the end.




Buon maiale!
[Happy July!]

nove

My therapist wants to try ACT, acceptance commitment therapy, and says that while it's typically used as a counter measure to CBT, it could help to siphon through the distorted thoughts. I watch a show where a black man tells a Jamaican that he needs to dig deep inside himself, or was it a white man saying this to a black woman? In any case, an inventory is mentioned, and the point is to go back to a place inside myself that was simpler, find what's real about who I've become and who I can be. My Chinese astrology isn't as important as the fact that women in my life have taken photos of the same pig head on a pike in civic park. One doesn't understand what's in her view, even though she's traveled through distinct parts of Asia, the other says my sign is indicative of intelligence and loyalty. I've walked around with this pike in my pocket for a long time and I'm afraid to use it as a toothpick much less put my head out there and say, all this drama is for you and you and you alone. I've had conversations with many women about how it's easy to smile through it all to the point you're gritting your teeth in public and grinding them in your sleep. I don't have much left to give and a head trauma induced coma isn't out of the realm of those comfortable possibilities that imply there's a sense of relief at the end of a black tunnel. But I know I'm stubborn, like the boat rippling its way through a self-absorbed current of accusations that by all means could be pointed inward and not projected onto people with good intentions… like every Aries you've ever dated, every Anthony you've slept with over the years, I can take the same amount of damage to the head that equates the amount of scars on your heart.




dieci

I’m surviving by means of the first bus stop I used when we moved here, and I realize how many times in that short span you were on a different line heading in the right direction. Both parties are suffering those golden years of rediscovery, one in bed with the illusions of gnarly tengu masks embedded in slate rock on the side of his house, the other in bed with her delusion that she was driven in an opposite direction by an all too familiar chauffeur. I challenged a coworker to a fight in the parking lot. I drank 2 Modelos at midnight, I told a woman who I've been thinking about since she left on vacation that I wish she was home, so I could spend the time and energy on her because I miss her and may be developing some deeper sentiment. But I've promised myself I'm not catching feelings this summer, regardless of what she wants to do with herself, the woman I obsess over in those invasive seconds I relive the past, the one who inhabits the studio space in my spirit…




Buon Serpente!
[Happy June!]

bentotto

I’m obsessing over Benford’s law and applying the logarithmic patterns to my relatives and subsequently national death rates, analyzing the nature of hoes like mutual gravitas and while I'm not into putting wolves on pedestals without justifying my behavior as a means to an end, the oldest of us in front setting pace, and by us I mean the segregated aspects of my personality that keep me at bay from being the lion’s den swallowed by the 1st dragon… that's a cultist reference, and I'm afraid I'm buying into my haphazard, self-destructive nature again, but I can't help but wonder how many people who die in a given day have addresses that start with the #1 vs. the #9, how many times does this nightmare involving Chucky, clowns with surface level good intentions, and kitchen knives wrapped in electric tape, how many times do the serial numbers from the knife manufacturing company match with the social security numbers of potential perpetrators and flash pan murder dreams from a troubled adolescent who loves to saturate the pallets with all the shades of pink you can find in the discount art aisle at Wal-Mart, the hub of social interaction for a little girl whose possibly reminded once a day that she's lucky she’s skinny like her daddy vs. the 90 times he's been absent for those important nurturing moments that shape who we all grow to be…




trenta

Imbued with the flawed smiles/divine wit of our masters, pitched back into the serpent’s eye slips an unforeseen... what exactly? It's not as if I've learned from saying merry Christmas to the wrong people on accident, in Italian, every time we spoke; a refined sense of ignorance plays well for the diversion tactics from what stirs the snakes in my stomach. Buon notale! I've missed you! Our [realpport] comes through the wire like a mouth held tightly shut. I've the force mind to sever ties and the eye looks inward still. The sprinklers start in the pitch-black lawn where I sit and think of our time together and while rabbits flourish in this suburban stillness, I've got sirens wailing in the depths, alarms are ringing true, and I'm calling back to 1983 as a year of the Anthony in place of giving these pigs, snakes, wolves and sheep all the attention… I lie and tell myself that everyone named Anthony, destined to rise to prominence, were born then, and that 1983 defined a culture buried in a time capsule. But I’ve missed several funerals this year and the people who attended keep telling me it’s okay, they understand MY situation…


Frankie Metro: "I have been institutionalized on several occasions for mental health issues, shoplifting, paraphernalia, joyriding, and incremental debt. While my tinder profile doesn't reflect my disdain for the white right, I've written 2 books of poetry and 2 novellas. I am the chief editor of Kleft Jaw Press and lives in a relatively conscious state while residing in Denver."




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