Rigorous
Volume Five, Issue 4



Tamara MC


The Club

Members may include husbands, children, mothers, grandmothers, friends,
and they may also include arms, legs, a torso, a foot.
All members can be dismembered.
All memories of the dismemberment
must be forgotten.
To survive is to disremember.
To never forget is not always an option
for us souls who never forget.
Instead we must work to purge these memories.
Our limbs must be taken off
one by one
and kept in separate bottles;
their fusion makes remembering too easy.
In our chest, our hearts remain.
They are never put in a bottle.
For this reason,
we are still whole,
even with parts missing.
Everything else
(people and limbs)
is peripheral.
All those members who we thought
we couldn’t live without
are disassembled,
and still we are disjointed,
but no longer disgruntled
(with time this happens, I promise).
How many times my body parts have been dissed?
How many times my ass was taken for granted?
And I was their dishwasher,
their coin operated Laundromat,
a key to the front door.
I was the vacuum upstairs.
We spend a whole life
trying to bring it all together.
Maybe we shouldn’t.
There is peace
in disorientation




Because I Was Disowned

I disarranged the furniture
in the great room.
I put the blue couch
in the loft
and the black leather couch by the fireplace.
I disabled the alarm.
Cut it off completely.
I told Acura Systems
I wouldn’t need their services.
I disentangled myself
from the cable cords.
I was a disobedient woman.
I had been disqualified
from my housewife duties.
The Foothills disapproved
and disliked this raging sage.
I was disbarred
from the courtroom I was never even allowed into,
well, I was allowed but only so the judge
could disinfect me and try to distill my fluids.
Disregarded, I distrusted the legal system.
It was distasteful
and I had disdain for the disadvantages dictated
to me for my disbelief in justice.
Disentangle her mouth
from her dissimilar tongue,
the judge would say.
I will now disrespect your discomfort,
ex-husband.
I will dislodge
my inner genie
from my ineloquent throat
and unite it with my discontent.
You disloyal sunnovabitch!
You disappeared!!!
But I will disunite
the witches
living in my chest
and they will disorganize
giving disinformation
and rack disorder
on your disused genitals.




Disemboweled & Surrendered

When the bowels are removed, there is pain in the stomach.
When the stomach is cut into two and one pulls out their own viscera, it hurts.
To coerce and intimidate us peasants, they rage psychological warfare
trying to decapitate our heads from our hearts.
To mark this, I ritualize my own suicide,
ripping open my stomach,
slitting it,
digging out my spleen,
and flinging it towards the man.
It lies on the bed.
I am the daughter of evil.
How intestines come through anus,
how suction dislodges liver and pancreas,
how heavy weight over the abdomen remedies the water-goblins
out from the ponds and rivers,
stripped from the bark
they come to save my quartered body.
Parboiled then pan-broiled,
genitals burned,
I am reborn.
I will fill my body with ash,
come at it,
it is already burned,
you gruesome man of no lungs.
Preserve me in a canopic jar,
these viscera are returning,
plain lid and all,
my head atop,
made of clay,
in afterlife,
my heart still in this mummy body,
is protected by the goddesses of the north, south, east, and west.
Inscribed it reads, hollowed, pure, and bright.
You char, scorch and, blacken.
I ignite.
Loaves of bread are hot and I warn you to keep your hands off the bread.
She is dangerous like a Japanese Samurai
like a Lithuanian basketball player
like a Russian soldier
like a Muslim mullah
like a Jewish princess.
Just know a green-chili provolone sandwich is so much more.
And ask yourself,
“What type of chili was used?”



Dr. Tamara MC: “I am the 2020-2021 Pauline Scheer Fellow at Grub Street in Boston in the Memoir Incubator and a 2021 Sister Spitter through Radar Productions in the Bay Area. I am an Applied Linguist and focus on issues related to language, culture, and identity in the Middle East and beyond, specifically my hybrid and juxtaposed identity of growing up simultaneously Jewish and Muslim in a Sufi commune in Texas.”




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