THE CRUMBCAST // Real Men Burn Their Jockstraps in Support of Women!

Or maybe they don’t. It’s their choice really. They can have a cup of tea and a lie down if they prefer.

Okay, so I’m not a feminist, but this doesn’t excuse me from showing support to my sisters out there. They’re speaking up, and it’s been a long time coming, so I’m-a-gonna turn my hearing aid on and have me a listen. Might learn something.

By the by, my latest Crumbcast is a babble about the thorny issue of feminism as a label. Yes, I know… I’m a fool. Be gentle?

 

by TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2017

EARS WIDE OPEN // four in the morning

Dear Readers, Watchers, and Occasional Listeners, welcome to another instalment of Ears Wide Open!

Our main page states that you won’t find an overabundance of brightly coloured pictures, hit songs or other such paraphernalia here. Why? Because we simply want to keep your focus on our texts. This is a literary site after all!

We have, however, also been known to switch things up from time to time. Yes, we’re justifiably leery of shoehorning in things that don’t fit with what we do, but we also like to allow creativity’s natural flow to have its say. This time, we’re listening to that flow, and it’s taking on the form of one Magsi Rover.

Who is she? Well, we don’t know a whole lot about her yet, but we’re fairly certain (but cannot guarantee) that Magsi is a fellow WordPress blogger, Filipino, and loves to read things aloud. And we’re fairly certain that she’s read most of our stuff too. She’s even recorded a couple of our poems and sent them to us! How lucky are we?

Needless to say, our ears are wide open and receptive, and so we’ve decided to share one of her efforts with you, our Dear Readers, Watchers, and Occasional Listeners. Please do enjoy! Oh, and don’t be shy about joining our Ears Wide Open challenge. If you’d like to record one of your favourite poems by us, then please go right ahead and do so. The more the merrier!

 

four in the morning

time is a wheel
and it’s bearing down on me
time is a wheel
and it’s bearing down on me
how to outrun what isn’t free?
i still don’t know what i can be

hope is easy
when it is the first time
hope is easy
when it is the first time
but not when bells have lost their chime
and not upwind the squalls of mimes

be my comfort
deadly jesus, yeah be my friend
be my comfort
deadly jesus, yeah be my friend
brake the wheel afore story’s end
my soul to keep and ever mend

time is a wheel
and it’s bearing down on me
time is a wheel
and it’s bearing down on me
stars like dewdrops across my knee
lacuna matata on the cliffs of scree

 

Text by TONY SINGLE
Audio by MAGSI ROVER
Image by HERR TAMARIN
© All rights reserved 2017

THE CRUMBCAST // Lovers of a Lesser God

I hate being preachy, but I feel I might have crossed that line with the latest Crumbcast. I guess this stems from the fact that I’m finally ready to reveal what I really think when it comes to relationship and religion (with a dash of sexy sex thrown in for good measure). Of course, it’s not as if the world is breathlessly awaiting my opinions! I’m certainly under no illusions about that. Really, I’m only doing this because I want to. If someone’s willing to listen… then great!

Also, it’s only fair that I warn my religious friends and readers that some of the views expressed in this episode may be offensive to them. While I don’t feel it necessary to apologise for said views, I do want to acknowledge the distress that they may cause. So, please do be aware that I don’t take this lightly, and that I hope we can at least agree to disagree. It would be grand if we could still be chums anyway. Yeah, let’s give peace a chance, man!

Oh, and please do feel free to read Matching Jeremy Tang for some much needed context regarding this installment of the podcast (which can be found below). Crumble Cult is my baby, so I enjoy having people fuss over it! Hint. Nudge. Insert winking smiley here…

 

by TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2017

EARS WIDE OPEN // tanjung (a gangrel’s dream of georgetown)

In May this year, a dream came true. Tati and I met face to face! Yes, the girl from Ukraine and the boy from Australia got to greet each other with nervous smiles in a Georgetown airport! After a year or so of fruitful collaboration, we were finally hanging out in an unfamiliar place together.

Malaysia is truly amazing. We spent our days gamboling about, exploring every nook and cranny, and getting to know one another a little bit. The smell from the storm water drains was the first thing to hit us upon arrival, but as our inquisitive minds began to take in the frenetic hodgepodge of sights and sounds that is everyday life there, our noses quickly forgot about unpleasant aromas. In fact, the tantalising whiff of street food would soon fill our olfactory senses instead.

We visited temples, botanical gardens, cemeteries, and even strolled through some obscure lane ways in search of street art, yoga joints and cat cafes. Oh, and the traffic! There were cars and motorcycles everywhere! We had to scoot up onto footpaths so narrow that they seemed like a drunken town planner’s afterthought. In fact, the whole city was a crazy scramble of mismatched buildings and bizarrely angled roads. It was a frenzied hive of activity that never seemed to stop.

And through it all, I was in the company of someone whose imagination easily outpaces my own. We’d use our down time to collaborate on new writings and new ventures. What fun! And even on that last day back at the airport, I remember us furiously typing up something awesome and wonderful on Tati’s laptop before the free WiFi expired. That something was a poem called tanjung (a gangrel’s dream of georgetown). Tati and I hope you enjoy this reading of it (by yours truly).

Every time I look at this piece, I smile fondly. I do miss Tati’s company, but hopefully not for long. We plan to make this happen again. I wonder where to next…

 

tanjung (a gangrel’s dream of georgetown)

in the muted glow of my mind
i saw peace just hanging there
i wanted but couldn’t have it
a fruit forbidden
inert and out of reach

there was darkness sweating from the cracks
along my skin and beneath my feet
so i walked the earth in search of naught
a loop unbidden
the streets in parenthesis

i stepped into right steering whirligigs
to chance my life into submission
i moored on jetties, shook off rickshaws
a stomach chidden
i panhandled for bread and circus

trash was art and art was salving
for gashes in walls and souls without traction
and i was art and i was trash
a twine lidden
on soaked paper at a cyclonic bus stop

for all their many eyes and limbs
the gods continued uninvolved
kittens and i slept side-by-side
a shrine hidden
lullabied by stinky holy water drains

 

Text by TETIANA ALEKSINA & TONY SINGLE
Audio by TONY SINGLE
Image by TETIANA ALEKSINA
© All rights reserved 2016

EARS WIDE OPEN // anastasis tree

Earlier this year, we wrote a poem called anastasis tree. It’s one of our personal favourites and it seems this was also the case for many of you, our dear readers. Oh, and guess what? We were lucky enough to have the inimitable Miljenko Williams do a reading of it for us. We think you’ll agree that he’s done an absolutely wonderful job. Please do sit back, relax, and enjoy! (Also, may we recommend that you cast a curious ear over another of his readings here? It’s one of his own poetic efforts. Seriously, check it out. It’s SO good!)

 

anastasis tree

thick scabbed bark like a panoply
but tenderer than a wing-stroke
stealthy touches, airy kisses,
cracking, cracking

i’m but a breath, thinly stretched
by potter o’er clay and bone
i’m a tumbleweed in tumbleland
a noose dropped at the hanging tree

gnawing trails through rotten caudex
weaving cocoons inside the heartwood
quivering fibrils, feeble pulse
waiting, waiting

you are closer than the wisp of lips
you are deeper than oceans mere
you are greater than fears all brung
an empty space at the hanging tree

gentle stirring feels like convulsions
nobody asks you when you’re ready
voiceless screams, waterless tears
waking, waking

we all submit that need to know
we know love that seek out truth
we love true another’s name
our troubles left at the hanging tree

you want me for you
i want you for me
so let it be
a butterfly sways
on a hangman’s noose
at the dead tree

 

Text by TETIANA ALEKSINA & TONY SINGLE
Audio by MILJENKO WILLIAMS
Image by TETIANA ALEKSINA
© All rights reserved 2016