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

Talking Without Hearing

Previously on The Crumbcast, Tati was trying to teach Tony Ukrainian, and Tony kept failing. This left her wondering what crimes she must have committed to be saddled with such an idiot.

Ever the kind soul, she kept persisting in this fruitless endeavour.

Meanwhile, Tony sighs and begins rambling about anything and everything that his poor, addled brain can think of. His infected ear. Sound’s cheating ways. Racist weather conditions. Yup, he yammers on about it all.

Dear lord. Such a to do! Will Tony ever learn to cope with Ukrianian? Will Tati ever learn to cope with his nonensical singing? Find out by clicking the picture below. It’s real magic for the digital world!

Simon Says and the Fresh New Hell

Argh, it looks like I let my guard down! It was another nice and unalarming evening. I was not doing any mischief, not touching anyone, fixing the Primus and stewing in my reflective juices…

“HULLO!”

Tony decided not to sweat about politeness and just poked his head through my window. Yuck! Time differences are tricky things when you’re halfway sleepy, and your writing companion is boiling and spluttering with words and emotions at the other end.

Oh my God! Did he want to talk about God?! No-no-no, may God keep me from discussions of God! With my brain on autopilot, I muttered something in Ukrainian. Maybe I didn’t even realize this at the time. All I know is that Tony stopped speaking and goggled at me.

“Ah, what?”

Oh… I explained that “Слава Богу, Бога немає. А якщо, не дай Боже, Бог таки є?” roughly translated meant, “Thank God, no God. And if, God forbid, God is still there?” Tony was like, “Okay, I still have no idea what you meant, but… sure!” and giggled. I don’t know why. Maybe my Ukrainian seemed funny to him.

I decided to give him a second chance. “It’s an oxymoron. Nonsense. Like that anecdote about the doctor and his patient.” Tony’s eyes lit up with interest. “Oh, what’s the anecdote? I like anecdotes!” I sighed and said, “A doctor wakes a patient by saying, ‘Patient, wake up! It’s time to take your sleep-pills!’” Tony chuckled at this.

“Yes, I definitely need to use this in my podcast…”

Why didn’t I pay attention to his fuss? Again, blame it on my drowsiness. Well, guys, що маємо, те маємо. Here you can listen how Tony parrots my Ukrainian, prattles something about Stalin and Simpson… and maybe something else. I fell asleep in five minutes, to be honest, and didn’t listen to all that Tony craved to tell me. Maybe you, my dear reader, can listen to the end?

This is a bit strange, but if you want to listen to the sound then you should click on the picture below. Yes, it’s real magic in the digital world, I tell ya!