BUT IS IT POETRY? // Cynisca (One-Horse Consolation Race)

“Sorry, we’re closing.”
…and she leaves the battlefield
on her gala-shield.

Jingling with armor,
she fumbles with a jammed lock
in the half-light hall.

In the cold bedroom
she kicks into the corner
a chlamys on which

two heraldic cats
with apathetical smiles
claw a lonely heart.

And then stands face up,
mixing her tears with water
and Bloody Caesar.

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TONY: So, I wonder…

TATI: Again?

TONY: Okay then. You start! Tell me what I’m wondering.

TATI: If this poem is about puppies and kittens.

TONY: How the hell did you know?

TATI: Oh my god! Are you serious?

TONY: Erm… yes?

TATI: I was fucking kidding!

TONY: Anyway, I want to ask you about Cynisca. Is she a personal hero of yours?

TATI: Cynisca was a pretty ambitious chick. And she was the first woman to win at the Olympics. She even bred horses on the side. But… nope. She’s not a personal hero. Should she be?

TONY: Not necessarily, I suppose. But, hey, you forgot the most important thing about her. Her name means ‘female puppy’ in Ancient Greek! And since everyone loves puppies, I naturally assumed that you’d see her as a bit of a role model. I mean, isn’t that why you wrote about her in a poem?

TATI: No, that isn’t why I wrote about her, Tony.

TONY: Oh. Okay.

TATI: Anyway, while she was the first woman to win at the Olympics, it was only in a manner of speaking. She didn’t actually participate, you see. She was merely the owner of the winning team. The chariot was ridden by men she’d hired.

TONY: Fair enough.

TATI: Doesn’t this interest you?

TONY: I still can’t believe you’re so unmoved by the puppy thing.

TATI: It’s a silly name.

TONY: It’s not silly!

TATI: Stop kidding around! I’m talking about serious things here.

TONY: Woof.

TATI: Anyway, I have read another version of Cynisca’s story where it was her brother who planned for her to win. He wanted to discredit the Olympics by directing her to join the competitions. By having a woman win, he hoped to show how unmanly and trivial this sporting event was.

TONY: So, what about the puppy thing? You mention cats on her cloak in your poem. Do you think Cynisca got along very well with felines, given the meaning of her name?

TATI: Tony, are you going to discuss the poem or continue to say bullshit?

TONY: It’s a legitimate question!

TATI: Fine then. Just for the sake of argument, why would someone who was named after a dog have worn a picture of cats on her cloak? No. Unless, of course, it was a dead cat with its tongue stuck out.

TONY: And two little crosses for eyes.

TATI: Exactly. Crosses for eyes. See? Even you understand. But, wait a moment. Did I write something about crosses in the poem?

TONY: No.

TATI: Then the cats were alive.

TONY: Oh, god. Don’t tell me this has something to do with Schrödinger’s cat!

TATI: No, this was before his time. Stop being silly!

TONY: Meow.

TATI: I can see there’s no point me telling you about a Russian expression we have that literally means: ‘Cats claw on a heart (soul).’ Look, just go and bring me a cappuccino. You would do a better job of that than conducting a serious poetry discussion.

TONY: But how is that remotely connected to what we’re talking about?! I thought this was about feminism, about someone who could be considered a symbol for the rise of women in ancient society. But did this newly found status make her any happier? Even with the cool puppy name thing?

TATI: Scat, you wretched cur!

TONY: Grrr. Hiss.

 

by TETIANA ALEKSINA & TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2020

TATI’s & TONY’s DEAD POET TOUR // Lines On A Typewriter by James McIntyre

Having received a letter from a gentleman glorying in his typewriter we replied as follows:

You glory in your typewriter,
And its virtues you rehearse,
But we prefer the old inditer,
For to write either prose or verse.

And let each man work his will,
But never never do abuse
The ancient and glorious quill
From the wing of a fine old goose.

 

by JAMES MCINTYRE (1828-1906)
Public Domain Poetry

Open-Source Poetry Four #4

Our Dearest Readers,

Who are we to stand in the way of progress? Yes, this poem seems to be very much progressing in a certain direction. We don’t quite know where it will end up, but at least it’s moving forward…

Still, this scares us a little. We were determined to complete the poem with today’s post, but it looks like it has other plans about its existence, and doesn’t want to be completed now. The poem has taken on a life of its own! Oh, freaking my!

Perhaps we could blame Munira Ezzi for this turn of events. It is, after all, the second contribution of hers to make it into our communal masterpiece. This is something that has never happened before! We cannot predict how this is going to end now, so strap yourselves in, Dearest Readers. It’s about to get bumpy!

So, anyway, it’s with trembling voices that we remind you of the following rules:

1) Read the current version of this communal poem below, and shake in your boots at all the different directions it could go. Then submit your own line or two for our consideration.
2) If we like your line (or two) the most, we’ll add it to this runaway railcar of a poem, and publish it in a follow-up post.
3) And so finally the whole process of submission and rejection will be done, and we’ll have the conclusion to this terrifying monstrosity!

Вензель

hm, what should I draw?
maybe a hairy monster with a furry claw
or a demon crow that sticks in the craw
or a huge bloodstained saw

hm, what should I write?
maybe a slow growl will stir up a fright
or a girl will be twirled by a meat-eating kite
or grandma pole-dances in a bikini too tight

hm, what is that?
the words have disappeared, the pictures aren’t flat
they’ve come to life like a cockroach cravat
crawling helter-skelter ’til i scream like a prat

Вензель_нижний

 

by TETIANA ALEKSINA, TONY SINGLE, TOMAS MANKUS & MUNIRA EZZI
© All rights reserved 2020

SPAM® Sushi #11

Yay google is my queen aided me to find this great site!
obrkybmiy

Don’t try to pull a fast one on us, obrkybmiy. We weren’t born yesterday! We happen to know that ‘aid’ means to pay tax to a queen. Well, you can just go back and tell your Queen Google that we haven’t sold enough of our books yet to be able to pay taxes to her digital majesty! Feh!
— Tati & Tony (Desperate Seekers of a Skilled Tax Consultant)

 

by TETIANA ALEKSINA & TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2020

MMORPB // Tati & Tony in Raiders of the Lost Snark Part Eight (Moderately Multiplayer Online Role Playing Book 18+)

or: EPISODE 8 // Where Tati Refuses to be the Mother of Mutants and Tony Pouts

 

In our previous episode, Tati and Tony discussed the state-of-the-art hamster porno industry, and proved that no one should buy super secret weapons from James Bond’s personal arsenal in a pedestrian subway in Uryupinsk.

“Please, don’t be a drama queen” growled Tati. “Or I will drop you.”

Suddenly, Tony stopped short. His eyes were as wide as hubcaps, then he began to gasp like a fish in a glass of tequila. He was clearly trying to speak, but couldn’t, mouthing the words instead. In fact, he was trying to draw Tati’s attention to something that was right next to them. Tati raised her eyes from his face to whatever had suddenly blocked the sun.

“What… what the holy, blue, actual huge fuck?!”

And that’s when the whale swallowed them. That’s right. A whale in the sky. A sky whale. It had flippers and it was flying.

Tati and Tony tumbled down the whale’s windpipe for what seemed like forever. There were lots of wet plops and bounces all the way down, until their moustaches and hats disappeared and they were coated with thick layers of saliva. They finally came to a stop in a giant chamber full of a bubbly liquid that was caustic to the touch. Tati clambered up a fleshy protrusion, dragging a hapless Tony with her.

“Shit.” Tati looked down at herself. Her clothes had completely disintegrated and dropped right off of her. She looked at Tony. Him too.

“I am ashamed!” squeaked Tony, immediately hiding his very tiny manhood behind one hand. The other hand was covering his face.

“Well, at least the umbrella’s still okay,” sighed Tati. She didn’t feel the need to comfort her friend in his time of emotional need. There were more pressing concerns.

Suddenly, Tony dropped his hand to reveal a faraway look on his face. “Adam and Eve,” he whispered. “We’re like… you know, Adam and Eve!”

Tati looked at him as if he was a complete, Old Testament bedlamite. She snorted derisively.

“Well… I may not be a Bible maniac,” she said, “but I do believe the ‘Jonah’ analogy is more appropriate here.”

Tony pouted. Obviously, in his wacky mind they’d already been through the Fall, and were ready to provide the whale’s innards with future generations of sticky, mutant inhabitants.

“Fine,” muttered Tony. “Then let’s get the hell out of here!”

“I couldn’t agree more,” said Tati, cocking her head to one side. She was studying the umbrella with renewed interest.

Tony noticed this. “What?”

“This umbrella has a special function. I just don’t know if it’s safe to activate it inside the belly of a flying whale.”

“What does it do?”

Tati glanced at her pathetic friend, then realised something awful. He was bald. The bubbly liquid stuff had eaten away Tony’s beautiful long hair. And his eyebrows. And, presumably, his pubes? In fact, there was not a single jot of hair left on his entire body!

“Why are you patting your head?”

Tati ignored his question, alarmed that she no longer had hair either. Nowhere, actually. She had hair nowhere. What the freaking fuck…

“Well, it looks like I no longer care if it’s safe to activate the special umbrella inside a whale.”

And before Tony could protest, Tati pressed a button on the handle. The umbrella flared wider than before. Sparks flew from its tip and canvas edges, sending what looked like streams of fireworks into the walls of the whale’s insides and gloop. Then everything around them grew brighter and brighter…

 

Catch other episodes in this series:
THE PILOT // Where Tati Makes Tony Blush
EPISODE 2 // Where Tati Makes Tony Choke
EPISODE 3 // Where Tati Gives Tony a Fungus Face
EPISODE 4 // Where Tati Rescues Tony’s Suitcase
EPISODE 5 // Where Tati Grabs Tony’s Shirt
EPISODE 6 // Where Tati Supercalifragilisticexpialidociouses Tony to New Heights
EPISODE 7 // Where Tati Cocks the Hamster and Tony Watches

 

by TETIANA ALEKSINA & TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2020