Broken Poem (Fragment #16)

I knocked at the door.

“Come in!”

The professor was sitting on the window sill without his shoes. It looked a bit strange, but I had gotten used to his little quirks. Generally speaking, our entire magistral staff is a strange sort of panopticon—a freak show if you will—and so sitting barefoot on a window sill looks like kid’s stuff in comparison with the other teachers’ habits.

“What are you staring at? Give me your scribbles!”

I had gotten used to his bad manners too. With impassiveness I offered my worn down notebook to him. The professor opened it, read some lines and screwed up his face.

“What the crap?”

“It’s my homework.”

“Are you sure?”

“It seems so…”

“Quite so. It only seems like homework.”

He tossed the notebook against the wall. It bumped into a shelf of softbound texts, opened and came apart. Lines that I had written with diligence and care crumbled. Words and punctuation marks were scattered higgledy-piggledy in every corner like pieces of a shattered cup. I sniffled and bit my bottom lip.

Gather up this trash. And don’t spoil such precious words with your glamorous bullshit.”

I stood and looked at his bare feet, at those claws clutching over the floor. They were long and crooked with an unpleasant yellow hue…

“Look sharp! I’m not going to hang around for another aeon!”

I started to gather my unhappy poem from the dirty floor. Resentment was slowly turning into fury. Plucked peacock! I will sort you! I will show you anti-glamour!

 

by TETIANA ALEKSINA
© All rights reserved 2017

Testing, Part #1 (Fragment #30)

The desk was a scuffed, sordid blue. I love such things, you know. They’re better at telling you the story of an institution than all those dull, fat conduct books, and they’re more entertaining. For example, right here someone had ably depicted the birth process of star-nosed moles. I sniggered. Considering their knowledge of such ‘niceties’, perhaps it was a future Darwin Medalist. Although… yuck! I reached for a pen.

Twenty two, dolt! Twenty two, not nineteen! I hate giving a lick and a promise! It’s better not to do at all than to do something sloppily.

I was nearly finished coloring the corrected snout when I heard a semi-cough right above me. Yipes! I raised my eyes slowly, and saw the sheen of a badge: ‘Mr. Turdman’. I snickered.

“Follow me, young lady.”

I got up from the desk and dragged myself after the badge wearer’s podge.

Some lanky guy stood near the door and droned like a jammed record: “Please put your cellphones, tablets, and other gadgets into the basket. Please don’t use any electronic devices during the test.”

I shrugged my shoulders and fished my old celly in its scratched maroon sheath out of my pocket. I put it into the plastic basket, right on top of the shiny, posh smartphones. It looked pretty funny, as if a behemoth had decided to join the dance of the little swans.

“Hey, are you dozing off, bimbo? Stop holding up the line!”

His derisive tone brought me back to reality. “I may suck, but you swallow,” I thought reflexively. I stepped into the study amphitheater.

Question 1a. Compose a limerick using the following rhymes: town, nightgown, lock, o’clock.

I scratched my nape and looked helplessly about. Some dweeb with huge glasses to my left seemed like a promising prospect. This dork obviously knows what the hell a limerick is. I whispered, “Psst! You! Hey, you!”

 

by TETIANA ALEKSINA
© All rights reserved 2017

Christ Pisses His Life Away (Chapter Three)

1 If any of this ever gets written down then I hope they get their facts straight.

2 How long have I been hanging here for? 3 Damn, it’s hot. And my bladder’s on fire. I’m in agony and I can’t scratch myself. 4 When the legionnaires offered to put me up for the night, I didn’t think they quite meant like this. 5 It’s small wonder that I hate wedding banquets now!

6 Bottomless throats. Sateless stomachs. I had no chance. 7 Who could meet that kind of demand? No one, that’s who. 8 None of them could have cared less for the happiness of newly marrieds. All they wanted was a holiday in Cana to brown the brow, and round after round of my patented Holy Spirit to fill their swollen bellies. 9 Self righteous, narcissistic guzzlers of dwindling decorum. Every last one of them!

10 I guess it’s my own fault really. 11 Maybe I shouldn’t have pressed my apostles to water down the whizz, but by god was my tallywacker beat! It was ready to gasp its last, you could say. 12 How many baths did I manage to fill? Who knows? 13 All I do know is my bladder’s as pulverised as a palm frond after a locust convention.

14 And Judas… What the hell, Judas?! What were you thinking? 15 You know you can’t hold your liquor, so why did you drink the merchandise? 16 ‘But whosoever drinketh of the water that I willst giveth unto him shallst never thirst!’ you declared. And you declared it to the whole damn gathering! 17 ‘But the water that I willst giveth unto him willst becometh in him a well of water springing up to eternal life!’ 18 And then you pissed all over the High Priests. Marvellous. Just marvellous. 19 I can’t take you anywhere. I should have left you out the back to calculate our profit margin.

20 And that’s the problem, isn’t it, Mr Iscariot? You play well with numbers, but not with other human beings. 21 Yes, reading ledgers is an important skill, but so is being able to read facial expressions, you sot! Could you not see how livid they were? Utterly hopeless!

22 And why, oh why, did I let you spread those rumours about my so-called ‘miracles’? 23 ‘This will drum up more business,’ you said. ‘More clientele means more tongues at the tap,’ you said. 24 So you had me walking on water, feeding multitudes with a fish finger and two breadsticks, raising people from the dead, and erecting underwater bridges for molluscs fleeing Jewish persecution. 25 Lie upon lie upon lie upon… well, that last one was just plain weird.

26 Dying is not fun. 27 I think I’m dying. Am I dying? Is this what that feels like? 28 I know how to pass water but I’ve not experienced passing from life before, so I can’t definitively say. I don’t think I want to. 29 Still, I keep passing out, so I’m disconcertingly aware of my own mortality. That cannot augur well for my immediate future. 30 Death. Can’t say I’d recommend it.

31 The pain is shocking in its unrelenting intensity. My entire body’s a buzzing mess. 32 How can there possibly be this much blood? I can’t breathe. 33 The tirade I’ve composed in my head escapes as a truncated wheeze. ‘Thanks for nothing,’ is literally all I can muster. 34 Yes, God, thanks for nothing. Just sit there like you always do, and do nothing.

35 First, my carpentry business folds. 36 Then I discover that I can piss wine. 37 Then some opportunistic, money-grubbing ‘followers’ come along and exploit me for all they can get. 38 This involves a clever marketing campaign that promises the public magic shenanigans and quaff-worthy wazz while they’re being entertained. 39 I become said public’s darling. 39 Judas then goes and defiles some elite, paying customers with his own subpar wee while they’re drinking my diluted wee, 40 and then flees with the rest of the apostates at the first sign of trouble. 41 That’s when said public breaks up with me, and the High Priests begin baying for blood instead of my formerly one hundred percent honeyed liquid. 42 What next? Oh, that’s right. Death. Praise Elohim. 43 I’m of a mind to come back and haunt the bastards.

44 I rue the day my pecker piddled on Peter. Sorry. Simon.

by TETIANA ALEKSINA & TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2017

Christ Pisses His Life Away (Chapter Two)

1 How is it that I can heal, but not make them shut up…

2 ‘Peter! Look! He’s waking!’

3 ‘My name isn’t Peter. Why do you keep calling me Peter? I’m Simon!’

4 ‘No, dude. I’m Simon. You’re Peter.’

5 ‘No, I’m jolly not!’

6 ‘Hey, man. Chill! 7 We can’t both be called Simon. Otherwise we’d be Simon and Simon. 8 How would that work?’

9 ‘Then why don’t you change your name? Pick something else you like.’

10 ‘I like Simon!’

11 Oh, great. I think I may have come to in a storm water drain. It’s not the most dignified way to greet a new day. 12 I stir, the muck and piss swirling around me, it adding shame to the pounding behind my eyes. 13 Ugh! I feel like carpenters have set up shop in my forehead, 14 and my mouth feels like a donkey’s arse.

15 I murmur, ‘Shut up, will you? You both are bleating like old nanny goats!’ 16 They look at me, shocked, but I don’t care. 17 ‘You do realise it’s possible for people to share the same name, don’t you?’

18 The second Simon looks at the first Simon with the expression of a goat that’s been goosed mid chew.

19 ‘Hm. I suppose so,’ says the second Simon grudgingly.

20 ‘Yeah…’ allows the first Simon. ‘Check out Judas and Judas. I guess they cohabit just fine.’

21 ‘I’m Jude, you dingbats. JUDE. It’s not the same thing at all!’

22 ‘I thought you were called Thaddaeus.’

23 ‘Shut up, Iscariot.’

24 Oh my god! Why do they go on like this all the time? It’s like they can’t help themselves. Maddening! 25 Did I really hire this bunch of simpletons? I must have been drunk! 26 Oh, that’s right. I was drunk…

27 ‘Don’t tell me to freaking shut up, you great protruding camel toe!’

28 ‘I think you need some knuckle bread! Shall I give it to you?’

29 ‘I freaking dare you to give it to me!’

30 Oh, isn’t this just fabulous. 31 They look like they’re almost ready to fight. Always with the fighting! 32 At least I know what can be done to soothe them. I sigh. I get to my feet. I unzip my pants.

33 ‘Elohim be praised!’ gasps Bartholomew. He’s always gasping over stuff. He’s a gasp whore. He’ll gasp over clipped toenails if you give him half a chance. 34 ‘Jesus is about to make more wine! Thank you, O Master!’

35 ‘Yes! Share with us your Holy Spirit!’ chimes Philip.

36 These self-titled ‘apostles’ crowd around me, hands cupped and reaching. All twenty-four of them! 37 God, did they double overnight? It’s getting weird around here.

38 ‘Hey, you know what?’ says Matthew, a considered look on his face. ‘We should market this. People would lap it up!’

39 How like a tax collector. Always trying to monetise everything.

 

by TETIANA ALEKSINA & TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2017

Christ Pisses His Life Away (Chapter One)

1 I hate everything.

2 I’m standing here with a banging headache, pissing into an open storm water drain. Yes, we have those, even though it never rains here. 3 Actually, that’s not strictly true. It’s raining right now. Does not my amber stream arc so brilliantly in the sunlight? 4 And am I not doubled over with a sudden fit of the giggles at this? Oh, how pretty! 5 Oh, goddam. Shit. My head!

6 So, I’m trying to draw with some extra twirls. 7 And then I gaze with admiration at the acheiropoietic image I’ve made on the wall. 8 I’m so engrossed in this urine street art that I don’t notice an old tatterdemalion who happened to be sitting right in the line of fire. 9 Well, I notice now. He’s soaked, and he stinks. 10 I’m debating whether or not to apologise to the old dero. 11 And why am I still able to use big words like acheiropoietic and tatterdemalion when I’m clearly pissed?

12 God. Questions without answers. Life’s full of them. 13 Like, why is my carpentry business failing? No one wants to buy stools around here. 14 Am I expecting too much? 15 To have people want stools instead of parking their cheap arses on the ground with the donkeys’ own stools?

16 ‘Tasty! Splash some more down here, dude!’

17 Okay. 18 It seems my moral dilemma has resolved itself and that miracles do happen after all. 19 Praise… Elohim? Is that what I’m supposed to say at this juncture? 20 Here in the mud and the piss and animal shit, I’m wondering why someone would deliberately want to gargle down my number ones. Maybe it’s a fetish. 21 The man puts out his hand, then changes his mind and holds out an alms box instead. 22 But my bladder is empty now, so I give him an apologetic shrug instead. 23 His look of expectation sours.

24 ‘What good are you then?’

 

by TETIANA ALEKSINA & TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2017