The Taste of Saint Nino’s Comb

Is this the way out from the City of Glee?
Where the sun was a juddering timpani,
Glass beads all flicking into a fosse
And clouds were white like candyfloss.
Sighnaghi was fair to a hoyden like me.

Is this the way out from the City of Lust?
Where I vowed and cleaved, and He broke my trust,
A youth wasted on penance and chastity belt.
Can’t reach forbidden fruit when faithfully knelt.
I cuirassed myself in dead monastery crust.

Blessed Virgin Mary, she gave me this cross,
And I tasted bitter wine from sweet grapes.

Is this the way out from the City of Love?
I have wished to flee the stale sinner and dove.
My wedding dress, threadbare and black,
Like missal and pack slung over my back,
Won’t be needed when push has come to shove.

Is there no way out from the City of Joy?
Where the walls now echo with clang and cloy.
Will I spend my last days in regret and strife,
And did I ever strive true to change my life?
I would trade His love for that of a real boy.

The Virgin Mary’s cross entwined in my hair,
And I tasted bitter wine from sweet grapes.

 

by TETIANA ALEKSINA & TONY SINGLE
© 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

Big Fish

Once upon a time, there was a girl and a boy, and they got up to all sorts of mischief. No, they weren’t bad children. They would just get bored on a lazy Sunday afternoon, that’s all. Actually, they’d get bored any old day of the week – it really didn’t matter when. They were in constant need of stimulation to keep their creative juices flowing, much like overripe cows in want of round-the-clock milking. That’s why the boy and girl were always poking their curious, little noses into different things.

So, the girl and the boy were feeling quite nebby. They sat there, swinging restless legs over the edge of a bridge high above a river flowing with ideas. And the adults! They had such serious faces! Why were they beached there on the riverbanks below just doing nothing? Well, that wasn’t entirely true. They were writing books and editing magazines… which looked like important stuff.

The boy and the girl exchanged glances. While she had his attention, the girl gave the boy a cheeky wink. The boy gave a goofy grin in return. He was a bit shy. The girl’s heart warmed at this, but she didn’t let on. Instead, she said, ‘I bet we can make a magazine too.’ The boy piped up, ‘Can we?’ He studied her resolute face with a mixture of interest and bewilderment, and that’s when he knew she was for certain going to do something about this.

She grabbed his hand and said, ‘Let’s go!’ And so they sprang from the bridge and plummeted into the river of ideas. They didn’t even come up for air. Ideas were where they lived, so they definitely had the gills for it. Actually, that’s not entirely true. They had the gills, certainly, but they did come up eventually… and they had a big, wet magazine cover with them. It flapped and it dripped, but the girl and boy held onto it tightly, and they were proud.

 

by TETIANA ALEKSINA & TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2017