BUT IS IT POETRY? // Horn-rimmed glasses

Just jabbering. Beating a rhythm. Messing with common sense.
Murdering a language… grammatically semi-dense.

A holy fool…

Allowing unallowable. Well… omissible… fuck it!
Set punctuation marks! Correct my torn jeans and my sanskrit!

A holy fool…

Don’t listen to me, please! Don’t call my bluff! Don’t yield to my magic!
It’ll not be my blame if you hear something essential and tragic.

A holy fool…

God forbid! Something that you were always afraid to say.
Oops… me and my potty mouth… I put my foot in it… hey!

A holy fool…

Healthy people shrug shoulders a set of words isn’t usable.
Are you sick? Do you think that my words are excusable?

A holy fool…

There are people… they hear perfectly… how a heart talks to a heart.
Well… Putting on my horn-rimmed glasses. Just wanna look more smart…

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TONY: Well, I have no idea.

TATI: Well, why am I not surprised?

TONY: Jabbering. Holy fools. Glasses. What does it all mean?

TATI: The thing that you sometimes put on your nose is called ‘glasses’. ‘Jabbering’ is talking in a rapid, excited, and often incomprehensible way.

TONY: And ‘holy fools’?

TATI: ‘Holy fools’… Hmmm… Foolishness for Christ. Are you familiar with this term?

TONY: Of course I am. I used to engage in such foolishness. I just wasn’t sure if this is initially what you meant.

TATI: Yes, this is what I meant.

TONY: Okay, so is this poem ‘Horn-rimmed glasses’ a commentary on religion?

TATI: Of course no! I used ‘holy fools’ in a figurative sense.

TONY: So who are the holy fools in this poem?

TATI: People, who aren’t afraid to be themselves. Who aren’t afraid to express their feelings and thoughts openly. Who aren’t afraid to go against the mainstream.

TONY: Ah, I see! These are the people that are thought of as ‘holy fools’ by the rest of society, and all because they refuse to conform.

TATI: Yes, but it isn’t aggressive provocation. It’s not an open protest. They just can’t live any other way.

TONY: Which is what you mean by the line: ‘There are people… they hear perfectly… how a heart talks to a heart.’

TATI: Yes. Empathy. Compassion. Acceptance.

TONY: Wow. I’m reading this poem again and… well, it makes so much sense to me! Tati, this might be one of your best!

TATI: Really? But you said it has no sense.

TONY: I think I was just a little too dense to get it at first.

TATI: Maybe it was me who was too messy in expressing my thoughts?

TONY: Perhaps that’s the point. By being messy you were sidestepping all the rules of conventional poetry, and forging a path all your own. You were being a ‘holy fool’. So cool!

TATI: Do you praise me? Oh my!

TONY: Totes! I wanna be your acolyte!

TATI: Okey dokey. It’s easy. Take these glasses and tell me what you’re thinking. Try it now.

TONY: Erm…

TATI: Come on! I haven’t got all day!

TONY: I’m thinking!

TATI: Think out loud!

TONY: I’m thinking that these glasses make me look like Elton John, and appear smarter than I actually am!

TATI: Hmmm… Are you sure you put the glasses on correctly? Not upside down?

TONY: Well, isn’t upside down the correct way to wear them? It means I’m doing things differently then, which is entirely the point of your poem!

TATI: No… see, that’s the tricky part. Pride. Hubris. Have you felt sometimes that you’re better than other people?

TONY: Shamefully, yes. But only sometimes.

TATI: So, put the glasses on the right way. Don’t try to be better than the others.

TONY: Oh wow! Now I look like Bono! Is that a good or a bad thing?

TATI: Are you saying that Bono is merely Elton standing on his head?

TONY: I’m not sure what I’m meant to be saying.

TATI: See? You’re getting it!

TONY: Am I?

TATI: Don’t strain so hard, Tony. You do not need to take yourself seriously.

TONY: But…

TATI: Don’t blame me if you hear something essential and tragic. It’s your choice, not mine.

 

by TETIANA ALEKSINA & TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2018

Bilingual Вірш

the days and years are wasted on youth
ти пригадуєш із солодким смутком
as you wander lost between the trees
із безцінним та марним здобутком

the sun is dappling through the leaves
і небо блакитне, як мамині очі
and the earth resolute like dad’s voice
то були найщасливіші дні і ночі

now like footprints buried in snow
як листівки із далеких часів
how old must one be before they start to live?
коли ти відрікся від їх голосів?

when did you scorn all reminiscence
і так безбожно в душі насмітив?
when your shadow absorbed all the pain?
мабуть, ти навіть і сам не помітив

 

by TETIANA ALEKSINA & TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2018

BUT IS IT ART? // Unsung Beauty

 

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This was supposed to be another But is it Art?’, but it didn’t quite turn out that way.

As always, Tati came to the party in a pugnacious mood, ready to smash Tony with her witty questions. And, boy, did she ever! They discussed women’s bodies and women’s rights. They even discussed Greek mythology and Tony’s childhood. (One could almost say that these sound pretty similar, at least whenever Tony talks about his childhood.)

During the discussion Tati called Tony ‘a misogynist creep’ and Tony called Tati ‘a good egg’. They used the word fuck one time, and the word ‘breast’ three times. Tati even taught Tony a new word. Yep. ‘Litotes’.

Well, anyway…

The post was ninety percent ready, but then suddenly this pain in the ass that is called ‘Tati’ declared that everything discussed so far was bullshit. She claimed that actually there was nothing to discuss and that they were wasting their time. Tony nearly broke down crying. (Okay, he actually did.)

So, what did Tati then do? She scribbled a short poem and ran away. When Tony finished blubbering and dried his manly tears, he read the poem…

…then cried some more. Such beautiful sentiments! Tati did have a warm, beating heart full of emotions after all! Aw! Tony decided to run this on the blog anyway. (And began to plot his revenge for the next But is it Poetry?’ discussion.)

 

ВензельMedusa (asps lick her tears away)

a comb has lost its cuspids
a myth has lost its essence
a maiden is stuck between
youth and senescence
Вензель_нижний

by TETIANA ALEKSINA & TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2018

larisa

i’m going home, i’ll cross the terrible sea
it’s a far cry to my tiny, worn out quay
will he be standing there, waiting for me
will i be met by wind and deserted scree
a loveless gull adrift upon a final plea

 

by TETIANA ALEKSINA & TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2018

Teti-à-Tête (With Tony) #9

crumble-cult-210

Tati as TATI

crumble-cult-106

Tony as TONY

 

ACT 23 SCENE 2
BELLY FLOP

 

Tati is hanging upside down in gravity boots. Tony looks on while eating from a plate of pumpkin scones.

TONY: Are the stomach crunches really necessary?

TATI: Are whipped cream and chocolate drops really necessary?

Tony stops mid-chew.

TONY: Well, that just ruined it all for me.

Flecks of scone, whipped cream and chocolate dribble from his mouth.

TATI: Look at yourself, Tony! Soon your tummy will come into the room before you.

TONY: No it won’t!

He self-consciously sucks his tummy in. Tati looks at him, firstly with a smile but then with concern.

TATI: Exhale, Tony!

Tony lets out a huge whoosh of air and crumbs.

TONY: Damn. I wasn’t going to be able to keep that up for long. Maybe some kind of girdle might be in order…

Tati rolls her eyes and resumes her upside down stomach crunches. Tony keeps watching.

TONY: Could you please plant your feet back on the ground, Tati? I feel like I’m talking to a giant, talking fruit bat.

TATI: I thought you were used to quirky fauna, Tony?

TONY: It’s not that. I’m exhausted just watching you!

TATI: Kangaroos, koalas, chupacabras… they’re your neighbours, aren’t they?

TONY: Not really. It’s not like I live out in the bush or anything. I’m a city dweller. I prefer to hang out at cafes sipping glasses of cool inexpensive water, not from billabongs.

TATI: Snoozefest! Fine, I’ll climb down.

Tati disengages the safety lock, slips out of her gravity boots and flips onto the floor. She looks at Tony with a peculiar, knowing smile as she dusts herself off.

TATI: I debated with myself if I should land on your tummy.

TONY: Oh, ha ha. Very funny.

Tati grabs the last scone from the plate and bites into it, ignoring Tony’s silent protests.

TONY: Well, too bad if I wanted that, huh?

Tati slaps Tony’s tummy, making it jiggle like jelly on a plate.

TATI: Be grateful I saved you from bursting, fill-belly.

TONY: Hey! My tummy may be big but it’s also quite sensitive. It’s where I write from!

TATI: What? Do you stenograph your growling stomach? Now it’s clear where all this weird stuff comes from! Ladies and Gentlemen, permit me to introduce the gastric wonders of Tony’s poetry to you!

TONY: What I’m trying to say is that I write from my feelings, not my head! I think with my gut!

TATI: Ah hah! I supposed something like this. Have you never tried to use your brain for the creative process?

Tati taps Tony’s forehead with her half-eaten scone.

TONY: I have but it’s not for me. I need to feel what I’m writing about. I’m more emotional than rational.

TATI: Is that why you put your shirt on arsy-varsy? Is it how you feel today?

TONY: I’m feeling a little belittled right now, I have to say…

TATI: Is it heartburn, Tony? Because no one can gobble a tonne of scones and escape unpunished.

Tati shoves the rest of the scone into her mouth. Her eyes bulge slightly as she hiccups.

TATI: Tony, do you have water?

Tony grins like a Cheshire Cat.

TONY: Who’s thinking with their gut now?

TATI: It’s because of your fucking scone!

TONY: I didn’t force you to eat one. Did you see a note anywhere saying: ‘Eat Me!’?

TATI: Tony, I swear, if you don’t give me something with the label ‘Drink Me!’… I… HIC! Will… HIC! Kick… HIC! Your…

Tony throws a mocking look at the hiccupping Tati.

TONY: My arse feels great, thanks for asking. Unlike yours.

TATI: My ass is fine… HIC!

TONY: This is just too funny.

TATI: Shut up… HIC!

TONY: I’m afraid I can’t. I’m feeling too smug and superior in the correctness of my position to be stopping right now. Heh heh…

TATI: Screw you… HIC!

TONY: I don’t want to lose this opportunity to be listened to uninterrupted by you, smart arse.

Tony then paces around the helpless, hiccupping Tati, giving a long-winded declamation on the creative process.

TONY: …and I insist that the only writing of any substance can only ever come from the heart, not the head.

An unhappy Tati is unable to object… HIC! She waves him off and leaves the room. Tony pulls out a bottle of water.

TONY: Methinks it’s time to wet me whistle

 

by TETIANA ALEKSINA & TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2018