GUEST POST // Within by Niharika Jaiswal

I see people scowling and screaming
Raging and waging war on others,
Angry at each other or something else
But most of all angry at themselves.
They need to win a fight, any fight.
With whom, for what, it doesn’t matter,
It’s not about wrong or right,
It’s about the fight,
A way to take the anger out,
The anger that’s burning them inside,
The anger at nothing and everything.
I have been there myself at times,
And after you win the fight,
For a moment it feels like you can breathe again
It’s a good moment, you feel light
But in a little while, the anger returns
Deeper and spreading like a fire.
And the thing about fire,
You can’t throw it out the window
And on to the streets and get rid of it,
That only increases its reach.
To extinguish a fire one must remove
One of the three things that create it,
Heat, fuel, and air. The way I see it,
Pain is the match that creates the heat,
Our insecurities are fuel it feeds on
And our ego is the air that fans it.
I see people burning themselves,
And those they love, those around them,
Burning their houses and their cities,
While fighting fire with fire
And looking at the skies for a rain
Never realizing that the fire that starts within
Can only be extinguished from within.

 

by NIHARIKA JAISWAL
© All rights reserved 2017

EARS WIDE OPEN // bussed & buzzed (liplocked)

We wouldn’t be going against our hearts to say that we wrote this one as lyrics for another sappy and silly love song. We even tried to create a melody, and Tony almost had the cheek to sing to it. Alas, we’re much better singers and musicians in our heads than we are in actual recordings. And, quite frankly, we’d have to wait until Hell turned into a winter wonderland before any famous recording companies began a bidding war for this potential… erm… ‘hit’. (Will Rihanna be pushing Beyoncé aside to perform with us any time soon? Probably no.)

Anyway, common sense prevailed, and Tony did his best reading instead. Yes, he mustered as much heart and feeling as he could, and all to the accompaniment of a wonderful track by Kai Engel of the Free Music Archive. This poem is based on a real event that holds special significance for the two authors. Perhaps you, Dear Reader, will also be able to make it your own as you reflect on your loves, both past and present.

 

bussed & buzzed (liplocked)

we kissed on a jetty high above the fishes
where warm swells loll in gentle squishes
where sundog sprawls over planks like a cat
and morn’s dew hangs tight like an acrobat

we kissed on a jetty ramshackle and treen
where birds chirp loud in kerfuffle and preen
where air tangs the nose, spicy and salted
and time’s put on hold, stately and vaulted

sometimes dreams do come true
sometimes no
sometimes love says to you “adieu”
sometimes “hello”

we kissed on a jetty ’tween shanties bareheaded
where moorings in summer are a web of ropes threaded
where jong-jong gently knock wood together
and pair to wrest free from seabed’s tether

we kissed on a jetty scalloped and shelled
where stormwater drains acapella and meld
where the sun swings low beyond the equator
and nestles sleepily in an extinct crater

sometimes dreams do come true
sometimes no
sometimes love will gift a horseshoe
sometimes a blow

we kissed on a jetty ’neath stars’ cutting swathe
where moonglade outlasts nude lantern’s bathe
where anemones bloom below neptune’s throne
and crabs sleep like heirs under mossy stone

we kissed on a jetty at the mouth of time’s flow
where the days are real quick and the nights are real slow
where ardour pulses through the veins of conviction
and temptation receives cupid’s benediction

sometimes dreams do come true
sometimes no
sometimes love colours you blue
sometimes yellow

 

Text by TETIANA ALEKSINA & TONY SINGLE
Audio by KAI ENGEL & TONY SINGLE
Image by TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2018

TATI’S TRANSLATIONS // Desire by Sudeep Sen

Under the soft translucent linen, the ridges around your nipples harden at the thought of my tongue.

You — lying inverted like the letter ‘c’ — arch yourself deliberately, wanting the warm press of my lips, their wet to coat the skin that is bristling, burning, breaking into sweats of desire — sweet juices of imagination.

But in fact, I haven’t even touched you. At least, not yet.

Твой пеньюар стекает мягкими полупрозрачными волнами, и рябь вокруг сосков дрожит при мысли о моем языке.

Ты выгибаешься упругой тетивой, предвкушая прохладное прикосновение моих губ. Их влажность успокоит твою пылающую, пьянящую, пряную кожу, истекающую липкими соками желания.

Хотя я еще даже не коснулся тебя. Пока не коснулся.

 

Poem by SUDEEP SEN
Translation by TETIANA ALEKSINA

© All rights reserved 2017

soppy dominess

people are puppetlike
dangling on rainy threads
lower their sullen faces
hide under hoods and umbrellas

for this very simple reason
a puppeteer behind clouds
zigazigs with people recklessly
staying unnoticed for centuries

 

by TETIANA ALEKSINA
© All rights reserved 2017