cult of crucifixation

in the beginning was the word
and the word was us
pressed between ungiving pages
and yet in touching we multiplied

so what was first
was word made flesh
or did flesh make the words

scope and more we had to withhold
to give him all praise
his narcissism walled us off
to ourselves, ne’er to fit in

and what of his thirst
for our blood made blest
we venerated the absurd

he showed us we were never worthy
he broke our hearts
this round hole passover pricker
no forgiving this time, the abuse must end

 

by TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2018

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

A Three-Pointer

Do you know how to tell a good poem from a bad one? It’s easy. I can teach you.

Just crumple up a sheet of paper and throw it into the bin in the far corner. The bad poem never reaches it. It will always drop somewhere halfway, rebounding off the rim then rolling beneath your sofa. Argh! And there you go, swearing, to pick it up and toss it in from a little closer.

But the good poem always makes it. Hell… now you’re groaning and you have to go over to the bin to retrieve it. But, did you know… you can choose to forget it instead. Just leave it in the bin. Don’t worry. The really good poem will never leave your head. I should know. I’ve checked.

 

by TETIANA ALEKSINA
© All rights reserved 2016