TATI’s & TONY’s DEAD POET TOUR // The Quest of the Purple Cow by Hilda Johnson

He girded on his shining sword,
He clad him in his suit of mail,
He gave his friends the parting word,
With high resolve his face was pale.
They said, “You’ve kissed the Papal Toe,
To great Moguls you’ve made your bow,
Why will you thus world-wandering go?”
“I never saw a purple cow!”

“I never saw a purple cow!
Oh, hinder not my wild emprise,
Let me depart! For even now
Perhaps, before some yokel’s eyes
The purpling creature dashes by,
Bending its noble, horned brow.
They see its glowing charms, but I,
I never saw a purple cow!”

“But other cows there be,” they said,
“Both cows of high and low degree,
Suffolk and Devon, brown, black, red,
The Ayrshire and the Alderney.
Content yourself with these.” “No, no,”
He cried, “Not these! Not these! For how
Can common kine bring comfort? Oh!
I never saw a purple cow!”

He flung him to his charger’s back,
He left his kindred limp and weak,
They cried: “He goes, alack! alack!
The unattainable to seek.”
But westward still he rode, pardee!
The West! Where such freaks be; I vow,
I’d not be much surprised if he
Should some day see
A
Purple
Cow!

 

by HILDA JOHNSON (?-?)
Public Domain Poetry

(and god did nothing)

in darkness he went down
in a braille of feet and saltwater sand
to the sea awayed he
from the so-called promised land

who would be torn if not he for he
for the span of what was and never would be
his tears only added to the plan
a gram worth nothing, impotent man

in silence he laid down
under veil of nori and saltwater cran
to the sea awayed he
from a post-coital life spent in remand

who would mourn if not he for he
for the span of what was and never would be
his fears only added to the plan
a gram worth nothing, impotent man

child of god
he prayed for something good and true
slave of god
swallowed instead by the reckoning blue

in parentheses he drowned
into vale of drib and saltwater dram
to the sea awayed he
from the parochial feckoning hand

who would have borne if not he for he
for the span of what was and never would be
his tears and fears added to the plan
a gram worth nothing, impotent man

child of god
he begged for something good and true
slave of god
swallowed instead by the beckoning blue

child of god
into a sea of no avail
slave of god
to the reckoning sea travailed he

 

by TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2019

BUT IS IT POETRY? // lethal bloom

a lunger on a hospital sheet
embraces the last spring
bursts into blossom with scarlet poppies
with every coughing fit

1265542358_ornament

TONY: Hm. I wonder…

TATI: Good luck with such a tedious task. I’m going to the sex shop before it closes. Do you need anything?

TONY: Yes, I do. While you’re there, would you purchase me an answer that will scrub away the question mark that lingers above your poem ‘lethal bloom’?

TATI: I appreciate your sense of humour, Tony. Will you die from curiosity during the next hour?

TONY: I’m not a cat, so… no.

TATI: Then I’ll be back soon. You’ll have a chance to prepare some genuinely interesting questions. Not like the last time.

TONY: How long must a poem be to be considered a legitimate poem?

TATI: You men are too preoccupied with sizes. How long must a penis be to be considered a legitimate penis?

TONY: Says the woman who’s going to a sex shop.

TATI: According to the Guinness Book of Records, the world’s shortest poem is one letter long. It’s by Aram Saroyan, and comprises a four-legged version of the letter ‘m’.

TONY: Damn. They’ll accept anything these days, won’t they?

TATI: Yes. You’re unbelievably quick-witted today. What happened?

TONY: What can I say? I’ve had my cornflakes. Anyway, back to your poem…

TATI: Back to my poem.

TONY: Yes. Were you worried that it might be considered a little on the short side?

TATI: No!

TONY: Okay then. I must say I do admire how you’ve managed to pack so much meaning into so few lines of poetry. That takes real skill.

TATI: Thank you. Again, do you need anything from the sex shop? There’s a big clearance sale on. Buy two, get one free. You can have the free one.

TONY: As long as it’s not a dildo then I don’t mind. You know, we haven’t even discussed the poem’s themes yet. I’m beginning to get the feeling you don’t want to talk about it.

TATI: What? You said you’re not a cat, and I can’t wait forever! And by the way, I will choose whatever I want for you, so beggars can’t be choosers!

TONY: This won’t take too long. I promise. All I want to know is what your poem’s about.

TATI: Life. Death. Spring.

TONY: Wow. You really unveiled the mystery there.

TATI: Tony, I’m late. I need to buy stockings and an eye patch!

TONY: I can’t imagine you in stockings. But you with an eye patch… now that would be way cool!

TATI: So, I may go after all?

TONY: Sigh. Fine. Go. Far be it from me to delay you on your all important quest!

Tati rushes out the door, slamming it behind her. She rushes back in mere moments later.

TONY: Did you forget something?

TATI: Yes, you idiot! I forgot to check my watch! The sex shop is closed already, so there is no point me going now!

TONY: Hey, that only happened because you wasted time not answering a simple question!

TATI: Sigh. Ask your questions. Anyway, there’s no fun at a hospital without stockings and an eye patch.

TONY: At a hosp—OH! I get it! You wanna indulge in a little Tarantino cosplay, yes?

TATI: No cosplays, silly Tony! Just some volunteering in the tuberculosis department.

TONY: Erm. Okay. It’s probably best if you don’t tell me about your perverted extracurricular activities.

TATI: Germane to the matter, I believe you had dozens of questions about my poem.

TONY: Oh, no no no! I’m done with that. I have no more questions. Besides, I’m tired. I think I’ll just rest here for a bit.

Tati finally seems to be lost for words. Tony plonks himself down on the sofa, his arms folded behind his head. Tati shrugs to herself, lights a cigarette, and plonks herself beside him.

TONY: Those will kill you, you know.

TATI: I know.

 

by TETIANA ALEKSINA & TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2018

GUEST POST // An Invite by KT

I am single
I have a female roommate
she’s 20, almost 21
yup, half my age
oh my!
but, it’s not like that
she’s an amazing Hispanic woman
a great human
and sometimes I give her a kiss on the cheek
cause she’s cool
and, sometimes, I forget to eat
because I’m a little passionate
and she’s an amazing chef
and I am grateful for that
because I suck at it

I am retired from dating and sex
(although, I have references that will tell you I am very good at it)
but, love is bigger than you and your partner and family and tribe
and, it’s even bigger than your sex drive
wait… what?
it’s true
so, no, I won’t date you
because sex is an expectation that impedes love
(I know, right? I mean, when has sex caused a fight?
never, right?)
life is very light when sex isn’t your drive
so, if I flirt with you
or, write a poem about you
(because I derive inspiration from humans, imagine that?)
it is to put a smile on your face
I know, no expectations…
holy fuck! that’s not real…
it’s misleading
well, go tell your mother and father and your god
that I made you smile
(what an ass I am, I know)
and when you’re done
tell them I said hi because I don’t mind
making them smile too
I make a better friend than a boyfriend
(and that’s just me being real honest with me)

but, do come over
I’ll make you pancakes with peanut butter
and maple syrup on top
and we can talk

I don’t give a fuck about your past
your religion
your sexual orientation
your binary finary winary things
your skin color
I don’t care if you’re fat or maimed
I don’t care about your honey boo boo nada nada
I can deal with anything
except a lie
that I despise
and that will get you
no pancakes!
(scary, huh? these threats I make…)

come
on over
let’s chat
have a pancake and smile
I’ll even sing to you because
I’m crazy like that

I can’t do it all
I’ve left a map
and it’s free
when’s the last time your preacher offered that?
no collection plate
just you and your heartbeat
and I’ll still write
because I’m compelled to
but, you have some reading to do
(imagine that, me ask you to learn?)
start at the beginning
finding your heartbeat takes a little time
it took me over a year
but, it’s amazing once you find it
it’s worth the investment (in you, no less)
I promise
and you can pray all the same
just spend some time
feeling your heartbeat as well

and,
if you wish to question my philosophy
well, please do
I’m not sacred
are you?
and if I’m wrong
I’ll admit it because
I’m not committed to being right, like you
I’m committed to learning
in order
to better the human race

pancakes, anyone?

 

by KT
© All rights reserved 2019