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

GUEST POST // If the Tables Were Turned by Jane Paterson Basil

Please tell me, what would you do
if you were confined in a zoo
and all of the animals
from lizards to camels
strolled around pointing at you?

Now tell me, how would you feel,
if you were encased behind steel
while the chimpanzees
watched your antics with glee
and laughed at you eating your meal?

So, what if the tables were turned?
It’s time the corrupted ones learned
just like human beings
those creatures have feelings
and all of us should be concerned.

Inspired by the Government’s recent faux pas (how’s that for an understatement?) over the sentience of animals.

 

by JANE PATERSON BASIL
© All rights reserved 2017

BUT IS IT POETRY? // Sunhibitionism

Midday bends
over a city
thoughtlessly,
sun nipple
slips out of cloudy brassiere
shamelessly. It’s hot.

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TONY: Wow. This poem’s as hot as I feel!

TATI: Really? Kewl…

(Tati sniffles. Her nose is very runny and red.)

TATI: Ahhh… ahhh… AH CHOO!

(Tony wipes himself off.)

TONY: Lovely. All. Over. Me. Thanks for that.

TATI: You’re welcome, Tony.

TONY: Could you maybe sneeze upwind in future? Anyway, let’s discuss this poem of yours. It’s called ‘Sunhibitionism’.

TATI: Yea… AH CHOO!

(Tony wipes himself off again.)

TATI: Sorry. That was upwind this time.

TONY: Good freakin’ god. It’s like sitting next to a sprinkler.

(Tati gives Tony a helmet.)

TATI: Will you ask me after all?

TONY: About the poem?

(He puts the helmet on.)

TONY: If I can just get a word in with all this projectile snot flyin’ about then yes, I will ask after all.

TATI: And…?

TONY: What made you think of equating weather patterns with the imagery of a woman bending over?

TATI: It was a cloud. Its shape reminded me of a bra… ah CHOO!

TONY: Thank the very Christ for this helmet.

(Tony wipes his visor off.)

TONY: So, do clouds often make you think of women’s undergarments, Tati? Are you some kind of pervert?

TATI: What? Of course no! If a cloud looks like a teddy bear, will you accuse me of liking bestiality too?

TONY: Well, I don’t know what kinkiness goes on inside your head.

TATI: Tony, are we discussing the poem here, or are you trying to fish out my hidden desires?

TONY: Oh, so you do it with fish now? What a sicko…

TATI: Are you going to discuss poetry after all, you freaking pervert? What about my use of imagery, metaphor, and meter? AHHH… CHOO!

(Tony wipes his visor off.)

TONY: You’re sneezing on me on purpose now, aren’t you…

(He takes off his shirt and wrings it dry. Tati sniffles.)

TATI: Dear Readers, because Tony is being extremely objectionable today, let me take up the reins.

TONY: Says the woman who sprays everything with mucous.

TATI: It’s a shadorma.

TONY: Is that what they’re calling it these days?

TATI: What’s that?

TONY: Snot. Shadorma. Must I spell this out?

TATI: Oh, hell. No! It’s a poetic form. Not what your sore fantasy suggests. And if you dare to call yourself a poet, you had better learn some theory!

TONY: Theory? Damn. Then I guess I’m no poet after all. I hardly know any theory when it comes to writing my poems.

TATI: AH CHOO! By the way… do you know? Whenever you say something and someone else sneezes at the same time, it means you are telling the truth.

TONY: I guess it’s confirmed then. I’m a hack.

TATI: Oh. Don’t you want to say, “Bless you?”

TONY: You’re like a cat, Tati. You always manage to land on your feet no matter how far you fall. I’m pretty sure you don’t need a blessing!

TATI: Sunhibitionism.

TONY: Are you sneezing again?

TATI: No, it’s a broad hint.

TONY: To talk about the actual poem, yes?

TATI: Hallelui… ah… ah… AH CHOO!

TONY: Good grief. Okay, so if the sun is like a nipple, is that why we’re often dissuaded from looking at it? It’s too rude, so we might go blind if we do?

TATI: Of course. It’s so mushy little boys like you, Bubby Tony, can continue to play with their toy soldiers… and don’t hide another issue of Playboy under your pillows.

TONY: Are you saying I’m too immature to appreciate your poem?

TATI: Yes, I think so. You’re focused on details and don’t see the whole picture. It’s like you giggle at the nakedness of Venus de Milo, or David. Or poke your finger at Madonna Litta. Ahhh… ahhh… AH CHOO!

TONY: So, is this a commentary on society’s collective shame regarding sexuality? Is that what you’re referring to here? And since when did you begin comparing your poems with the works of such masters? Not that I’m saying your poems aren’t worthy of scrutiny…

TATI: Oh my god! Really?! Was I able to drag you back to the main point of our discussion?

TONY: Hey, I’m perfectly capable of have an intelligent conversation y’know!

TATI: Says the man with a helmet on his head, and sprinkled all over with mucous shadorma!

TONY: Excuse me all to hell then! I’m off to have a much needed shower…

 

by TETIANA ALEKSINA & TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2017