GUEST POST // all the trappings of winter by Robert Greig

I’ve tried
to write a poem
for the solstice
this winter come,
for the shortest day;

the beginning of the end…

I failed
to find a start
carve a middle
coup de grâce
weave a wordy way;

the beginning
of the end…

I set my traps
the night before
made all the best laid plans
I chose the bait
and lay in wait
and all seemed well in hand;

the beginning of
the end…

patience
that’s the key
so it seemed
but easy said
is rarely easy done;

the beginning
of
the end…

as light became
less light
my eyes
shuttered wide
to closed
and into sleep
I dribbled deep
from yawn to drowse
to doze;

the beginning of the end
came when I awoke
and found
nothing much to find
but pins and needles
muscle cramp
a spider hanging
from my hat
but not a rhythm
not a rhyme
nor any useful line,
nothing fine
that could be used
to light a fuse
or bold enthuse
to glean a verse
to break this curse,
not epic,
blank,
not villanelle,
not idyll,
even terse.

[sigh]

I’ve tried
to write a poem
but despite
my best attempts
I wrote
a shopping list instead:
coffee
tea
turnips
tomatoes
crackers
crisps
and cheese.

 

by ROBERT GREIG
© All rights reserved 2018

THE CRUMBCAST // The Last Hurrah!

I’ve always been a bit of a nervous Nellie. I don’t quite know why. You’d think with all the hard knocks I’ve gotten through life that I would’ve toughened up to some extent. But no. I’ve developed some nervous habits instead. You know… like a sane person.

That’s what Peter and I discuss in this episode of the Crumbcast.

Speaking of which, this is the last Crumbcast we ever recorded together. It was done and dusted many moons ago, and he’s since moved on to greener pastures. I’m still bereft that he and his partner have gone, but they gave me a little skull satchel to remember them by… and so I do. I love that little satchel. It’s very black and skully and awesome. Muggers will have to pry it out of my cold, dead hands!

Anyhoo, I digress. Next episode of the Crumbcast will be back to just me again. Ugh. You unlucky things.

PS: To listen to the podcast in question then please click on that picture down there. To view the comic strip that our discussion centres around, then please click here. Yes, it’s real magic in the digital world, I tells ya! No pesky sciencey stuff here!

 

by TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2019

BUT IS IT ART? // Man’s Best Pal(indrome)

 

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TONY: There’s a time when I wouldn’t have dared to draw something like this.

TATI: Uh huh. You usually only dare to draw dildos and boobs.

TONY: Yes, now I can add shit to the list.

TATI: Wow. Now you can be considered a mature artist.

TONY: What does that even mean anyway? How mature is it to draw a dick and balls instead of covering them up with a pair of underpants? No, I just drew these things because I wanted to. Nothing more, nothing less.

TATI: Definitely, the name of Tony Single shall now be featured alongside those of Odd Nerdrum, Pieter Bruegel…

TONY: Who?

TATI: Artists. Who drew shit.

TONY: Oh, what they drew was shit? Or they literally drew with shit? And it was shit? Or brilliant.

TATI: They drew shit. Literally.

TONY: Oh, shit. Really?

TATI: Shrilly.

TONY: Well, aren’t you just in a silly mood today!

TATI: And you’re in a shitty mood.

TONY: Well, I’m trying to have a serious conversation about god being a palindrome of dog—god being a dog’s leavings, if you will. Perhaps god’s not the great almighty being we make him out to be. Perhaps we ought to hold dogs in higher esteem.

TATI: What a weird concept. Was it a car or a cat I saw?

TONY: Huh?!

TATI: Perhaps cars are not the great almighty beings we make them out to be. Perhaps we ought to hold cats in higher esteem.

TONY: But… but… Cats. Cars. They’re not palindromes! You’re completely ruining my whole point!

TATI: But… but… Your ‘shit’ doesn’t spell ‘Tony’ backwards!

TONY: Are you calling me shit?

TATI: No way! I’m honestly trying to follow your shitty logic.

TONY: I’m wondering how many times we can get away with saying the word ‘shit’ in this discussion…

TATI: I suppose we’re going to get beans anyway, but not because of some doo doo balls on your picture, Tony.

TONY: I literally have no idea what you just said.

TATI: I suppose our readers will tell you. I just know I don’t want to get beans.

TONY: What the shit does your ‘get beans’ mean? I’m so confused!

TATI: Wait and see.

TONY: Erm… Okay? How about we just move on from shits and beans and… well, talk about the ‘god’ part of my illustration?

(Tati begins to walk away.)

TONY: Tati? Hey! Wait! TATI?!

(She pays absolutely no attention to him.)

TONY: Well… shit.

 

by TETIANA ALEKSINA & TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2018

THE CRUMBCAST // Atheism and Other Religions

This is the Crumbcast where I introduce myself as Tiny instead of Tony. Freudian slip or just a slip of the tongue? You be the judge.

So, anyway, it’s Pete and I having a good ol’ chinwag again, and this time the subject is religion and atheism. We reckon that these can sometimes be the same thing. Now, there may be those of you don’t like what we say regarding this, but we hope you’ll stick around and join in on the conversation in the comments section below.

PS: To listen to the podcast in question then please click on that picture down there. To view the comic strip that our discussion centres around, then please click here. Yes, it’s real magic in the digital world, I tells ya! No pesky sciencey stuff here!

 

by TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2018

BUT IS IT POETRY? // a Pissed off Muse

Do you think
that your Muse is dead?
Balderdash!
She is tired.
She is just flat on her ass.
Yes! Dash it all, yes!

She couldn’t bear
your endless snivel,
hysterics,
binge drinking
You, pathetic Creator!
She dumped you, dumbass!

Two talented lines
aren’t worth two wasted years… yes.
Muses can fuck up.

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TONY: Tati, have you ever been pissed off?

Tati doesn’t answer. She keeps looking to the door.

TONY: Tati?

Still no answer.

TONY: TATI!

TATI: Huh? Yes, of course. Every time you ask a silly question.

TONY: Hey! All of my questions are individual quests for truth! Don’t be dissin’ my questions, man!

TATI: I’m not a man.

TONY: Anyway, there’s this really cool poem you wrote once. It’s called ‘a Pissed off Muse’. Do you remember it?

Tati looks at the wall clock, then says with a petulant gesture…

TATI: Yes, I do. I’m not such a leaky head. Not like someone I could mention in this room…

TONY: Hey! I only forget the stuff that’s not worth remembering!

TATI: Uh hum… Indeed, why should you stuff your head with nonsense like the due date for our tax returns, or when to pay for municipal services?

TONY: Look, I don’t mind living without electricity sometimes, and since when have we ever earned enough to pay taxes?

TATI: Well, this time I’m going to agree with you.

Tati keeps flitting her eyes between the clock and the door, then glances out the window.

TATI: So, do you really think it’s a cool poem?

TONY: I do! I think it’s bitchin’!

TATI: Uh hum… Well… Thank you, I suppose. May I ask why you recalled it just out of the blue?

TONY: Well, it strikes me that no one ever asks the muse if they even want to be a muse in the first place, and your poem seems to reflect this. It presents the muse’s viewpoint.

This seems to get Tati’s attention. She looks at Tony for a moment.

TATI: Yes. By the way, Tony, did you know that ‘muse’ can mean not only a source of inspiration but a creator or poet also?

TONY: Oh. Really? That… That doesn’t sound quite right…

TATI: Why?

TONY: Because muses are usually only presented as some kind of insipidly romanticised ‘source of inspiration’ (to use your words). But the whole thing’s not so romantic really, is it?

Tati’s eyes have gone back to the door.

TATI: Sigh. Never mind. Do you have a muse?

TONY: Nope. Why reduce someone to nothing more than a source of inspiration for my creative endeavours? They don’t exist purely to orbit and nurture my every brain fart, do they?

TATI: Not everyone is such an egoist, Tony! ‘Nurture my every fart.’ Many creators take their muses as higher beings, not mere servants of their creative labours.

TONY: I’m not so convinced! I can’t shake the feeling that a lot of muses are mere extensions of their creators’ egos, and therefore not considered to be the higher beings you sugge—Hey! Are you listening at all? I said ‘my every brain fart’, not ‘my every fart’!

TATI: No. I don’t sleep.

TONY: Huh?!

Tati shakes her head, as if to clear it, then continues to give the door, clock and window her full attention.

TONY: See?! You’re not listening!

TATI: Not at all. Pardon? Oh, of course, you have my undivided attention.

TONY: Are you sure? I’ve been talking to your nape for the last bleedin’ hour!

Tati sighs.

TATI: I only wonder if we can talk about something else…

TONY: Okay. Fine. What would you prefer?

There’s a knocking at the door.

TATI: Wait! Do you hear that?

TONY: You bet your sweet bippy. I wonder who it can be?

Tati starts to fuss around a bit. She goes to a cupboard and pulls out some slippers, then runs to the kitchen to brew some tea. When this is done, she brings out a huge pile of fresh newspapers and tosses them on the table.

TATI: Okay, could you get the door, Tony? I think that may be for me.

Tony answers the door. A huge, glistening penguin wearing a monocle and biting down on a pipe enters the house, brushing past him like he’s not there. It waddles towards the kitchen, its pipe leaving a trail of soap bubbles.

TONY: Oh, of course. Now I understand who serves whom, my Dear Genius.

TATI: Hush! Don’t piss off the Muse!

 

by TETIANA ALEKSINA & TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2018