(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

the spark of life (headshot)

fear the gawking dead
they look without seeing
but it’s the gawking alives
who see without looking
that are way scarier

so kill me if you please
headshot me into a sense of life
trigger my release

force is no answer
raised fists only make more
and reason is empty talk
i can no longer bear this
please bury me under a socle

so kill me if you please
headshot me into a sense of life
trigger my release

and if i do arise
from the grave pyres of alives
i pledge to rub my wild eyes
then look you full on face
not eat it, only feast my ravenous heart

so kill me if you please
headshot me into a sense of life
trigger my release

 

by TETIANA ALEKSINA & TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2019

100 WORD SKITTLE // Leaking the Dream (Follow-up to Lurking the Dream)

I wasted no time, stepping into the stormwater drain to retrieve the kitten before it drowned. Wind railed at my back, and the first huge drops of icy rain began to plap on the scruff of my neck. I shivered, my foot slipped on the slick ladder, and I fell in.

I flailed momentarily before my head cracked into the sewer wall. The last thing I remember was my face in bloodied water, my scattered manuscript pages, and a title that read ‘Look What the Kitten Dragged In’.

There was a mewl from somewhere in the darkness.

 

by TETIANA ALEKSINA & TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2018