CALIXIAN // Ranting Up the Wazoo

I am in a crappy mood. That’s why I’ve decided to kill Darwin this very day. Somehow. And quirkily.

I’m wandering around in the shed when I stumble upon a dusty, old megaphone. This could be exactly what I need! “Darwin, baby, come here! I have something for you.” I can barely contain my glee.

Darwin’s tumbled head pops in at the door. He’s looking at me with curiosity. It’s definitely one of his best traits. He’s as curious as a kitten. I crook my finger at him, beckoning him closer. Darwin enters the shed.

I take my time. I want to savor the pleasure. I smear half a bottle of grease over Darwin’s mop then meticulously comb it back. Then I pick the nastiest tie I can find from a dingy, old wardrobe in the corner of the shed. Yes, the orange tie with the big blue hot-dogs. That should do it.

Darwin twists and turns before the mirror on the wardrobe door, giggling. He obviously thinks it’s a funny role-playing game. Perhaps he’s now imagining that I’ll put on a nurse’s costume, or dress like Harley Quinn, or like a big violet papulose lobster. Frankly, I neither know nor care what this pervert daydreams about.

I take another look at him. Darwin is smiling like a brewer’s horse. He’s shining like a spit-and-polished samovar. I don’t recall him ever being this happy, and certainly not since that time he won ten measly greens in bingo. I feel something approaching a light pang of conscience, but I shake it off. I have to finish this game.

I need a finishing touch. I survey the shed interior before noticing a shabby leather suitcase in another corner. Perfect! Feeling like real Pygmalion, I thrust it into Darwin’s hand and take a step back to admire my handiwork for a moment. It’s unbelievable but Darwin looks even worse than he usually does. Is that even possible? It seems that, yes, it is.

Darwin shoots me a questioning look, waiting for whatever’s next. I push a megaphone into his arms, give him a wink in return, then abruptly push him outside. I slam the door. Right before his nose. Take that!

Darwin knocks insistently, begging to be let in, but not for too long. Curiosity killed the cat, I suppose. I know that a protest movement on the next street over will soon catch his attention. And I know that he always jumps at the chance to rant about his favorite topics, especially now that he has the megaphone and some sympathetic listeners around.

There’s a knock at the door.

Darwin’s tumbled head pops into my bedroom. I barely have time to minimize my window.

“Calix, dinner’s ready. Come and get it!”

“Sure.”

By the time I’m leaving the bedroom, the Sim Darwin is standing on the suitcase, shouting frothily into the megaphone. “Death is supposed to be the last, great refuge for troubled minds!” he squawks. “From ashes to ashes, dust to dust, and into the big black!” His face is flushed. The tie hung loose. Darwin is as cute and convincing as Lenin on the armored car in 1917.

Meanwhile, the Grim Reaper stands just around a nearby corner, wry faced and skittishly rubbing a scythe. He doesn’t like anyone ranting about death too much, you know.

I step into the kitchen and give Darwin the biggest smile I can muster.

“What do we have for dinner?”

 

by TETIANA ALEKSINA
© All rights reserved 2018

i may never

you died in the month of may, didn’t you
when you slipped and fell from the dead god’s hand
you knew then that you’d only led yourself astray
that silence was not the only silence

and all you could think to say
how is my life not mine
never have i deserved to die
never was i requested to live

you’re the once and ever failure, aren’t you
you never could shine as bright as they
all crafted jewel and curated moments
superior vessels built for purpose

and all you could think to say
how are these tears divine
never have i deserved to die
never was i requested to live

you’re the shadow that shrank behind, so you
became harrowed when tracing your heart song
and moths stole along, they ate your pockets
and then all of your dreams trailed sore away

and all you could think to say
i am the last of my kind
never have i deserved to die
never was i requested to live

 

by TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2018

is this what you wanted (apologies to leonard)

i went walking in the midst of loud appeals
to the better drone of my nature
and promises forcefed to be made anew
in a yonder framed for the chosen few

who’d have known what the future would hold
been naïve enough to believe again
what once was a cradled, spotless bloom
now a weight of years fills the foom

trump still lives yet cohen’s dead
fascism’s risen, your god is bled
now peel back my skin and bruise me within, why don’t ya
trump still lives yet carrie’s dead
iceland’s too warm and the oceans are red
now peel back my skin and rub the salt in, hallelujah

the diamonds got all unearthed down here
the stars up there all got pretty scanty
was god just a man with a beard and a view
where did the dinosaurs all vanish to

yeah, something about this rain makes me heavy
i’ll weep from pustules ’til i grieve no more
my bottle cradled, one more nuclear bloom
now a weight of bones fills the foom

trump still lives yet marilyn’s dead
your food is porn, greed’s giving more head
now peel back my skin to the china within, why don’t ya
trump still lives yet bowie’s dead
the bees are all gone and the birds have fled
now peel back my skin and tilt the gin in, hallelujah

 

by TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2018

How Ghosts are Made

Death is supposed to be the last, great refuge for troubled minds. From ashes to ashes, dust to dust, and into the big black. It’s the blessed relief of personal extinction. The hidden regret and all-too-public shamings that cluttered up your fretful, spluttering half-life finally get snuffed forever.

But can those things ever truly be extinguished? Perhaps not really. Perhaps they simply lay with your rotting corpse, waiting to be unearthed all over again. It’s probably some gravedigger that does it — a sick sadist with a muckrake and an agenda who drecks through your spell of days like it’s a top priority WikiLeaks scandal that the entire universe must know every last gasp about.

So why does it feel like the universe already knows? Why the nagging guilt no matter how bone free your closet might actually be?

Your social media accounts don’t magically self-destruct within five seconds of you stiffing it. Those secret dick and clunge pics don’t clean up after themselves either. And those passive aggressive status updates you so artfully tailored for maximum jabbiness aren’t fooling anyone — least of all that one person who must never be named for fear of mutual friends finding out you’re just a bitter, judgemental prick.

The internet is the new universe, and it’s watching your every move like the silent, voyeuristic, omnipresent predator it is. Instead of looking out, we look in, and so does it — right inside to our collective core. And while it may have begun life as just another straw god we’ve fashioned for ourselves, this is one straw god that’s grown legitimately and malevolently all-powerful. The internet has the genuine capacity to not only destroy lives but also to completely unmake them.

That isn’t a boon for the cause of social justice by the way — not when you have pernicious shame-baiting disguised as entreaties for ‘correct’ ethics and behaviour. It makes me so mad. I hate the Twitter bullies, the Facebook assassins, and the faux progressives who are just as petty as the next person. An individual’s life can be cherry picked then ripped apart in the kangaroo court of misinformed opinion. Rest in peace? More like rest in pieces! And meanwhile, the self-righteous wolverines of ‘integrity’ continue to parade their brand of alleged egalitarianism within their echo chambers of uncritical acclaim.

“They never knew me.” That’s the nub of it. It’s the one thing we can all truthfully say. No one ever bothered to try to understand. They took a little snippet here, they took a little snippet there, and then decided these snippets were all there was to know about us. Never mind the rich, inner animateness we had going on. Egoists never care for bosh like that. They have no regard for any of the hopes, fears and innate humanity we may actually possess. All they need do is to poke their noses into our private affairs, sans context, and usher in complete ruin — all to declare another someone a moral failure.

So, yeah, this is why I’m still here. I cannot dissolve in mindless repose while this shit is going on. I cannot lie because they cannot let it lie. And what they say hurts me. It hurts those closest to me. The mutual backslapping sanctimony of those serial dogpilers keeps me tethered to this wretched mortal cliché. Yeah, I’m so fired up about it that I even left my cosy grave to go and buy myself a bible today. Me, a ghost, buying a ‘holy’ book! I shouldn’t even be here. I’ve got better things to do than to exist. I’ve had my time.

The internet is just the universe of our modernity, and god is… well, he/she/it hasn’t fully been discounted yet, as much as the human race might wish otherwise. God is the eternal poltergeist that haunts the darkest corners of our minds, a narcissistic tyrant who won’t let go, who displays a rapey kind of ‘love’ that keeps on taking until all that’s left is the detritus of hollowed out ghosts.

I’m going to burn this bible, god. That’ll show you, you spectral thug! I’ll rewrite your Wikipedia page, exposing who you really are, then lock it down so that the evidence cannot be removed or tampered with, and remains viewable for all time. I’ll shame you yet, though I no longer believe in your existence!

No, really, I don’t.

Now, please, just let me lie.

 

by TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2018

quietus

the keel has met the shore
and maybe i don’t want to leave
but love, my story’s told
cannot sing past songs no more
parting is sweet bitter sorrow
heart’s cockles have grown cold

i see the sail unfurled
and surely we shall never know
what’s left that could have been
i’ll tramp not in your world
nor age another day with you
years not enough, my queen

the fisher king, he saves
peace you now, all will be fine
i cruise at morning’s light
and face the winds (as braves)
treading clear of land and sky
in this boat’s mythic flight

hark now, the end has come
we bid, my love, our fond farewells
and touch pale cracking lips
hush now, it has begun
this rattling chest shall raise no more
as mere life loses grip

sands wait, of greater price
than many riches in your palms
and all the jewel array
are not the seashells nice?
with eyes so sad, you look elsewhere
boat softly slips away

 

by TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2015