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

CRACKED FABLES // The Ant and the Cicada

Imagine, if you will, a field in Boring, Oregano. It’s a blisteringly hot summer’s day–the kind that makes bark peel off trees to find shelter from the sun’s calamitous gaze.

Cicada is lazing about wearing his customary bling. He’s chomping down on stogies while flipping through the latest copy of Big Buzzo Jumblies. This is what you do when you’re young, dumb and full of hum.

Ant, meanwhile, is nearby, huffing and puffing with a heavy trolley load of corn ears and woodworking equipment. She’s taking these essentials back to her place. She’s got a big project in mind…

“Wassup playa!” says Cicada. “Haul ovah’n rap wit’ me ’steada toilin’ moilin’ tha whole dam’ day!”

“I beg your pardon?” says Ant.

“Holla at’cha, yo!” says Cicada. “Hang wit’ me ho, ’steada slayin’ biz wit’ da wheel whizz!”

“I have no idea what you’re saying,” says Ant. “You do realise you’re not a gangsta rapper, don’t you?”

“Dawg, I’s that’n a bag o’ potata chips!” says Cicada. “Badassical!”

“I see,” says Ant, not seeing. “Here I am trying to build a shelter and lay up food for the winter, and all you can do is waste time showing off your posing pouch and speaking gibberish.”

“Yo, winta ain’t no thing but a chick’n wing!” says Cicada. “Sitch is I’skin already gets me eats an’ alcamahol and tasty blo’ hos any time I want!”

“Ooohhh-kay,” says Ant, rolling her eyes. “Have a wonderful summer then.”

Ant goes on her way to begin preparations. She sets about converting her place into a cosy, fifteen bedroom tree house with a spacious observation deck and outdoor heating. It’s from here that she plans to spend the winter, kicking back with a hot toddy, warm muff, and popcorn to view the Pleiades in all its stellar goodness. She’s really thought this through, you see, and stocks her new home with more ears of corn than one can poke ears of corn at. When the renovation is complete, Ant names the revamped abode Lady of Patience.

Winter eventually rolls around like a dial on an oven set to ‘Off’ and, predictably, Cicada has no food left by this point. He’s dying of malnutrition in a gutter. His rudey dudey mags have blown away to more clement climes. Even his bling has lost its zing. Ant, on the other hand, is spending every day on her deck, nibbling hot buttered, microwave nuked popcorn from the stores that she’d collected in the summer.

Cicada looks up from his self-inflicted misery and sees this. He finally swallows his pride, drags his sorry, withered arse to Ant’s door… and knocks. It opens, and there she is, looking down at him. His mouth opens–as if to say something contrite–then, changing his mind, he pulls out a piece, guns her down and takes all her stuff.

The moral of the story? “Good things come to those that wait.” Sure. Why the hell not.

 

by TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2016

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…

 

by TETIANA ALEKSINA
© All rights reserved 2015