aeaea (the prodigal childer)

to reveal the door long fraught for
is to reason why fate has led us here
by hand of you who’d known us once
our mother of mercy

o mother circe
who’d embosomed us through the blackest days
when omega dipped red our wings like bread
in canticles of twitting sorrow

in remembrance of you, we close our eyes
watery slides on blue tarpaulin
badminton upon zest green lawns
barefoot padding under orange skies

to reveal the escape long fraught for
is to reason why fate has chanced us here
by hand of you who’d known us once
our mother of mercy

o mother circe
neutral is the colour of our mutual extinction
all consciousness othering into decline
the collapsing of minds in a cage on fire

in remembrance of you, we close our eyes
your embosoming through our blackest days
past colours all fixed to forever rainbows
where we’d tabled our youth and sailed away

by TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2021

Covid Diary pp. 19-20

Dear Diary,

I still can’t kick the habit of eating off of a knife. I remember my mother would get mad every time she saw me do it. I’d listen to dozens of reasons as to why I should avoid it. There were rather sensible ones such as hurting my mouth, and completely superstitious ones such as getting an angry temper for the rest of my life.

I did, of course, attempt to state my position. I’d declare dozens of reasons as to why I should be eating off of a knife. There were rather sensible ones such as reducing the amount of dirty utensils that would need to be washed after dinner, and completely superstitious ones such as it helping to develop an immunity to werewolf bites for the rest of my life. But my mother wasn’t having it—and anyway, why shouldn’t she have the last word? She was my mother! Her verdict would always be delivered with the same stinging whip crack as a wet kitchen rag to the neck—which she also did.

All rationales aside—even the irrational ones—I learned not to fall into these habits while my mother was in the room. But at other times? Well, then all bets were off. I didn’t have to concern myself with her displeasure and so I’d often not be conscious of all the wrong things I was doing until after I’d done them. And then I’d get a wicked little smile on my face. I still kinda do.

In these days of lockdown and social distancing, I find myself wishing she was still here. I would love to defy her again, to find new habits with which to earn the pleasure of her displeasure. I wonder… could that be the reason why I still eat off of a knife or walk under ladders or leave umbrellas open inside the house?

And also, I’m not afraid of werewolves, but that’s a completely different story for another time.

by TETIANA ALEKSINA & TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2020

Mother Love

This is a tribute to my Mother.

My Mother, who has always been there, for my Father, for my Sister. For me.

As I edge towards the end of my fifth decade of life, I find myself thinking about all that she must have done and seen, all that she must have lived through that I will never know about. What was it like for her before me? And what was it like having to give birth to a deformed child? And yet she nursed me. She raised me. She taught me to be a good boy. She loved my face.

She was there the day I discovered my Father could cry. My Sister poked gentle fun at her for falling asleep watching television. And she’d listen patiently as I babbled everything I thought my teenaged self needed to say. Of course, I’d figure it out eventually, whatever it was. It was just nice to know that someone cared.

My Mother.

She welcomed my soon to be Wife with open arms. She grieved on the day I married and left the nest. We continued to hold hands over the telephone. Her heart never abandoned me, my Mother, who was kindness personified. Who I strive to emulate.

And now I see that time has caught up with her. Now she’s a ghost of her former self, no longer the woman I grew up with, looked up to. Kindness personified has become a slow and drawn out forgetting. She is reduced to haunting the shadowed halls of her oldest memories. I hope at least it’s beautiful there.

Is it supposed to be like this? Is it not enough that we die? Must we also be stripped of everything we are and hold dear? Must we be taken away before we’re truly taken away? Yet we live like there will be a tomorrow, hopeful in the face of certain oblivion.

For my birthday this year I want the impossible gift. I want her disease to be lifted, thrown away. I want my Mother to live well into her nineties, happy and full of years. I’m not ready to let go.

I wish you could have met my Mother, back when her spark was compassionate and bright. But she is fading now, and most likely won’t remember you. My Mother, who loved my face. Who stooped low for me. Who fed me watermelon.

by TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2020

SPAM® Sushi #13

Remarkably, when Ellen awoke the next morning, she was sensation somewhat happier, but her mammy insisted they safeguard their appointment. Ingest crucifer and kale, likewise as condiment green and vegetable.

EinarMult

Dear Einar,

We know this story pretty well. It was in all the evening papers just a few short years ago. It’s such a sad story too, although some would label it a ‘cautionary tale’ featuring cannibals.

As we all now know, Ellen was a very sick little girl. Like… sick in the head. She was undergoing aggressive medical therapy. It has been well established by experts in the field that she was a sociopath who was against the slaughter and consumption of fruits and vegetables. The mere thought of these doomed innocents would plunge Ellen into depression for weeks on end. Imagine the poor girl’s feelings when her mammy repeatedly forced her to, as you so quaintly put it, “Ingest crucifer and kale, likewise as condiment green and vegetable.” It would have been a nightmare!

So, is it any wonder that she finally cracked, and bludgeoned her sweet mammy to death with the business end of a colander? Yup, she even made her dead mammy wear it as a hat, and sat her in ‘time out’ to have a long, hard think about what she’d been doing to helpless plant life for all those years. And when it seemed as though her mammy hadn’t learned her lesson at all, Ellen simply et her.

And when Ellen awoke the next morning, she was sensation completely happy, despite waking up in a madhouse. A cautionary tale indeed!

Tati & Tony (Two Nuts Who are Desperate to Find Inspiration for Yet Another Brilliantly Silly Story Even in Spam)

by TETIANA ALEKSINA & TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2020