read the fucking manual

first time users
don’t know what they’re doing
fidgeting fingers over knobs
pressing red buttons
yanking their cranks
inserting things in slots
they can’t comprehend
the message on the screen
it says: ‘you’re too shitty for this shit’
so they take a baseball bat
and make a few essential modifications
last time users

by TETIANA ALEKSINA & TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2022

simple things

something that holds
and something that’s held
are united in a slow spin
our eyes say we’ll never let go

something that whispers
and something that’s whispered to
are united in a slow dance
our feet say we’ll never walk away

something that loves
and something that’s loved on
are united in a slow reveal
our hearts say we’ll never hide amour

by TETIANA ALEKSINA & TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2022

TATI’s & TONY’s DEAD POET TOUR // The Parrots by Wilfrid Wilson Gibson

Somewhere, somewhen I’ve seen,
But where or when I’ll never know,
Parrots of shrilly green
With crests of shriller scarlet flying
Out of black cedars as the sun was dying
Against cold peaks of snow.

From what forgotten life
Of other worlds I cannot tell
Flashes that screeching strife;
Yet the shrill colour and shrill crying
Sing through my blood and set my heart replying
And jangling like a bell.

by WILFRID WILSON GIBSON (1878-1962)
Public Domain Poetry

hedgehogs in the fog

blue sky, yellow grain
winter’s leaving ukraine again
a ploughman’s cycle without end
i say life for all & death to kings

god’s got his tombstones all in a row
dominoes waiting for the drop
it’s all i can do not to cry a river

here in the dark breath is adjourned
i’m checking notifications again
you were last seen five hours ago
does god really think no one’s looking

so i’m trying to remember instead
the shape of hope & all that’s to come
& the hedgehogs we saw in kyiv

the warm hearth of your mother’s kitchen
your father’s childhood in chechelovka
our river walks & your brother’s games
the shadow cat i left behind in dnipro

so i’m trying to remember instead
shared sun salutes in an upstairs room
it’s all i can do not to cry a river

do you remember the hedgehogs of kyiv
i wish them well in forever sleep
& stand with ukraine in the fog of war
i’m thinking of you & the shape of hope to come

by TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2022

casus belli bum

yesterday there was a ruckus
in the tailless monkeys’ workshop
they were apes by any other name
but their bare rumps exposed them to shame

so the monkeys began a feverish search
for those to whom they could pin the blame
the cognitive dissonance
was strong in these monkeys’ minds
and they issued a press release
to call out the suspected beakless geese
who must have plucked the monkeys’ tails
to cover up their revealed mouth crease

then the monkeys went from words to deeds
constructed a bunch of bent clay dicks
strapped them to each startled face
of the entire beakless geese race
then the monkeys took photos of them all
and uploaded the images to myspace

happy that justice had finally prevailed
the monkeys hit the pub to celebrate
but also forgot that they’d left the kiln on
so the workshop blew high like it’d been bombed

and now the bare bum monkeys are bankrupt
with no workshop, and as for the geese? well…
…they now paint clay dicks to look like putin
and sell them off as souvenirs to ‘unfriendly countries’

by TETIANA ALEKSINA & TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2022