Today’s Special (March 4)

“Don’t faff around, Sally! She’s harmless, I tell ya!”

It’s a perfect spring day, shining like a new penny and smelling like a wild honey wind. On such days, sunlight reflects into people’s eyes, they’re late to work, and everyone falls in love at a glance.

Two young waitresses chirp near the back door of a little café. Cigarette smoke blends with the aroma of coffee and the smell of fresh baking. A big cat sprawls in delicate sunbeams, sharing a timeworn bench with some perky sparrows. There’s enough sun to go around!

“Hey you, young ladies! Quit slacking off! Come on, get busy!”

The manager’s shrill voice crushes this idyllic scene in the space of a clap. It shatters into a myriad of tinkling colourful pieces. The waitresses flit into the café. The sparrows scatter away like spilt sugar dragées. Only the cat continues to enjoy itself, correctly supposing that it’s busy enough anyway.

“Look! Look, Molly! It’s her again!”

Sally tugs on her girlfriend’s sleeve. Molly brushes her hand away. The new barista with his bright sapphire eyes and dazzling smile is working his magic near the old coffee machine. No one understands how he manages to get such a divine taste from third-rate beans. Every day, Molly’s all eyes and bated breath, spying on him. It feels so very close, but again and again the secret slips past Molly like a cheeky little Casper to hide in the vanilla steam puffs. The barista flashes her a wink and places some cups on a tray. Order’s up!

Molly takes the tray and rushes out into the street. She’s almost skipping. No one wants to sit inside a café on such a wonderful day!

She’s here. An old woman in a worn coat and a ridiculous straw hat, standing near an empty table. Some visitors have just left, and there are empty clay cups, dirty saucers and cutlery on the table. There’s also an ashtray with two stubs, and one of them has left a tip. The old woman carefully sweeps something from the table into a handkerchief, which she then folds and puts in her pocket. Molly looks at her. The old woman notices Molly, offers a shy smile and a nod, and walks away.

Molly stands there for a little while longer, enjoying the sweet air and its symphony of vehicle horns, then goes over to the table. She places the empty clay cups onto the tray, as well as the dirty saucers and cutlery, changes the ashtray, and drops the coins into her apron pocket. After ensuring that none of the other visitors needs her attention, Molly goes back inside the café. And just in time to see the barista grinding a new portion of coffee beans too! Another chance to distill his secret…

Sally and Molly walk down a sleepy street, eating mint ice cream and talking a mile a minute like they haven’t seen each other in ages.

“No, Molly, I can’t make it out. What is up with her?”

“Silly chickadee! I tell ya, she’s sweet. I’ll prove it to you. Let’s go!”

The girls turn into a narrow side street. It is adorned with small lanterns, sweet peas in big garden pots, and clotheslines. Sally and Molly approach a tilted shabby fence and find a hole to step through. Of course, the gate is right there—only a brick throw away—and it’s wide open, but who cares about gates when there’s such an alluring fence hole?

The old woman is here. She’s writing something on a scruffy blackboard. When she steps back, Sally and Molly see… a menu. It reads: ‘Madam Maganti’s Bird Pastry. Twenty kinds of the freshest every day cake crumbs!’

Sally stands open-mouthed. Molly smiles, pulls a small package from her pocket, and approaches the old woman.

“Twenty three, ma’am.”

Madam Maganti nods, and goes to the kitchen to put the kettle on the fire.

Day rolls under the bench, jumps one more time, and settles itself in the cozy warm dust. If you ask the cat, it tells you that the day lays tails-up. However, no one really cares.

by TETIANA ALEKSINA
© All rights reserved 2019

GUEST POST // Curious Intents In This Warmer Weather by Captain Q

Curious intents in this warmer weather
Knowing Summer will be coming soon
Inspiration & creativity go hand in hand
Shedding Winter demons beneath a fresh moon
I’m tired of conditioning myself for them
My mind feels free & ready to finally shine
Pushing away any thought to merely conform
We get one life & this one is going to be mine
I’m going to stretch my imagination far out
Tinkering with ideas & love for us all to spread
Spring is the return of life to this sleeping world
In the future, how to be remembered when we’re dead

by CAPTAIN Q
© All rights reserved 2018

GUEST POST // spring by John Flanagan

break a leg young thing
this is your moment
after all those morgue afternoons
rehearsing old school mystiques
fine tuning your pauses
making each phrase count

your entrance upstage
deliberate slight in silhouette
moving into light and out
making us sit up

a stir
a single shoot
peep of crocus
hiatus
second delivery
you hold our breath in yours

delay the extended arm
purple patch declamation
flourishes of yellow madness
in winterspent fields

in the morning we’ll blog and tweet
your budding craft
your youth

by JOHN FLANAGAN
© All rights reserved 2018

EARS WIDE OPEN // Glass Tantō

First we had the disarmingly lettered Madam Marmoset. Now we have the mellifluous Herr Tamarin. Where on earth are these highly literate and articulate primates coming from? We sometimes find ourselves hoping to evolve into them. (Shouldn’t it be the other way round?)

Herr Tamarin seems gruff and unyielding on the outside, but inside he’s really a soft, marshmallowy romantic who loves to show off his impressive reading abilities. Just listen to his dulcet tones! Is his voice not like honey being poured down your starving lugholes? Oh my god… the endless eargasms!

So, today we present the first installment of a new feature. Dear reader, we want to share with you audio recordings of some of our past poems, but we don’t want to hear only ourselves prattling on. No, we want to hear you too. Do you have a favourite piece on Unbolt Me that you’d like to record for posterity? If we dig it then we’d love to use it for a future post in the Ears Wide Open series!

Glass Tantō

spring unfolded on winter again
like a skewbald origami dream
in time for the seeker’s return
empty-handed he slipped behind
the windowpane
the windowpane

he’d left to claim her heart again
she who’d growed beyond the pines
she who’d made the seeker return
empty-hearted he slit behind
the window pain
the window pain

Text by TONY SINGLE
Audio & Image by HERR TAMARIN
© All rights reserved 2016