queen victoria’s revenge

in the starchy days of the victorian era
there was a bearded goat, the noble caballero
he had a heart of gold, was an opium wars hero
he was a strict vegan with a soft spot for madeira
the goat was head of the royal spy agency ‘chimera’

one day he was in a hurry because of an urgent case
and by chance swept off a table the queen’s favourite vase
moreover, he nudged a box of royal tissues from its place
unfortunately for him ill news always flies apace
and in a blink of an eye the goat lost the queen’s grace

next day another qualified as head of the secret vow
while the poor clumsy goat hitched a rope over a royal bough

by TETIANA ALEKSINA
© All rights reserved 2022

eidolon (she)

paint the room
herr weltschmerz has come to stay
and nothing will ever be the same again

tho’ the weather’s properly clement
tho’ he’s never cried the blues before
what left can be properly said
of a man who’d tried to claw back the earth
to kiss his truelove’s final resplendence

the ghost of she keeps count with him
there to haunt his bereavement vain
what can he be but indentured to sorrow
a pain as wide as the days unstemmed

he sorely regrets he’d ever been human
mouthing silent words oft kept for silent roads
and for fear he’ll decant so many more along the way
stands deathly instead as a stone unyielding
locked inside with his grief… and fading

herr weltschmerz has come to stay
veins shockingly open to the unspooled light of day
paint the room

by TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2020

storm in a teacup (spit & forget)

i have lost
the storm is already in my head
verbum domini
someone take this teacup from me

i’m roaring from beneath the earth
life, you beautiful bastard
you’ve gone and avalanched me again

her plane flew the coop
she left me to silk another day
and i am bereft, here to rot
death beneath an ashen tree

i’m roaring from beneath the earth
in an arc of sonic dismay
life gone, you’ve avalanched me again

farewell to thee, my dead christ
farewell to thee, my once fey
to crucifix and pricked white bosom
farewell fate’s capricious dice
farewell this bleak and empty day
in the month of may i hied away

by TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2019

ABSURDIS EXTREME // Case Study #643 [23/09/2977] by B.A. Loney

This is the story of a strange phenomena. It was a lonely phenomena that kept happening in all the wrong places to all the wrong people, so naturally it was feared. But you shouldn’t blame it, truly. Its intentions were the right ones, and there’s nothing wrong with trying to make the wrong places and wrong people right, eh?

So, how did this lonely phenomena present itself to the world? Well, in the only way it knew how. It was a presence in a room—the darker the better. It’d sneak up to the wrong persons and whisper the right things, right into their ears. Yes, the right things. Right into their ears. No wonder they shat blue lights! Anyone would. And as they shat themselves, the dark room would become lighter and bluer so that there was no darkness left at all.

The lonely phenomena thought it was doing a good thing, but when the room became well lit, the people it had whispered to would see that there was nothing there, and shit themselves even more. They’d freak out, maybe even cry a bit, and run screaming from the room. And so it was that everything became wronger. Wronger and wronger. So wrong, in fact, that the lonely phenomena eventually gave up and stepped off a very tall building one day.

No one has had anything scary—or even a little untoward—happen to them since.

by TETIANA ALEKSINA & TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2019

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