CALIXIAN // Ranting Up the Wazoo

I am in a crappy mood. That’s why I’ve decided to kill Darwin this very day. Somehow. And quirkily.

I’m wandering around in the shed when I stumble upon a dusty, old megaphone. This could be exactly what I need! “Darwin, baby, come here! I have something for you.” I can barely contain my glee.

Darwin’s tumbled head pops in at the door. He’s looking at me with curiosity. It’s definitely one of his best traits. He’s as curious as a kitten. I crook my finger at him, beckoning him closer. Darwin enters the shed.

I take my time. I want to savor the pleasure. I smear half a bottle of grease over Darwin’s mop then meticulously comb it back. Then I pick the nastiest tie I can find from a dingy, old wardrobe in the corner of the shed. Yes, the orange tie with the big blue hot-dogs. That should do it.

Darwin twists and turns before the mirror on the wardrobe door, giggling. He obviously thinks it’s a funny role-playing game. Perhaps he’s now imagining that I’ll put on a nurse’s costume, or dress like Harley Quinn, or like a big violet papulose lobster. Frankly, I neither know nor care what this pervert daydreams about.

I take another look at him. Darwin is smiling like a brewer’s horse. He’s shining like a spit-and-polished samovar. I don’t recall him ever being this happy, and certainly not since that time he won ten measly greens in bingo. I feel something approaching a light pang of conscience, but I shake it off. I have to finish this game.

I need a finishing touch. I survey the shed interior before noticing a shabby leather suitcase in another corner. Perfect! Feeling like real Pygmalion, I thrust it into Darwin’s hand and take a step back to admire my handiwork for a moment. It’s unbelievable but Darwin looks even worse than he usually does. Is that even possible? It seems that, yes, it is.

Darwin shoots me a questioning look, waiting for whatever’s next. I push a megaphone into his arms, give him a wink in return, then abruptly push him outside. I slam the door. Right before his nose. Take that!

Darwin knocks insistently, begging to be let in, but not for too long. Curiosity killed the cat, I suppose. I know that a protest movement on the next street over will soon catch his attention. And I know that he always jumps at the chance to rant about his favorite topics, especially now that he has the megaphone and some sympathetic listeners around.

There’s a knock at the door.

Darwin’s tumbled head pops into my bedroom. I barely have time to minimize my window.

“Calix, dinner’s ready. Come and get it!”

“Sure.”

By the time I’m leaving the bedroom, the Sim Darwin is standing on the suitcase, shouting frothily into the megaphone. “Death is supposed to be the last, great refuge for troubled minds!” he squawks. “From ashes to ashes, dust to dust, and into the big black!” His face is flushed. The tie hung loose. Darwin is as cute and convincing as Lenin on the armored car in 1917.

Meanwhile, the Grim Reaper stands just around a nearby corner, wry faced and skittishly rubbing a scythe. He doesn’t like anyone ranting about death too much, you know.

I step into the kitchen and give Darwin the biggest smile I can muster.

“What do we have for dinner?”

 

by TETIANA ALEKSINA
© All rights reserved 2018

to & fro

oh, hammock, how congenial you are
your embrace is clingy yet feathery
languid, you rock me from side to side
‘tween my past and future, to and fro
for now, suspended in harmony
for now, suspended in harmony

ain’t nothin’ will get done wrong
ain’t nothin’ will get done right
if this rope remains too long
if this knot strains too tight

oh, hammock, how unpalatable you are
your embrace entraps me, it is too easy
suffocated by your smothering tide
hung down deep, boundless sleep below
for now, crucified in harmony
for now, crucified in harmony

ain’t nothin’ will get done wrong
ain’t nothin’ will get done right
if this rope remains too long
if this knot strains too tight

 

by TETIANA ALEKSINA & TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2018

BUT IS IT ART? // Toast of London

 

1265542358_ornament

 

TATI: “Hup, hup!” I remember this one, Tony!

TONY: You do? I guess that means you like it, huh?

TATI: Yes, I do! I even remember we wrote a little silly poem for this picture. Do you remember it?

TONY: “Three little Soldiers stand in a row,
Two stand straight and the other bends low.
Along comes the Sergeant and what do you think?
Off pops her halter, quick as a wink.

Bless them and their tiny bazooms,
Their strap-on guns and primed vavooms.
Four little Soldiers ready to blow,
To make sweet jiggy and war not sow.”

TATI: Hee hee hee… exactly. Well, now I’m going to be deadly serious. Where are their epaulettes?

TONY: Eppa—what? I’m not sure what you mean.

TATI: And I’m not sure about ‘bazooms’ and ‘vavooms’.

TONY: Well. Erm. Ahem. Why don’t you just google those, Tati?

TATI: So google ‘epaulette’ and don’t ask questions!

TONY: Okay! Okay! Yeesh…

TATI: Have you served in the military?

TONY: I’m relieved to say that I haven’t.

TATI: I won’t blame you for that. Neither have I. What inspired you to draw this image? Why soldiers?

TONY: There’s a British sitcom that I absolutely adore called Toast of London. It has an opening title sequence that features marching girls, and it’s such a striking visual that I wanted to draw my own version of it.

TATI: Do you consider military girls sexy?

TONY: Generally, no. I don’t have a weird fetish for them or anything. I just like these particular military girls. There’s something undeniably sexy about the way they march across the screen in their bearskin hats and brief bikinis. And there’s something oddly compelling about their flat chests too.

TATI: Poor bears! I protest!

TONY: Well, you have a point there. Those hats are made from the skins of real American black bears. It’s a bit cruel to be sure.

TATI: A bit?! It’s outrageously cruel!

TONY: Yes, a poor choice of word on my part…

Tati runs away, leaving a thick dust trail behind her. Tony blinks in confusion.

TONY: I’ll never understand this flighty girl…

Tati rushes back with a piece of paper and shoves it under Tony’s nose. He blinks some more.

TONY: Erm… what is this?

TATI: A petition! Sign it! Now!

TONY: What’s it for? To get more flat chested women on telly?

Tati hits Tony over the head with the petition. He gives her a confused look.

TONY: What?! It’s a worthy cause!

TATI: Will you sign it or not?

TONY: Fine! Razzin’ frazzin’…

Tony begrudgingly signs the petition. Tati then snatches it from his hand and rushes out the door. He calls after her.

TONY: So… can I post my drawing on our blog?

Faintly, Tati’s voice comes from far away.

TATI: Not on your nelly!

Tony smiles to himself.

TONY: Did she say more flat chested women on telly? I think so. Excellent!

 

by TETIANA ALEKSINA & TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2018

a quantum of holiness

a little vagrant sleeps under a church ladder
shares his bedding with a lame puppy and deaf adder
he has never tasted sweets or sugar scones
his usual dinner is leavings, skin and bones

one beautiful summer day right after the mass
someone spat a throat lozenge onto the grass
it shined beneath the sun like a real gem
blameless, faceted, wet from mucous phlegm

little vagrant retrieved the lozenge with trembling hand
unbelievably happy as though he’d won a big grant
but he wasn’t the only one who had reached the prize
the puppy was looking at him with pleading eyes

some people aren’t dogmatic, have never attended church
their lives can seem useless, their family’s honour besmirch
but on that day it was the lord’s supper under church ladder
little vagrant shared his first candy with lame puppy and deaf adder

 

by TETIANA ALEKSINA
© All rights reserved 2018