Beyond the Menagerie Cafe

I thought socializing on public transport
was as difficult as swimming up Niagara Falls,
in lead flippers,
until Brook sashayed down the aisle.
It was impossible to disguise my fixation
on her curves and mischievous blue eyes.

She chatted away
as though we were each other’s earliest memories
and made moving to music
look as effortless as inhaling her perfume.
Brook had me believing
we could triumph over gravity together.
She crooned in my ear
‘I’m more flamboyant than Las Vegas
and after one night with me
you’ll deem that desert city’s dens of decadence
to be faintly saintly.’

As we stepped off the train,
I watched her phone disappear
into the confines of her brassiere.
From platform seven, a mescaline mystic
lectured a statue of Henry Parkes.
‘Once flame throwing, punk rock echidnas,
are a common sight, in the house of commons,
it’s time to send your prayers
to the eunuch banshees’ he bellowed.

A woman affected by a lack of drugs
recited poetry to the porcelain doll
in her transparent backpack.
“The messenger icon is as still as a fossil,
as frozen in time as cobwebs
that have lain undisturbed
since the Eureka Stockade was stormed.
Ned Kelly signed his name in the dust
carpeting the harp piano.
The fireplace hasn’t been lit
since the white haired fisherman
wading into the river below
took his first steps.
The messenger icon is as still as a fossil.
It’s been paralyzed by your apathy.

Brook clasped my eager fingers
and led me to The Menagerie Café.
Terriers tumbled through hoops.
Guinea pigs gambled their wits against obstacle courses.
Sunshine Peacocks and White Spot Demon Fish
explored fractured submarines,
as Brook disappeared beneath the tablecloth
to recreate erotic movie scenes.
She surfaced as though nothing were amiss,
leaving me on the cusp of fainting from bliss,
and insisted I follow her to a perspex dome,
reminiscent of an outpost on a dead planet.

Clouds of Alpine Black Swallowtails,
Crimson Roses and Australian Painted ladies retreated,
as we strolled to Brooks ornamental stone cottage.

Her cellar was a gothic 3d movie theatre,
The present dissolved.
Beasts thought to have withered,
merely hibernated in their septic mass grave.
Mistakenly exhumed, they stirred
as the suns cruel rays warmed their viral blood.
At noon they pinned thirteen grave diggers to the earth,
with bent and splintered shovels.
Their youthful corpses were scorched by lightning
and looted by vermin.
Once proud, their flesh eating virus gorged bodies
were a charred sludge by nightfall.
Kookaburras were silent,
as those risen abominations stretched wart ridden limbs
and swiftly disappeared
into the murkiest reaches of the forest;
in pursuit of the bounty hunters
who’d sold their old pelts
for the price of a hag whore.
After perusing that horror classic
we felt like sweeping the property
for resurrected Bunyips,
with high powered rifles in hand.

Brooke explored satellite television, pausing briefly
on the bombastic, chart topping, Princess Funtastic.
Her latest lyrics eulogised a Mecca of Surprise.
‘A trip through Club Psychedelic is expeditionary.
The entrance rules are absolutely discretionary.
You’ll glide in if you’re human confectionary.
Inside its walls guitarists duel and harmonise
in portrayals of betrayal and musical star rise.’
Brook scrolled through the channels
until we were lost in the depths of a bonsai jungle.
In a Lilliputian river, Titans tamed sphinxes.
At low tide, Atlantis broke the surface
like a ghost’s periscope.

Before the first hint of dawn,
I knelt before my Amazonian Goddess
and worshipped her with a flurry of kisses.
Among Dido Long Wings and Southern Festoons
sunrise bought the pages of the past into focus.
The little boy holding Brook’s hand,
in a kindergarten book week photo,
looked familiar.

 

 

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