The Beatles Fan from Betelgeuse

I thought her blissful moans were cries of pain,
until she arched her back so powerfully
the ceiling took evasive action.
Her record collection was as eccentric
as the Come Together hippie
and as beautiful as Audrey Hepburn.
Her cat herds were wren stalking art galleries.
What would PETA think
of the Marilyn in the clouds tattoo,
on the shaved puma?
The Beatles fan from Betelgeuse!
She’s as enigmatic as vicious,
as compelling as capricious.
Her garden gnomes speak in tongues.
Oh, how she loves tongues,
in adventurous places
and on necklaces, golden ones.
The Beatles Fan from Betelgeuse
says there’s no decomposing bodies
in her market garden.
Nobody asked.
The Beatles Fan from Betelgeuse!
There’s too much truth in her fiction,
but her probing kiss is my addiction.



The Camellias and Roses along Remedy Street,
are silent welcoming committees for someone else.
Misty rain is a sweet distraction
from all that pierces Mervyn’s soul,
like African Box Thorn through an eyeball.
Since burglars stole the frames from his family photos,
he’s carried his most prized possessions in a back pack.
His Toughbook is a more constant companion
than Booboo the Bear ever was.
He’s prepared to defend it to the death,
with the fusion of Brazillian jujitsu and Muay Thai
he’s been learning
since a fellow kindergartner decapitated Booboo.

The advent of online backup hasn’t changed the equation.
Mervyn without a laptop is as dysfunctional
as Mervyn without kidneys.

His anxiety vanishes with the last vestiges of day.
Tiny suns illuminate people peering streetward.
Do any of them realize inviting him inside
would be smarter than drinking molten lead?

Every week,
Mervyn considers visiting the house he grew up in,

to retrieve the telescope and albums
his grandmother mistakenly mailed there.
The new owner threatened to unleash his Pit Bulls,
if Mervyn set foot inside the gate again.
Tenants the size of a Polar Bears,

covered in tattoos of dragon slaying vampires,
threatened to “break his legs with a sledge hammer”,
if he rang the doorbell one more time.”
“I sold your precious telescope.
Those photo albums I found, I burnt them,
whaddya gonna do bout it”
a squatter taunted him,
oblivious to how close he was,
to broken elbows.

There’s a strange lady
on the corner of Brumby and Thoroughbred;
her yard is populated with granite freak show legends.
Waxwork likenesses of locals gaze at them in awe.
Mervyn mistakes the sculptor for a statue.
She holds yoga poses for millennia.
Her automatic gates slides open.

“I can’t sketch you from there” she protests.
Mervyn follows her like a lost puppy
and that’s how Victoria depicts him.
She signs, scans and prints the image on to a shirt
before he can sip his way through
a concoction of pineapple, passionfruit and coconut,
As Victoria sketches Mervyn nude,
he discusses the archaeological significance
of her pottery collection,
and identifies the chess match
between a television detective and serial killer,
as an imitation of Vladamir Kramnik versus Gary Kasparov.
Before he can finish the story of how Van Gogh lost his ear,
Victoria kneels in front of him
and feeds his towering monument to her lacy cleavage
into her cavernous mouth.

Mervyn enters his mouldy, cockroach infested flat at dawn.
The plumbing is older than Rupert Murdoch.
His carpet is more worn than a fifth day pitch.
Rain pelts the pavement.
Mervyn dons his blacked out swimming goggles
and succumbs to exhaustion,
with the sound of Himalayan singing bowls
massaging his ears.

“You’re so far away from me”
Mark Knophler’s classic storytelling voice,
drifts from his clock radio,
waking him in time for the midday shift.
It’s been ten years
since he’s had a lover to travel home to.
The supermarket is Mervyn’s home away from home.
Some can tell you which shelf every item is on.
Mervyn can tell you which products contain palm oil,
from plantations that replaced orangutan habitat
and which companies are guilty of child slavery.
Want to know how may milligrams of Vitamin B12
are in your can of smoked oysters, ask Mervyn.

Visiting the sideshow freak sculptor
has become a permanent feature
of Mervyn’s Saturday night wander.

He never knocks,
instead he walks around the block
until she spots him.
Tonight she’s with her synchronized swimming partner,
in her birdbath.

It’s been eight years since Mervyn crossed the highway,
to the street where he was born.
He pauses enroute, to watch Quiz Maestro.
“Unbelievable, The Maestro doesn’t know
opals are a hydrated amorphous form of silica”
Mervyn closes the video in disgust.

Dawe Street is unrecognizable.
There’s a massage parlour,
where the corner shop used to be.
Houses have been demolished
to make way for high rise units.
The park has been transformed
into a putt, putt golf course.
The laneway where Mervyn raced his BMX
no longer exists, neither does his fish pond.
His aviary has been replaced with a pool.
A young woman glides along the bottom
long enough
for Mervyn to wonder if she has mermaid genes.
As she surfaces, she spots his elongated shadow.

“I, I, I grew up here.
I, I came back to visit my childhood
but I can’t find it.”
Alicia senses Mervyn is as peaceful as a meditation retreat.
Tears well in his eyes,
as he walks the winding path through the shrubbery
and runs his fingers over the assortment of
Acacias, Hakeas, Bottlebrushes and Indigoferas.
Mervyn removes his shoes and luxuriates in the feeling
of Weeping Meadow Grass beneath his feet.

“Wonderful isn’t it, I’ve kept it weed free.
I moved in the day Donald Trump was assassinated,
by a peace activist without a sense of irony.”
“You moved in on the 4th of July 2020?
Trump was killed at 7:45p.m.
John Smith, a former US Army sniper,
shot him in the eardrum,
through the partially open bullet proof window,
of the armored presidential limousine,
from five hundred and four metres away.
The vehicle was travelling
approximately thirty five kilometres per hour”
“Wow, you’re a history buff and a half”
“At work they call me Dewey,
they say I am a human library”

“Would you like to sit on the veranda with me,
you big strong enyclopaedia?”
Still wearing her fruit salad print bikini,
Alicia perches herself on Mervyn’s lap.

In an effort to ignore the tingling in his plumbing,
he lists the botanical names of every plant in the garden.
Then he identifies the constellations.
Alicia just grins and listens.
“Which industry do you work in” Mervyn asks,
once he’s exhausted the backyards
clusters of conversation starters.
“I’m a burlesque performer.
We’ve met before, in a past life perhaps?”
“No, in aisle four, you wanted to know how reliable,
the sustainable fishing labels are.”

“Come inside, I want to show you something.”
Mervyn’s eyes light up.
The loungeroom is empty,

except for a dazzling array of portraits
and a curtained section in the middle.
“How about you work on that library in your noggin,
while I banish the chlorine demon”
Mervyn waits until he can hear
needles of steaming hot water raining down.
“No peeking” Alicia’s disembodied voice warns,
as he creeps towards the curtains.
One of the picture frames contains a surveillance screen.
Apparently Alicia has pressed the wrong button.
Mervyn’s eyes are riveted to
the love heart of golden thatch,
above her waxed gorge.

Alicia steers an electric wardrobe into the room.
She’s dressed like a corporate executive.
Miles Davis’ most ethereal masterpiece,
drifts from the speakers.
A marathon strip tease ensues.
Eventually Alicia’s figure hugging pin striped suit,
is as abandoned as a burning building
and her black lace brassiere draped around Mervyn’s neck.
Her matching panties stay on,
as do the tassels concealing her towering nipples.
Mervyn had always been too busy watching documentaries,
and summarizing encyclopedias,
to go to a burlesque club.

After careful deliberation, he shuns rose embossed satin,
in favor of a wild cat print matching set
and a zebra pattern mini dress.
Alicia dresses as gracefully as any ballet dancer
ever pirouetted across a stage.

The curtained area is large enough to hide,
a love seat and large screen television,
or a queen sized water bed.
Alicia parts the curtains with tantalizing slowness.

Inside is an easel shrouded in black cloth.
A riot of variations,
of Alicia the Burlesque Goddess on canvas,

glide through Mervyn’s mind.
The way Alicia scissors through the shroud
conjures images of her hairdresser shutting up shop,
playfully pinning her to the ground,
sliding her skirt up her silky thighs
and pleasuring her as skilfully
as she trimmed her cascading golden hair.

The shroud’s tattered remains fall to the floor,
to reveal a portrait of a puppy, wearing an Oxford cap,
posing like Rodin’s thinker.
The inner frame swivels to reveal the wolf version.
“These paintings remind me of you.
I bought them from a strange lady,
who was sculpting conjoined werewolves in her garage.”

Alicia wraps her tiny arms around Mervyn
and kisses him, tamely at first.
His curious hands glide over her.
He circles her breasts,
as though 
touching them would produce an electric shock
powerful enough to launch him through the window.
Her wandering hands embolden him.
“Not like that Dewey, a kiss is a dance,
you’ve gotta listen to the same song to get it right.”
“I can’t hear any music”
“Never mind”
First they do things Mervyn hasn’t done before,
then they do things he didn’t know men did with women.
Once he’s managed to stop moaning in ecstasy,
a stunned Mervyn exclaims
“I didn’t know hominid species do that” 
The one thing Alicia doesn’t need to teach is staying power.

In the morning
they watch episodes of Quiz Maestro together.

“My daddy is the producer
and he’s always looking for new talent” Alicia hints.

Western Geisha

Evelyn’s eighteenth century marble cottage
adorns the last quarter acre block
in the latest city to emulate Manhattan.
The urge to launch this crème de la crème
of curvaceous gems
on to a four poster bed as elegant as she,
can be as overwhelming as an avalanche.

Evelyn possesses the power
to preoccupy her admirers with nobler passions.
It is said, her dazzling array of brush strokes
can capture your spirit on canvas,
that there’s something more exhilarating
about watching her paint
than witnessing the theatrical grandeur
of her forays into burlesque.

If you wish to see her graceful figure
unencumbered by layers of satin,
being a world renowned sculptor
is more advantageous than wealth.
If a corporate emperor,
with the artistic prowess
of a methamphetamine crazed jackal,
wishes to witness such a spectacle,
funding a children’s hospital for a generation
isn’t guaranteed to win the bidding.

Evelyn is glorified in birdsong.
Blue Tongues seek refuge in her hollows.
Banjo frogs frolic in her waterfall fed ponds.
I’m yet to buzz the intercom
and set foot inside her sanctuary.
The sound of her soul 
drifts into the park,
from a grand piano.


Once I’d confessed I was carnally obsessed,
I felt as anxious as a peacenik hypochondriac
forced to work in a germ warfare lab.

Unable to arrest my compulsive talking inclination,
I was thrashing around in a cauldron of trepidation.
Flashes of disdain in the windows to her huge brain
warned me not to dive inside her with words again!

She said, ‘enduring your hunger for me is too hard
Shrivel up and die like a slug in a salt avalanche,
weedy, weed bouquet bearing, bin banquet, bard.’

After I’d planted a soixante-neuf montage
in the delicate flower of Rihanna’s mind,
she wished her imagination had gone blind.

Her rolling eyes said, men in custom made suits,
worth more than your  monstrosity mobile,
are entitled to drink in this vision of paradise,
if their physique is as magnificent as their tailor
and their career lucrative enough
to indulge in their quad passions
of floating palaces and private islands,
floating islands and private palaces.


Placid Island

Glimmering wavelets dance in mangrove forest gloom.
Flotillas of stone carved, fire hollowed canoes
deftly steered between botanical snorkels.

Masters of clay and wood
pay homage to alien atmosphere floaters.
No submarine canyon creature looks odd now.
Wind chimes fly like reaper taunting acrobats.
Never ending greens snake through shrubbery.
Bowls mirror peninsula curves.

At the nineteenth hole, androids blend all,
from watermelon, guava and strawberry,
to pineapple and passionfruit with a hint of mint.
The musicians are carbon-based life forms, mostly.

Placid Island can’t coax Helena
into venturing beyond high-rise sanctuaries?
Book cases are her best friends.
Moonrise is her walking hour.
The spectre of muggers
frightens her less than the frantic cacophony,
of carefree children and day time traffic.

I’m told Helena’s uninterrupted stream of parcels,
stems from the quirkiest web cam shows
in the known universe.
Her long-term devotees know
she’s turned eighteen seven times now.

In the background,
Dragon Trees and Aloe Vera flourish
where the home cinema used to be.
Dwarf Azaleas fill the microwave void.

Helena’s rivals pretend to love inserting foreign objects,
for the benefit of strangers
with less imagination than plastic bags.
Helena plays muted drums in a panda suit.
Five star ratings accumulate like Autumn leaves.
Virtual bouquets undo hidden zippers.
Patrons glimpse nimble, elegant thighs,
hints of exquisite lace and angelic eyes.

When the money river turn to pools
the heart beat orchestra subsides.
Gentle spirits transfixed
by flower arranging and origami wizardry,
extol her virtues.

Ponytail Palms reach for Helena’s skylight.
Moss carpet decorates her toilet seat.
The shower curtains are fog drinking ivy.
Someone yearns for Mother Nature, with a twist.
Helena, tell me again how you effortlessly resist
the lure of Placid Island in the Autumn mist.

The Woman with the Flame Robin Tattoo


Masquerade belly dancers flowed across sprung maple,
as effortlessly as mermaids swaying through aquamarine.
Bethany’s shimmering waxed crown
merely altered the flavour of her beauty,
nothing could detract from her radiant gateways
to alternate universes.
She recited my paper aeroplane poem
‘It’s an honour just to see her move.
Oh how I long to taste the rising tide of her nectar,
to inspire an ecstatic lullaby
that escalates into a climactic scream’
‘How bold’, the raised eyebrows
of the translucent robed fantasy weaver proclaimed.

“Would you like to see our apartment,”
her voluptuous, cocoa complexioned, girlfriend offered,
unaware of the magnitude of my obsession.
Polyamory seemed poisonous then.



That winter I spotted Bethany on
Her pale jacket was perfectly camouflaged
by a snowy backdrop.
Wayward strands of her wavy dark hair
reminded me of an old world forest,
its Autumn splendour buried beneath ice and snow.
Her serene gaze summoned thoughts of a stone cottage,
in the depths of blizzard ravaged woods;
the harsh glow of electricity
never to illuminate its bronze age walls.

Then she was seated at a grand piano.
Her strapless, emerald, satin dress,
revealed a perfect rendering of a Flame Robin in flight.
I imagined her to be on the verge
of playing Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata.

In a flooded valley,
she snorkelled to within reach
of a mediaeval cathedral spire.
The final photograph was a silhouette
framed in Kirlian colour.
By the time I’d composed a message
her profile had vanished.



Montages of Bethany’s magnificent performances
dominated my thoughts,
as waves thundered into rocks
a thousand rungs below my recliner.
Before I spoke in sentences
a fisherman was swept from the ladder,
in front of my uncomprehending eyes.
With Bethany on a virtual stage before me
I couldn’t finish the first paragraph
of bank heist, ritual murder
and courthouse graffiti articles.
The cabaret theatre finally faded
as a story pondering the disappearance of poets
seized my attention.
According to The Daily Reflection they’d received death threats,
in handwritten calligraphy, on human skin.
The eliminator vowed to throw her rivals
into box jellyfish infested waters.
‘Belly dancing and spoken verse wunderkind Bethany Trellis’
was rumoured to be the latest abductee.

From my cliff top hideaway I scanned the surf,
with a powerful telescope,
in search of porpoises and dolphins.
On the tip of a sea ravaged headland,
a Flame Robin adorned woman gazed at the blazing horizon.
Remnants of a mighty wave concealed her.
Spray plummeted to Star Fish havens below.
She’d vanished!
Had the ocean claimed her
or had she departed from the storm whittled stage
as discreetly as a magician?
Was she was real,
or a radiant shard of a shattered mind?



I walked the winding cobblestone lane
from my cliff top village home
to the river mouth.
Trestle tables, laden with baskets of fruit,
lined the path to the shore.

In a vacant meadow,
the girl with the Flame Robin
emblazoned upon her shoulder blade
played a duet with the rising wind.
I waited for one of the villagers
to toss a coin into her barren instrument case,
to prove she was real.
“I feared you’d been abducted and murdered”
were the words imprisoned in my throat.

As I warned off a chihuaha stalking fox,
the enigmatic trobairitz vanished
as swiftly as that shifty canine.



The promotional posters, at Crystal Temple,
were the size of a swimming pool.
I would’ve recognized Bethany’s silhouette minus the aura.
The orchestral splendour of a grand piano
drifted down a spiral staircase,
washing over surreal landscapes
like surf caressing the beach.

The pianists tuxedo was as moulded
to her towering, curvaceous figure as her cocoa skin.
Exquisite lace, nestled beneath her regal ensemble,
was as pronounced as wrought iron wildflowers.
Ladies who’d thought themselves more immune
to the charms of womankind than a eunuch
found themselves in the thrall of her pan-romantic sorcery.
Her Goddess humbling form was upstaged
by the frantic ballet of her talented hands.

Ribbon twirling contortionists
accompanied the sultry musician’s miraculous voyages
into the possibilities of sound.

The most exquisitely proportioned Goddess of music ever deified
was overshadowed by the mystical aura of the host.
If she were an epic poem, the silky smooth thighs,
vanishing beneath her flared satin skirt
would’ve been the least meritorious detail.
It was easy to imagine her sleeveless, iridescent blouse
choreographing the opalescent lighting.

The raven haired, Flame Robin inked, compere
recited a poem from my anthology Phantom Pilgrimage.
Her melodic voice wrapped around the audience
like divine light.

It’s Time to soar beyond the Canopy

Every chrysalis has split asunder,
our wings cannot be overwhelmed
by the deluge following the thunder.’

Adorned by pendants of jade,
we dance in a Wattle glade,
admiring cherry grevilleas
and crimson bouganvilleas,
until the heat begins to fade.

Mauve dusk gives way to moonlight.
Awkwardness melts and passion rises,
expert hands spring intimate surprises.
Sensuous animals and souls embrace
as mouths caress and fingertips trace.
Hearts are healed with summit prizes.

We cross Poseidon Creek by lantern light.
I see word pictures of your soul in auburn eddies,
which I recite before the Sun God
reveals its blazing Cyclops eye.
Venturing back into graffiti defiled urban wild
fails to murder the magic.

At the culmination of that euphoric tale
I thought I saw the vividly hued Robin
inked on her shoulder blade,
fly above the crowd and vanish.
After the dimming and brightening of the lights
her back was a blank canvas no more.
An enigmatic smile graced her lush, blood red lips.
To this day I cannot say
if the flight of the plump, diminutive bird
was a hallucination, special effects or real.



After the show, Charlotte the piano wizard
sold memorabilia in the foyer.
I waited in vain for Bethany to appear.
The oil of her testing the narrative limits of a Spanish guitar,
was it there when I entered the auditorium?
The midnight haired beauty,
on the tip of a sundrenched headland,
hadn’t she been standing beneath a waterfall
before the show?
Her birth name is Bethany Trellis
but only the woman with The Flame Robin Tattoo
captures her layers of mystique.
She is the essence of Bubushka.
Since then I’ve been as close to her
and her piano virtuoso lover as their gourmet dessert,
but probing questions are met with no more
than a twinkling of her sapphire gaze.



Charlotte was banished
from the realm of the Flame Robin Princess,
after succumbing to the wiles of an actress
who steals lovers with the zeal Stephen Hawking
explores the mysteries of astrophysics.
While Bethany walked the streets,
lamenting the death of the relationship,
a tranquilizer dart missed her
by the width of a violin string.
The gossip mags devoted more ink to pondering
Charlotte’s wary eye bordered jellyfish tattoo.

The anniversary of my paper aeroplane poem
interrupting Bethany’s belly dancing troupe
was as momentous as the moon landing.
I found a copy of Phantom pilgrimage,
with lipstick all over the dust jacket,
hiding beneath free samples and pizza vouchers.
In the evening, a dusty wooden crate
mysteriously appeared on my veranda.

I waited to dawn to prise open the lid
and remove three ornately framed canvases:
a telescopic view of a statuesque figure,
on a sun drenched headland;
a close up of the sender
wearing nothing but an enigmatic smile
and a painted enlargement of a poem,
in my handwriting.

The opening verses read,
“Street lights surf wavelets across the bay.
Moonlit Casuarinas stand sentinel over fragile soil.
Flying foxes surf the midnight breeze.
This symphony of movement,
is conducted by the swaying of the belly dancer’s hips.
Her gestures sculpt the clouds into an alien menagerie.
In contrast, the intricate portrait in my coffee
is as unimpressive as a toddlers stick figure.
She steps with the lightness of hoverflies,
as I gaze into the galaxies of her eyes.

It’s an honour just to see her move,
oh how I long to taste the rising tide of her nectar,
to inspire an ecstatic lullaby
that escalates into a climactic scream.



I heard footsteps on the stairs.
Bethany had the audacity
to stroll through my house unannounced.
In her hand was a series of sketches
I’d bought from a street artist a decade ago.
Pairs of Scarlet, Flame and Pink Robins
looked set to soar from the page.
‘That was you’
she laughed at my stunned expression.

I removed a velvet box
from the bottom of the dusty wooden crate.
Inside were Bethany’s annual self-portraits,
ranging from a toddler’s smiley face
to Archibald Prize entries.

Her mind was elsewhere.
‘Poet, how versatile is your tongue’,
was among her questions.
By the time we collapsed into each other’s arms,
few fantasies remained unexplored.


Bethany selected her Saturday night outfit
from a suitcase the size of a coffin.
I watched in horror as calligraphy
in the style of the poetess death threats
protruded from the pocket
of her bouquet embroidered jeans.
She put on an exhibition
of ambidextrous mirror writing,
in more styles than the F.B.I’s forgery files.
‘Maybe the one in your handwriting is a suicide note’
she quipped, after setting it alight
and burying the charred remains in a pot plant.
“I copied the calligraphy of the poetess killer,
for a comp run by”
she insisted, as light heartedly as she’d
declared herself the better darts player.
“Let’s play Robin Hood,
I’ll tie you up at sword point
and give your stereo to the poor” Bethany pleaded,
as she played with my ornamental cross bow.
“Something wrong with my timing”
an impish grin spread across her angelic face.



There was a thunderous knock at the door.
Charlotte was as insistent as a wolf
starving a child from the safety of a tree.
Exasperated, we let her in.
Her eyes were wild with fury over unanswered calls.

Videos of missing poets, chained to each other,
inside a tunnel as anonymous as a composted corpse
arrived in Bethany’s inbox.
They thrashed about in a human eyeball
and box jellyfish infested tank.
“You’re next” a text bubble menaced.
Charlotte looked as unmoved as a snuff movie fan.
Her tattoo was beginning to look as ominous as a swastika.
Bethany trembled as she rang 000.
Charlotte snatched at her phone.
Holding her back was like wrestling Ronda Rousey.
Somehow I escaped with my shoulder sockets intact.
The videos were on YouTube,

A police car arrived.
Minutes into ‘protective custody’,
we were handcuffed,
herded into a warehouse at gunpoint
and confronted with a box jellyfish infested tank.
Lifeless bodies floated on the surface.
“You ignored my warning” Charlotte lamented,
as she pointed to her tattoo. 

The apparent victims were erotic android doubles.
Pseudo police officers fled the scene.
The abductees were found in a forest,
a mile from the scene of the prank,
looking as refreshed as meditation retreat residents.
Detectives suspected them of colluding
with the manufacturers of their sex toy lookalikes
but evidence remained as elusive as Bigfoot.





David Cook

Some rights reserved, you must acknowledge the author, provide a link to the license and indicate if changes were made. You must not use the material for commercial purposes or prevent others from doing anything the license permits.


The Wrath of Erskine Jay Magoo

I was shown a thing or ten about fondling and beyond
by Cassandra Sapphire Parella, a statuesque blonde,
with the sweetest chest morsels either side of the pond.

Then she married bondage guru, Erskine Jay Magoo,

that guy lived to discipline her with Bernard Bamboo
and give tips on technique while his disciples did too.

Cassandra still wanted my mushroom tipped rocket.

Her alleged free love hubby said he’d steal and hock it.

A text message mutilation threat is a prior confession,

but ‘jail’s Erskine’s free hotel and he loves aggression.’

I haven’t seen Cassandra since Erskine met her, it’s true,
but facts mean nothing if you’re a twit looking for a blue.

Rumours of Cassandra and Conor Mcgregor’s love child,

proved real danger renders Mister Magoo meek and mild.

* In Australian slang, a blue is a fight,


Rogerio Silva

Claudia, Sit Portrait, Graphite B3

Some rights are reserved, you must acknowledge the author, provide a link to the license and indicate if changes have been made. You must not use this work for commercial purposes or prevent others from doing anything the license permits. For further information use the link above.

The Virus

Resisting a second and third glance, at Melbourne artist Mariah Bordeaux, was akin to silently stepping in molten granite. Internationally renowned food critic Pierre Broderick, abandoned his scathing attack on the worst dessert of the century, to admire her. She was the most exquisite creature in his universe. That visual banquet strolled from the restaurant and his life, before he could half jokingly ask her to be his wife. Was she the artistic genius of his imagination, a malevolent dunce with less creative flair than a garage porn director, or somewhere in between?

That night, Pierre dined at a religious themed restaurant called The Fallen Angel. It’s statue of Yahweh’s pupils are disco balls. His beard is a haven for bats. The statue of Buddha is a Juke Box. The Fallen Angel is a mecca for sinners. All the coolest demons hang out there. Satan has been a regular since he bought the business from Dick Cheney in the nineties. These days the Prince of Darkness is a helicopter salesman, who says he shares Pierre’s love of bird watching, mountain climbing and knitting.  Pierre was certain Satan’s bright red skin and razor sharp horns weren’t an illusion. He shared his yearning for Mariah with the notorious soul collector, who promised to help. They arranged a future meeting.

Pierre’s clairvoyant confidante, Jeremiah Elijah the 2nd, a proud franchisee of Sutton’s Psychic Therapy, also drank at The Fallen Angel from time to time. He claimed that a smorgasbord of delicious luck awaited his gustatory adviser. Pierre probed for intel on Mariah Bordeaux.

“My spirit guide said something about that vivacious Goddess being imprisoned in an otherwise empty cage, for a month, without dropping a dress size” was all the self proclaimed sage had to say. No amount of money could prompt him to elaborate on this miscellaneous titbit. How did it qualify as useful information? It seemed to be nothing more than intriguing trivia.

“Wear odd socks, one golden, one midnight black, for good luck,” Elijah advised Pierre,
on the eve of Mariah Bordeaux’s debut exhibition. Her psychedelic self-portraits hung beside a series of paintings depicting a golden hornet’s invasion of a glow worms fortress. The slithering warriors, composed symphonies via the shifting patterns on their luminous skin. In the final painting of the series, the classical music loathing hornet retreats.

As Pierre sought Mariah’s autograph, she looked down her patrician nose at his off the rack clothes. Once she caught a glimpse of his odd socks he thought she’d call security.

“At last, the man with one golden sock and the other as dark as a forest night.
My psychic told me he’s the cunnilingus magician I seek.”

“Jeremiah, you sly dog,” Pierre texted.

“Ready to get on your knees Pierre?” Mariah purred.

“Sorry darling, I was hoping for someone
more compassionate than a branding iron,
closer to monogamy than a bonobo and less sacrilegious than a brothel in a cathedral.
Declaring yourself more enticing than Mary, Mother of God, in a mini skirt and crotchless panties, is the most chaste remark you’ve made all evening.”

“Whatever, you’ll soon be addicted to my depravity,
you down on your knees is as sure as gravity” Mariah crooned.

Pierre swaggered away like the ultimate alpha, but he felt like an alcoholic fleeing a bar.
Run, a diver surfacing from the ocean of his subconscious pleaded. The click of Mariah’s high heels was as hypnotic as tribal drums. She corralled Pierre in a storeroom and parted the teeth of his zipper with bewitching slowness.

In his disembodied state, Pierre heard someone squealing in delight. The journey into Mariah’s wild, hungry eyes reduced a burst water main humbling orgasm
to a mere footnote.

“It’s time for your diving lesson Pierre” Mariah breathed in his ear.

With every trace of tension gone, the marble storage room floor felt as good as a four poster bed resplendent in silk sheets. Mariah wandered off, the moment the waves of pleasure spreading from her epicentre to her extremeties abated. Pierre was too lost in bliss to complain.

After weeks of fasting, Pierre still felt as full as an anaconda that treats jaguars like jelly jeans. “Legend has it Mariah was imprisoned in a glass ball for a month, without food or drink, without dropping a single dress size.” Jeremiah Elijah, Pierre’s psychic adviser, once said, in the mock serious tone he’d mentioned the Lochness Monster gate crashing his pool party. Hunger pangs finally hit. There was only one food Pierre craved. Within minutes of pleasuring Mariah, he felt like he’d won the world pie eating championships. The former food critic was more puzzled than a Neolithic tribesman in a quantum computing lab. It felt forever since food had appealed to him. Apparently his passion for garlic and basil sprinkled barramundi, soaked in lemon juice, followed by homemade passionfruit and pineapple iced cream was gone forever. 

“Somehow your divine nectar is as nourishing as a feast for fifty, Mariah. How could this be” Pierre probed.

“Nutritionists and pathologists say my magic well contains fewer calories than diet cola.
It’s infested with DNA reprogramming viruses that render food as toxic as funnel web venom and the appetite for everything else as absent as Hitler’s conscience. Carriers of the virus convert air pollution into nutrients. The enzyme that enables them to do so needs to be replenished by my love tunnel tsunamis, on a regular basis. Too long without worshipping my honey pot and they’ll be more emaciated than an anorexic junkie.”

Pierre hadn’t needed Mariah to tell him that pure wilderness air made him hungry. He’d recently sold his investments property, to buy a helicopter from Satan, to travel to areas bathed in pristine wilderness air and return before the hunger pangs became too severe. It certainly hadn’t occurred to Pierre that it was pollutants, rather than Mariah’s orgasms, that were stimulating his body to manufacture all the carbs, proteins, vitamins and minerals he needed though. Once Mariah had grown bored with Pierre and banished him from her harem, she finally admitted there was a cure.

“The man who sells the cure is the same man who created the viruses. He used to work in a germ warfare lab. He’s quite the entrepreneur. He sells helicopters too”

“Is his name Satan by any chance?”

“No, I think it’s Sutton. He owns a chain of psychic healing sanctuaries too”

Jeremiah Elijah Junior, was a sly dog alright. He’d always said that he was well connected in the business world but it never occurred to Pierre that he was in Satan’s inner circle.

“How did you get the virus Mariah?”

There was a faraway, dreamy look in her eye, as she described the consequences of pleasuring Satan, with a lot of unnecessary detail. If Mariah could be believed, Satan’s erections were more spectacular than the Empire State Building, he had the staying power of a nuclear submarine and the rhythm of a professional dancer.

Pierre returned to The Fallen Angel. The helicopter salesman no longer had horns
or skin as bright red as Mariah’s stretch lace lingerie. He insisted his surname was Sutton, not Satan

“I heard you’ve been banished from Mariah’s harem, where are you going to replenish your stocks of the food replacement virus now?”

Satan, or Sutton as he calls himself these days, winked lasciviously,
as he poured a test tube of the virus into his  beer.

“I must return to my life as a food critic, how much for the cure?”

“Give me your soul and you can have all the cannisters of clean air you like, with the fruity fragrance of your choice, for a one of payment of only $20,000.
I can throw in a branch of Sutton’s Psychic Therapy, for 5% off, if you wish. How about a free meal, to replenish your strength afterwards.”

Pierre decided that flying his helicopter to the countryside, to bask in clean air until the virus was gone and then stumble to the nearest restaurant, before he collapsed and died, was preferable to emptying his bank account in exchange for a bottled version of the cure. He was overwhelmed with daydreams of future three Michelin star adventures. In the meantime, any pub that sold potato wedges, sweet chilli sauce and sour cream would do. His plans were thwarted by the mysterious disappearance of his helicopter engine. A phone call revealed that an anonymous thief was prepared to sell it back to him for precisely $20,000.

When Pierre finally spotted and confronted Jeremiah Elijah Junior, his former psychic adviser was all smiles.

“When someone as powerful as Satan, or whatever he calls himself these days, is involved it’s hardly worth the risk of openly sabotaging his plans. You can’t say I didn’t try to warn you though. Why would you a trust a woman who can eat nothing for a month for a month without losing weight?”

“You pathetic charlatan, how much money did you make out of this scam?”

“You don’t know what you’re talking about. Satan doesn’t offer bribes when he can get his way through intimidation. The father of lies is a scary guy.”

“Don’t lie to me” Pierre roared, as he shoved Jeremiah with all his might, sending him sprawling backwards into the African Boxthorn growing in the nearby garden. The tyre shredding spikes tore into his flesh.

Mariah Bordeaux’s timing was uncanny. She strolled around the corner carrying a box of boutique scar removal creams and disinfectants. Apparently the economic downturn had forced her to get a second job. Pierre caught a glimpse of her brain melting, black lace adorned cleavage, as she bent over to retrieve some product samples. Two of the buttons on her satin blouse popped open. Pierre was busy fantasizing about gently nibbling on Mariah’s colossal dark nipples, when it occurred to him that he’d never seen Satan and Mariah at the same time.



Biohazard, Halloween Signage by Bill Dickinson


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Steeplechase Donkey

Godfrey chose charity fundraising over welfare.
Now he was working for the privilege
of being labelled a parasite.
On his first day as navigator,
he wore a T-Shirt advertizing
his jazz and disco fusion quartet,
Steeplechase Donkey.

The leafy suburb of Eltoro Gardens loomed.
May the force be with you,
Godfrey encouraged old Jimmy Wallace
as he handed him his paper map.
Retirement was a luxury Jimmy couldn’t afford.

Godfrey paired sixteen year old Summer Winterton,
with former bouncer Kelvin the Keg Kensington,
just in case predators were lurking
behind the Elysian exterior of Eltoro Gardens.
Former archaeologist Zachary Stafford
looked as determined as an Everest Sherpa,
as he approached a series of palatial homes.

Godfrey’s opening hours
made his stint as a telemarketer,
for a toilet paper company, seem as fascinating
as astral travelling to distant galaxies.
His area encompassed the shrinking fibro share house
section of Eltoro gardens.
Underemployed teenage labourers
peppered him with empty beer cans.

Is that all the I.D you’ve got,
an elderly garden gnome collector enquired.
‘That’s not you’ he claimed
as he examined Godfrey’s licence and passport.
Godfrey eroded the cautious codger’s skepticism
with his birth certificate, tax returns,
bank statements and school reports,
until he begrudgingly dipped into a jar of five cent pieces.
Negotiations stalled
once he realized the pre-printed receipt
wouldn’t cover precisely forty five cents. 

Business improved among the mansions,
as mums arrived home
with computer game obsessed brats.
Godfrey approached an automatic gate,
as enthusiastically as an apartment block puppy
let loose on a farm.
he olive complexioned Goddess,
emerging from her Mercedes,
weighed down with shopping bags
had visited the supermarket
in a bikini.
Her little girl shut the gate on Godfrey twice.
There was no cash for calendars
or inspirational fridge magnets,
in Grace Senior’s handcrafted leather purse.

“No pilot focuses as intently on landing strips
as Grace Junior does on
Peppa Pig episodes.
Let’s go upstairs so I can apologize properly.
I see you’ve pitched a tent for me Godfrey.
Is there a dwarf living in your shorts?”

“They prefer to be called short statured people,
Mrs Elkington,” Godfrey chastised,
as he lashed her quivering derriere.
“Yes Sir Godfrey” Grace agreed between groans.
He swung her riding crop
to the rhythm of a Steeplechase Donkey Original,
Lochness Monster Rodeo,
before bending her over the balustrade.  

Mrs Elkington transferred ten thousand dollars
to Fundraising International,
as her conqueror sipped champagne from a crystal glass.
‘Say hello to Chad for me’ Mrs Elkington said,
as her mystified playmate departed.

“Get the fuck off my lawn you lowly peasant cunt”
Grace’s elegantly dressed next door neighbor
snarled in a north shore accent.
“You don’t wish to peruse the products on offer?
think of the dying children?”
“I’ll call the police”
“Splendid, they usually buy a calendar or two”
As Godfrey retreated from the aristocratic bogan’s
perfectly manicured lawn,
he casually ducked a bottle of chardonnay
worth more than his laptop.

Chad Randall, C.E.O of Fundraising International,
called Godfrey from his golf course
to offer Steeplechase Donkey a gig
at a fundraising picnic.

Mrs Elkington was front row and centre,
in a translucent white dress and lace lingerie
more colourful than a Rainbow Lorikeet.
She bought two boxes of Steeplechase Donkey’s latest album,
Surf the Tsunami.
Her record producer husband Bruce,
studied the lyrics of Salesman Casanova.

“How’s my favourite talent scout” Mr Elkington asked
as the corporate couple watched a video
of their latest signings finest performance.
Godfrey’s appearance on their radar
was like a gold centred meteorite
blasting a crater the size and shape
of their future swimming pool.
“Bruce darling, start practising your angry face,
this adulterous triumph will go viral.
The scandal will thrust Steeplechase Donkey’s
stratospheric sales into orbit.


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.