Jerome’s memory of the office Christmas party
was as vague as a tabloid horoscope,
yet he was sure his position
remained as unsinkable as an iceberg.
If he’d done anything as disastrous
as texting his penis modelling portfolio to the board
or slapping the gardener,
for neglecting the plastic plants,
he’d remember wouldn’t he?
He staggered to the letterbox,
to rummage through fast food vouchers
and get rich quick schemes
but failed to find anything more useful
than a bunker busting bomb
in an archaeologist’s arsenal.
Jerome made climbing the garden stairs
look as death defying as swimming across
an alligator infested lagoon,
before passing out in the lift.
He woke to discover he was made up like a geisha girl.
A temporary tattoo of Donald Trump
covered his left butt cheek.
Giggling could be heard in the distance.
He’d worn trousers into the lift hadn’t he?
His party hat, that he remembered;
the sparkly silver thong he didn’t.
Jerome made climbing into his bunk
look as challenging as visiting a Sequoia tree house.
The sun would’ve had better luck
turning a necropolis into a thriving metropolis,
than rousing him before evening.
The belief he’d slept for twenty six hours,
stunned him like a taser.
The Sorenson’s Surreal Art Gallery voucher,
beneath the door, inspired curiosity
like a helicopter hovering over a stone age tribe.
The remnants of Jerome’s hangover faded,
enroute to the station.
Judging by his shirt, strawberries grow on watermelons,
peaches on pineapples and grapes on coconuts,
and it’s all the fruit of singing avocado trees.
The solitary figure on platform four
was stranger than Jerome’s clothes.
His Dickensian suit
and cobra tipped, floral walking stick,
weren’t as odd
as his robotic dance between vending machines.
He chose a can of ice cold coconut milk,
poured it into his packet of pumpkin chips
and gazed at the over flow
as though it were as entrancing as Victoria Falls.
Saluting an Ibis,
as it salvaged half eaten chicken burgers,
from a broken bottle littered bench,
was an attempt to blend in.
“All stations to the city circle on platform two,
departing in one minute”
Jerome spun and boarded.
An old guy, in a Cannibal Carcass t-shirt,
listened to The Demonic Pixie’s Greatest Hits,
Desperate to escape this brain bleed inducing noise,
Jerome race walked four carriages.
Once every set of doors
were as shut as a jar of funnel webs,
he barely heard that demonic audio cancer.
His ears were ambushed by distant doof, doof,
as monotonous as life in solitary.
With the urgency of a man caught between
a flood of boiling mud and a river of lava,
he fled to the top deck.
Two phone Talia was half infomercial echo,
half gossip mag journo wannabe.
Pounding exclamation points
infested her ten words per second.
In a bid to block out her inane chit chat,
Jerome salvaged a tattoo magazine
from an abandoned brief case.
An almond-eyed beauty,
with a cherry blossom branch
protruding from her black satin briefs,
distracted him from the reappearance
of the nineteenth century relic,
with the cobra tipped floral walking stick.
His high-performance phone
had eighteen years battery life remaining.
“With a shirt like that
you must be on your way to Horace Hill Graffiti Labyrinth”
“I’m headed for Sorenson’s Surreal Art Gallery” Jerome insisted.
The dapper stranger found his denials more absurd
than a P.G.A legend staring blankly at a golf club.
“Horace Hill awaits you” he proclaimed,
before zoning out like an interstellar astral traveller.
Glare tentacles prodded his abnormally large eyes.
He turned away and stared at two phone Talia,
as though she were part of her seat.
Jerome and Talia both stepped off at the wrong station
to escape the strangest man on the planet.
At the bus stop,
a voluptuous Goddess’s, flowery summer dress
lapped against her shapely sandalled feet.
The breeze threatened to send her hem into orbit.
The floral satin Jerome may’ve glimpsed,
vanished like a Thylacine in the undergrowth.
Beyond thinking, he followed her on to the 458.
Her hips were so broad,
squashing against her was the only way
to avoid tripping old ladies in the aisle.
As she turned to read a street sign,
one of her snugly suspended breasts,
pressed against his arm.
The bus went from cheetah to snail pace in a nanosecond.
Burning rubber invaded their air-conditioned sanctuary.
“This is Horace Hill Graffiti Labyrinth darling,
with a shirt like that, it must be your stop.
Have you lost your irises” she teased.
The kiss she planted on Jerome’s begging lips
was affectionate, yet chaste.
“Come with me”
It was the closest she came to asking a question.
The radically eccentric fellow,
with the cobra headed floral walking stick,
manned the ticket booth.
How had he arrived so swiftly?
Could a man like that have doppelgangers?
Once inside Jerome lost all sense of scale and direction.
In the colloseum,
netballers moved as gracefully as ballet dancers.
Drums erupted from sub court speakers.
They were their own cheerleaders.
Their little skirts flared like parachutes
as they leapt, flipped and spun in unison.
From giantess shooters to petite centres,
Jerome savoured every glimpse of jungle camouflage silk,
“This direction” Jasmine prompted.
“Which way now,
through the hippy praying mantis’s eyeball,
or the beatnik koala’s pouch?”
“I don’t know”
Jasmine’s authoritarian stare said
“that’s not good enough”
“Um, um, the beatnik koala’s pouch.”
“Introducing Graham H Goalposts Smith,
the high priest of The Obscure Poets Club,
The Original, Mr Ultra Cool, Ice Cold,
The Terrestrial Scuba Diver,
a man who can put the floor of the Mariana Trench
under the microscope,
while break dancing on Chomolungma’s nose.
See how he strides to the stage like Hughes jaguar,
to enact a rap battle between Apollo and Seshat.”
To Jerome and Jasmine’s uneducated ears,
the ancient Greek and Egyptian Gods he channelled
spoke fast forward gobbledegook.
They left to explore spray art mazes.
Some works were as provocative
as children, orphaned by I.D.F bulldozers,
painting Swastikas on Zionist extremist memorials;
others were LSD on concrete,
hybrid storms plummeting to Atlantis.
Giraffe man was Jerome’s favourite.
His forked tongue was a rhythmic gymnasts ribbon,
a lasso and an anchored magic carpet,
depending on who was looking.
Jasmine preferred the gliding squirrel fish.
Its scales were cinemas for artistic plankton.
Tap dancers xylophones,
cut the remaining strands,
trapping Jerome and Jasmine in this universe.
During an aquarium submarine cruise,
to a mural maze,
Jasmine undressed with a graceful fluidity,
burlesque Goddesses merely dream of.
Why was a 20th century alarm clock
invading that temple of creativity?
Jerome sauntered to the letterbox on steady feet.
A Sorenson’s Surreal Art Gallery leaflet
Plummeted to the footpath.
“Must’ve seen it before I dreamed it,” he reasoned.
The fabulous weirdo,
with the cobra tipped, floral walking stick,
screeched around the corner
in a gold-plated Rolls Royce ute.
The most alluring netball squad/dance troupe in history,
lounged in the Jacuzzi tray.
In their jungle camouflage sports briefs and bras,
Falcons had stolen their fluttery little skirts
and paint tight shirts.
Jasmine walked a pack of huskies in the park.
‘You’re going the wrong way’ she screeched,
as he approached the most ostentatious motor vehicle ever built.
She didn’t protest as he strode to the hospital.
Diamonds toppled from low lying clouds, solidifying mid flight.
Jasmine caught them in her purple lace adorned cleavage.
It was a daunting wait.
A triage nurse finally arrived.
“Highly unusual question nurse, am I awake?
Did Socrates just ask me the definition of a dream?
Can you see a woman carrying ethereal diamonds
in her cleavage,
standing at the door with a pack of huskies?
Did someone spike my drinks with DMT?
Do DMT trips ever begin as slowly as windows flow
and last for aeons?”
“Regarding the bejeweled lady with the huskies,
not that I’m aware of sir.
Haven’t seen or heard Socrates either.
I need to get some details from you.
Medicare card please.
A doctor will be with you ASAP.”
“Youuu, you’re behind this”
Jerome accused a clown,
who kept four ping pong balls in the air
with his cobra headed, floral walking stick.
“Where did you park your gold plated Rolls Royce ute?”
“We’ve met have we”
the clown replied,
while continuing his performance
for children with leukaemia,
on their way to The Enchanted Garden.
“What’s real, what does real mean”
Jerome bellowed at bubbler water,
as though he might receive an answer.