The Ballad of Bubble & Squeak – Michael Farrell

bubble pops up in the living
room: shes been asleep for about
a week. where is squeak? where
is the sandwich she keeps by
the cushion thats lit by the
lamp, that makes it all green
& glowing? theres a note on
the table that says quote that
squeaks not able to make dinner …
‘make it’ or ‘make it’? ambiguous
phrase. & bubbles unable to date
it anyway. & why are all
the windows battened? if shed seen
the news shed know its against
kangaroos. (she knows cements to keep
the rabbits in the bricks: everyone
knows that … ) bubble is jumping herself
awake & getting into her jumper.
wheres the honey? bubble needs a
spoonful of honey. meanwhile squeak is
out on the town – hes playing
football or running around; cutting a
rug & making a mug out
of every clown he runs into.
its summer. & a typically bloody
hot summer. its raining. bloody typically
sydney is raining. bubble is reaching
up on her toes, trying to
get away from the mould. but
its hopeless. mould is a rampaging
fungus. she regains heart as she
walks through the park, dreaming of
coffee & raisins: dark brown raisins.
all the lovers. the park is
littered with lovers; litter is parked
there by lovers. skipping so as
to avoid the syringes & condoms …
squeak has taken the car to
the beach, he fills his nostrils
with sand. squirting it all back
out in the surf, you can
tell he was brought up by
hand. all is salty: the man
& the car are all salty –
& rusting in the sunlight … bubble
is nibbling at some cheese, for
all the world like she is
at ease & not worried. nibbling
a cheese like shes a variety
of urban chipmunk or cafe ferret.
taking a pen from her holster …
soon she is deep in three
across, seven down … squeak tries phoning;
hes lacking in serotonin. he backs
a horse on the way home
of course. the nag was named
onion rings. squeak gets hungry for
other things … bubble is done, paid,
wondering whats become? down on king
street theres a party for wheat
& bubble gets caught up in
the fervour. squeak misses out, he
is under a cloud, conversing with
a fourleaf clover. party over;
problems of the world solved … is
it a trick or is that
a brick wall made with no
cement? rabbits emerging from the wall
causing it to collapse? squeak makes
tracks: all you need are wax
& tacks. its the arvo. squeak
pulls up at a servo &
listens to the car radio. it
plays the race, onion rings gets
a taste: squeak is rolling in
it. but its not really enough
to roll in. & his rubber
duck gets stolen while hes rolling …
holy f**k! bubble cant believe her
luck! she waltzes in to a
house like a pin & the
smell of roast beef cooking. sometimes
your life can turn into a
song, when you are not looking …
bubble starts wondering about the split
between pumpkin & the family of
the pump, stares at her fork
like its the stork thats bringing
them lots of children: one at
a time & each head like
a dime, whats on tv now,
whats on your mind? there is
a crash & bangers & mash
arrive in the living room sweet
as ‘sushi pie’. cards can be
played & debts can be paid –
debts of conviviality. bangers is already
dragging his feet; mashs are bare,
hes conversing with squeak. (he often
converses in bare feet.) playing word
games where they are the words
& scoring a pretext for conflict.
bangers starts hissing like a frypan
thats accountable to noone. mash is
draped over the couch, a streak
of butter on legs. couldnt they
find an angle to influence parliament?
bubble is trying to enact dada,
with the spell of a sewing
machine. dada will come when the
socalled is done, & someones cut
all the raven trees down. dark
brown ravens … mash has walked up
to the ceiling: hes stuck there.
& the house opens up, blossoms,
every wall a petal of timelapse:
no one room is the sky
room now. & teapot is calling
but teapot isnt human … though
is music as much as anyone.
& helps food groups get along.