Baudelaire and Freud liked to get into the Silver Sands Tavern around six, before all the tickets for Crazy Tuesday Chase the Ace were gone and they missed out on winning the meat-pack. But the draw wasn’t until eight and five beers saw them propping up the bar in a bloated malaise, so that they couldn’t stand to look at each other anymore, as much as they couldn’t bear to talk another word. They turned, instead, to the inbuilt TAB. A giant, purple man in golden armour was betting on the greyhounds. With each dismal loss of a ten-dollar slip, he would mutter ‘You dare defy a Titan?’
‘I know this man,’ Freud exclaimed. ‘He is notorious.’
‘Notorious he is,’ Baudelaire gravely agreed. ‘His mother spits on the ground where he was born and his children crawl the earth in numb despite. He is a searcher and it is the searcher who never arrives at his destination. Always another gamble, always another Four X, always another mystic gem. I know him, for I am the very scion of his colossal loin and he has cursed me with poetry.’
The purple man went out to smoke by the broad windows over Henson Street. He tapped his pack of Long Beach Gold with a finger like a tree limb, blowing math-shaped symbols off towards the yelling, chemical dawn that was slipping along under the qualified promises of night. Freud added a spec more cocaine to his Swan Draught, shrugged, and said ‘Fuck, Charlie, do you actually mind? It’s been a long day.’
Alan Fyfe is a Jewish writer originally from Mandurah, the unceded country of the Binjareb People, whose verse and prose can be found in Westerly, Overland, Australian Poetry Journal, and Cottonmouth. He was an inaugural editor of UWA creative writing journal, Trove, and a prose editor for Unlikely Stories.
Alan is a winner of the Karl Popper Philosophy Award, was shortlisted for the Judith Wright Poetry Prize, was commended in the Tom Collins Poetry Prize, and has been selected as a WA Poets’ Inc Emerging Poet for 2022 / 23. His first novel, T (Transit Lounge, forthcoming 2022), received shortlistings for both the T.A.G Hungerford Prize (Australia) and the Chaffinch Press Aware Prize (Ireland).