Michael F. Crane

Melbourne writer

Month: March, 2013

25th of March Four more postcard stories

Magician

To the man wearing a two foot high mo-hawk.

Not everyone likes living here at the End of the World. It can be an annoying place. The morbid poets writing about their despair all perform at comedy cafes. The teenagers who go to raves, take it literally and don’t dance, but instead talk incessantly about their lives to each other. The menu at the Diner at the End of the World doesn’t make sense. The fish tastes like chicken, the steaks like beetroot and broccoli tastes like sweet soufflé. Magic clubs are all the rage here as people attend them to forget their troubles. The magicians at the End of the World are all women and their assistants are usually clumsy men who are devastatingly good looking. The most popular magician is ‘Zelda the Sad.’ She doesn’t saw men in half, make rabbits appear out of hats, or dazzle the audience with sleight of hand. She wears her trademark red gown with the plunging neckline and stands in front of a microphone. She calls out to someone from the audience who has just experienced a tragedy or misfortune to join her on stage. She asks the person to tell the audience why they are feeling sad and by the end of their story, they always break down in tears. Zelda pauses for a few seconds and then whispers into the person’s ear something only they can hear. No one knows what she says but every time without fail, a sudden transformation takes s place and a grin as long as the Mississippi River appears on the person’s face and they leave the stage in great spirits. The audience always give Zelda
A standing ovation, because they know there are no tricks or allusions. The End of the World is a strange and annoying place but you could never say we are phonies.

From the millionaire
moonlighting as a janitor
painting on weekends.

Time

Dear super-model with the bucked-tooth lisp,

I am a history professor. Last night I had a strange dream. The government had invented a time machine, but there was a problem – it could not bring people back to the present: a one-way ticket to the past. The world was on the brink of World War Three and oblivion. The plan was to send me back to the Garden of Eden and to tell Adam and Eve of the horrors of the world so they could warn future generations. A few seconds later I appeared in Eden standing next to Eve. She was beautiful and perfectly formed, but Adam was a few feet away and hadn’t fully evolved. He was half ape, half man, and had not yet learned to speak. I took Eve aside and told her of humanities dark future. I told her of Jesus and the crucifixion, and of the murder and pillage in the centuries to follow. I told her of the reign of Mussolini and Hitler, and the destruction caused by the atom bomb. She listened carefully and a worried frown appeared on her brow. She looked so beautiful I asked her to be mine. Eve thought long and hard, and every second felt like eternity. Finally she looked up at me and told me she could not love me because I was from the future, and mixing our blood and history might cause problems with our children. She put her arm around my shoulder and said that she knew Adam was a bit dumb but she liked dark and silent men anyway. She told me we could still be friends; it wasn’t the end of the world. I felt and intense and unbearable longing.

Cordially yours,
the organ grinder
from hell.

Fairytale

Dear Goldilocks and the three muscle builders

I am the wicked witch, the most hated being at the End of the World, but lately I’ve grown tired of evil. You can only make so many poisoned apples. You get weary of eating children and turning princes into frogs. I want to get my long fingernails cut and painted and plastic surgery done to straighten my crooked nose. I arranged a meeting with Cinderella and Snow White to let them know of my decision to be nice. I sent them my book of spells to let them know it wasn’t a trap. The two beauties came to my castle and I thought they would be pleased but they were both angry. They told me that I was ruining everything. It seemed that me being wicked and ugly made them look good and admired in the land and they were afraid they would stop getting dates. They told me that there was a whole industry based on me and that I would put a lot of princes rescuing damsels in distress out of work. Also, because I was bad and always failing, a lot of witches decided to take the path of being good and the whole kingdom was getting their wishes granted and doing rather nicely. They pleaded with me not to change. For the first time in my life I felt wanted and I agreed to their wish and decided to wave my wand and give them a bag if gold. But I have never done good deeds and I did not have my book of spells and I accidentally turned Snow White and Cinderella into roast chickens. It was a bit of a shame but I was hungry and they tasted so sweet. It seems even when I am good, I end up being bad.

From Broomhilda
the good time gal
in a room filled with mirrors

Big

To the woman reading Tolstoy, to her seven year old daughter.

There was a pack of twenty large women who roamed the piano bars at the End of the World. They were scorned at by a lot of people but they were unashamed of their buxom figures, although slim girls were desired by most men. They would often respond that women with large figures would one day become fashionable. They were personification of the word ‘almost.’ They were almost fat. They were almost tall. They were almost ugly. They preferred the word, ‘gregarious.’ Most men avoided the pack of giant women but there was one man who admired them. He was the skinniest man at the End of the World. He was so thin the wind blew through his bones. It wasn’t that he had a fetish for fat women. He was tired of women obsessed with dieting and wearing skimpy clothes trying to look like young girls. As intimidating as the pack of giant women were, there was something natural about them and he liked the way they didn’t care what people thought. They weren’t girls. They were all women as far as he was concerned. The skinniest man at the End of the World approached the largest woman of the pack who had gathered at the piano bar at the End of the World. HE told her he thought they were all beautiful. She smiled at him and put her flabby arms around his thin body. The pack of Giant women all swarmed around him and he was never seen again. Some people at the End of the World believe he finally found true happiness.
From the dietician
dying of cancer
of the bowel.

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Two more postcards from the End of the World stories: March 14th

Bicycle

Dear Genghis Khan and his seven dwarves,

A friend of mine told me a story about her twin sister Mary, who was overweight. She went to see her family doctor. He told her she had to exercise more and gave her the address of a bicycle shop. He said it was important that she told the owner that the doctor had sent her. She was given a blue bicycle with wooden wheels. She decided she would ride it home and then lock it in the garage forever. But when she arrived home, she couldn’t get off the bicycle because her feet were stuck to the pedals. She rode through the afternoon and into the night. When she wanted to sleep she closed her eyes and the pedals worked on their own and the bicycle steered itself. Every morning at seven-thirty and every night at nine o’clock, no matter where she was, the same man would be waiting on the road side to hand her a special dietary food in a brown paper bag as she rode past. She rode non-stop for exactly one year until she came to a river. The pedals on the bicycle seized up. Mary got off and sat on the bank to rest, and she noticed her reflection in the clear water. She was slim and her hair had grown down her back. Someone sat down beside her. It was the man who had always given her food. He stroked her hair and old her she looked beautiful although he’d quite liked her the way she was before. A deep sound rumbled in her throat for a long time, almost like the sound of a cat purring.

Hooray for Hollywood,
from Sally, when I say goodbye
I only mean for ever.

Trolls

To the Somalian Princess, with the dread-lock extensions.

Shunned by civilisation, a family of trolls lived under the bridge at the End of the World. The troll’s wife carved up the roasted dog as her husband and the baby troll licked their lips. After the glorious feast, the wife cleaned the table while her husband carried their young son to the cot. His wife threw the scraps into he river. Her husband told a bedtime story to his son: ‘There was a young human who became governor of a large state. He was aware there was much crime so he made it his duty to uphold the death penalty. Whether they were innocent or guilty didn’t concern the governor and many men were executed. He soon became popular and was elected President. He knew that his people, the voters, liked strong leaders so he attacked a small poor nation and became a hero. He had many mistresses and though there were great scandals, his popularity soared. His people like their presidents to be virile. The economy began to weaken and the president knew that only a war could bring prosperity to his nation. He told his people that he was declaring war on the moon and the stock markets reacted favourably to such strong leadership. The president blew the moon out of the sky and there was much rejoicing, but the people forgot that the moon reflected the light from the sun and the nights became pitch black. No artificial light could restore the peace that existed when the moon was in the sky. The president was impeached and exiled to a tropical island with his three mistresses and wrote a best selling autobiography.’ The troll finished his story and his son said, ‘humans are so stupid daddy.’ ‘Not only are they stupid, they are ugly son. They aren’t beautiful like us trolls,’ His father kissed his son’s head and turned out the light.

From the denim clad stranger
patting a black poodle
that licks his hands.

First Postcard from the End of the World post. every week I will put up a new postcard story

Midgets

To the drunken girlfriend of a man who didn’t care.

The tallest man at the End of the World read the letter delivered to him by the three foot tall midget. The letter was sent to him by a group of midgets who claimed that a woman at the End of the World was shrinking them. They complained that she was more than six foot tall with long bond hair and when she kissed men they shrunk to the size of midgets. They asked the man if there was anything he could do to stop her shrinking all the men at the End of the World. He went to the Nightclub at the End of the World where the blond woman always frequented and saw her sitting at the bar. He showed her the letter and she scoffed at him. ‘Do you really think you have the power to stop me?’ she asked. ‘I don’t have any powers,’ he replied. ‘I just want to ask you to stop. I know most men are pricks who lie or rape women and who are never faithful but not all men are bad. There are some men out there whose only goal in life is to love and protect women. I believe there is someone out there whose only mission in life is to always make you happy. Please stop. You can’t blame all men for a few idiots. You are beautiful and sweet and deserve to meet someone who adores you.’ She smiled at him and kissed him and within a few seconds he found himself shrinking until he was five foot tall and then the shrinking stopped. ‘Why did you do that?’ he asked. ‘I don’t like my lovers to be taller than me,’ she said and then she took his hand and they walked out of the Nightclub to her house on the mountain overlooking the End of the World.

From the anorexic dance
attracted to men
with false promises.

Wednesday the 6th of March

Hello world,

 

Joke, How many pyscholigists does it take to change a lightbulb.

A. One but the light bulb has to want to change

Postcards from the End of the World

Michael Crane’s new book ‘Postcards from the End of the World,’ represents over 100 of Michel’s best poems and a selection
of his short and long fiction including 20 micro stories from his collection Postcards from the End of the World
which is an imaginary city above a waterfall where strange things happen like a woman kisses men
and they shrink, a bull that cannot die and many others.
book cover
‘Bleak, funny, moody, like a modern-day Chaplin, Michael Crane shows us the flickering frames of his and our lives
 in the pervasive dystopia of Melbourne. The tantalising emptiness of distant beauty, the impossible quest for the perfect poem,
 the slippages of social, economic and emotional access are subjects of these confessional and comedic songs.
Many are performance pieces and lyric-like, they wear their heart on their sleeve as they speak in the wry,
keening voice of a contemporary troubadour who sees from the outside the fears and foibles,
the desires and disappointments, especially of men, in a world which still sometimes
seems at the edge of the universe.’ – David Gilbey- Charles Sturt University.
More than 300 poems by Michael Crane have been published in literary journals and newspapers since in Australian, U.S. and Canada including the Best Australian Poems 2011.
He completed a diploma at the RMIT professional writing and editing course, organised Poetry Idol for the Melbourne Writers Festival 2007 -2011,
and is managing editor of the Paradise Anthology 2008- 2012. He has organised four tours with Les Murray since 2007 including in December 2012.
He performs musical poems with singer songwriter Trish Anderson of the acclaimed band Git and the Rock n Roll Poetry Band, The Scion Pirates.
Michael has also written an unpublished detective novel
Co Publisher Anthony Doig has been a regular performer at Poetry Idol held since 2009 and he is an experienced actor appearing in television commercials and recently appeared in the State Opera production of Salome.
Sponsored by
Arts Access
RMIT Links
Print Books
Hillside Grove