nothing new

Deija, the Martian Princess of Glass, was lounging on a chaise longue in her Dapto Castle. Her butler was nearby, drinking bluegas through a striped straw.

She sighed.

“There’s nothing new under the sun.
Is it worth invading the rest of this sorry planet?
It might all be like Dapto. This place
has infected me. I have a rash.”

The butler, a lizard man who was on a break
from buttling, explained.

“There’s nothing new under the sun
because it’s spherical.
It has no top or underside.”

Deija nodded.

“You’ve clarified nothing, but perhaps
you have a little wisdom to offer
about the terrestrials?”

“I am precisely where and exactly who
I don’t want to be, there’s no pardon
nor forgiveness, and I don’t know
what buttling is.”

“I’ve suspected that for a while.
And the terrestrials?”

“I’ve investigated them thoroughly.
I cling to suitable gum trees
while they have their picnics,
and occasionally steal a sandwich.
I’m fond of curried egg.

“I’ve discovered that they will not like you
if you’re unrelentingly critical
of their culinary choices, unless
you offer financial recompense,
and pose for photos.

“And while taking a little sun, I researched
the threadbare lawn at an M5 Motorway
intersection, where no human ever treads.

“I stared at that desolate forgotten place,
and imagined heat rays coming from my eyes,
burning through reality, like an iron
set to ‘linen,’ and left resting on synthetic fabric.
I want to know what lies beneath.”

“Can you do that, lizard man?”

“To date, I’ve not succeeded.”

“Then how do you know there’s more than this reality?”

“The bluegas has shown me
interdimensional realms,
mostly bluebag blue.”

Deija went to the window and gazed out
across the battlements, which were made
of ovenproof glass. The flashing sunlight
was mirrored in her chrome-blue eyes.

The lizard’s mysterious azure realms
intrigued her.

“Can Martians drink bluegas?”

“I’m afraid not. It’s hydrofluoric acid,
with a little copper sulphate for color and fizz.

“But I have an idea. You could invade
my home planet, Elizia.
You hang a right at Rigel 5,
and you can’t miss it.

“I’m not very fond of Elizia,
especially my neighbors.
You could send a small detachment
of the Royal Guard armed with death rays.
I’ll give you their addresses.”

Deija considered the lizard man’s proposal.

“Is it anything like Wollongong or Dapto?”

“Not in the slightest.”


View of the Articulate Project Space from the second floor. I’m participating in the Fracas Exhibition there with the photovoltaic photographer Paul Sutton (insta) until February 21.

11 thoughts on “nothing new

  1. An excellent return to Dapto, Steve. Picking the wrong setting on an iron can ruin a perfectly good shirt, come to think of it, I don’t own a perfectly good shirt. Hydrofluoric is one killer of an acid. Great stuff, Steve, thought provoking and a paean to the curried egg sandwich! JIM

    • Thank you, Jim, but I must add that an actual return to Dapto might not be so excellent. I’m joking of course, I love Dapto and Wollongong … mmm, maybe not “love.”

      Haha. I’ve found it’s straightforward to ruin clothes with an iron.

      Many years ago, I was sprayed in the chest with a fine jet of hot hydrofluoric acid. Fortunately it was winter, and I immediately stripped off my lab coat, jumper, and shirt, and threw water on my chest. I was fine. My clothes weren’t so lucky.

      Goannas are known for stealing picnic food, they’re not at all fussy, and they don’t take ‘no’ for an answer. I keep my curried egg sandwiches well away from them.

    • Glad you enjoyed. I’m partial to lizard people—they’ve been around for a long while in scifi—but I probably won’t have time to pursue this thread, although I’d like to.

  2. The lizard man is brave to confess that he doesn’t know what buttling is despite having been hired as a butler… or perhaps he has nothing to lose? I wonder if the bluegas he’s drinking, in addition to allowing him to see interdimensional realms, also is a sort of truth serum.

    • Yes, it must be the bluegas, it’s a broad-spectrum psychedelic for lizard people.

      I’m concerned that the Martian Princess has mellowed for unknown reasons. I’m pretty sure barbecued lizard would have been on the menu previously.

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