The Cafe Irreal: International Imagination 

Issue Sixteen

Long November by Michael Farrell
Houses in Their Backs by Sean Ferrell
Warnings Accompanying Your Inflatable Universe by Justin Kahn
They Are Translucifying by Susan Lantz
Carolina in the Morning by M.E. McMullen
Broomsticks by Mari Ness
The Girl with Glass Skin & Combustion by Michael Obilade
At the Cafe by rovesciato
Cellular by Girija Tropp
Rose Red by Andrew Wille


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Long November
by Michael Farrell


The children's playground reminded me of my mood swings. I began to keep a diary. The main focus: who I voted for that day, and why.

13 November

As usual I read for a while before having breakfast. Then I voted as I digested. I voted for Andrew Hexter — I think about the fourteenth day running. He always has the best hair and transcends the concept of the "suit."

14 November

Slept poorly, read something "New Ageish." Couldn't eat all my breakfast (things are bad!), almost voted for Hexter out of habit, but I somehow couldn't stomach his perfection and progressiveness this morning so I clicked on Wupa IV for the Everybody Calm Party.

15 November

Back on track: Hexter. He said the most liberal thing on tv last night. His growing vote (according to a poll) is 80% women, 20% gay men.

16 November

Feeling sexy today, voted for Hexter. His party The Real Swingers are predicted to rule by March, possibly for four or five days.

17 November

Apparently in decades gone by if you wanted sex you could just go out and get it. Which means I'm voting for Larga Mostro, Extra Orgasmic Party. Tipped to rule last New Year's Eve but beaten yet again by The Powder Party.

18 November

For old time's sake I listen to Hexter's new single "Lovely Future." Nice, he won me. Pretty vague on what the future will be though. His vote's slipping. Voters (everyone over 35 must vote by law) generally aren't that big on music.

19 November

The Real Swingers have been renamed The Real featuring Andrew Hexter: a bit old school but it might work. The Lonely Pensioner Party still rule. Things are hotting up for summer. The Old Times Never Change Party the most likely newcomer. I voted for Hexter via his new "click my shirt off" icon.

20 November

Planetary unrest, I'm as susceptible as anyone. The Male Hand Is A Firm Hand Party sweep away all contenders. Arms-makers are the only artisans we have left and hold a sentimental place in the nation's heart. I vote accordingly.

21 November

General Yet-Yet for The Gun Is Father And Son Party threatens a coup if not elected today. Hexter brings back camouflage gear, I doubt if most people remember it! Sophisticated. I vote for Yet-Yet.

22 November

Earth Opposite Sex Day so I vote for Sisterhood Is Powerful Yet Undemanding Party (sperm donation optional).

23 November

Today I voted (late) for the Release Your Tears Party. I've suppressed mine so long, and all day. Their platform states they have no desire to rule: they just wish to acknowledge the despair that a state of permanent election engenders in many people. They hold regular crybaby sessions in parliament, which I'm sure cures a lot, and is especially helpful for the roughly 400 parties that lose.

24 November

Itchy lumps on my bum. The candidates were acting so petty and defensive on the election broadcast that I clicked on the credit card icon for the optional fine.

25 November

Some people in rags came to the door offering to vote for me for the next year, five years, lifetime for an escalating donation to their charity. Probably a front. The Metaphorical Party get my vote. They change their image every day. Yesterday a bull, today a moon. They give out shape changing pills: legal for a day.

27 November

It seems I'm Prime Minister. I'm the only one exempt from voting. I'm so relieved I forget about the only policy I care about, which is stopping the election rollercoaster. In my speech to parliament I can only think of Jesus' "love one another" thing. Then I play golf while people are killed for me. I move my ball to avoid messing the grass.

28 November

No one's more forgettable than an ex-prime minister, and there's a lot of us out there.




Michael Farrell has published a book of poetry and is researching improvisation, icons, and Australian culture at Deakin University in Melbourne.


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