Musée Mécanique

— Marjorie Manwaring

— Musée Mécanique is a mechanical-amusement-toy museum in San Francisco, featuring coin-operated “Laffing Sal,” a larger-than-life papier-mâché woman who laughs hysterically.

Laffing Sal’s arms jerk like marionette limbs.
Harmless! No shocks! A prize every time!
Turn handle to the right.
Are you the captain of your fate?

Harmless! No shocks! A prize every time!
The Mystic Ray tests love appeal.
Are you the captain of your fate?
Hold hand firmly down on plate.

The Mystic Ray tests love appeal.
Modern Vibra-Massage Chair relieves fatigue.
Hold hand firmly down on plate.
Ask the Mummy answers with a shriek.

Modern Vibra-Massage Chair relieves fatigue.
Insert coin, peer in.
Ask the Mummy answers with a shriek.
Reclining addicts heat their pipes in the miniature opium den.

Insert coin, peer in.
Watch a toothpick Ferris wheel spin and spin.
Reclining addicts heat their pipes in the miniature opium den.
Laffing Sal’s arms jerk like marionette limbs.


This poem was first published on failbetter.com.

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