The Big Sleep

A snap-brim hat caught
in the bar-room mirror,
a trenchcoat Theseus is
lost in midnight labyrinths
and their fragrances of promise;
Our hero is pearl-diving
with wisecracks for switchblades,
cutting open evenings and cutting
open dames’ hearts like oysters.

Out on the sidewalk gatts boom
like battlefield Howitzers,their
hollowpoint shells looking for shortcuts,
a trenchcoat and tux soak up the
moisture after getting rained on
by two Forty-Fours.

The Packard 8 roars back
into the panther lair of the
night,sirens and crazy red ‘n’blue
fairground lights come to take
some cold meat back to
where only dreaming heroes sleep.

A struck match caught in the
gleaming ornate bar-room mirror
Our hero is playing the Shamus
with dames wreathed in fancy
smoke rings,they’re offering him
intricate labyrinths to be got into
and out of, with a smile,
just like Ariadne’s thread.

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