Tag Archives: Homage to Film Noir

Sticks and Stones

They’d taken me to A&E around 4 a.m. Not a good time to get sent to the hospital, Saturday before dawn, the morning after the night before. Drunks, junkies, vagrants, the knifed, the shot, the battered, the bruised and confused.

They were waiting for me, waiting for me to die, but not on their shift. I could tell immediately. I’m intuitive that way. I could tell that they don’t fancy doing the paperwork that my dying on their shift would entail.

Their words hurt me alright, worse than any sticks or stones if you come right down to it. “ Chest pains!” some intern or other announced as he waved a clipboard at me in the cubicle, the cubicle with its curtain left agape for the morbidly curious.

What chest pains? My badly timed interjection to the dominant medical narrative caused a furious raising of the hospital staff’s eyebrows and an increase in their patronising tones.

Well excuse them but they have tests to run, degrees to measure,percentages to ascertain ; so my p.o.v. didn’t really count. Not in this cubicle, not in this medical facility’s A&E and sure as hell not at 4 in the forsaken morning with blood, vomit and worse decorating the environs of this most sacred of places.

First I had to be disempowered, brought under their stewardship,my critical reasoning was to be set aside ,so that I can be assigned ,consigned ,designed to fit in with their industrial logic.They were waiting for me, to consent to my own incarceration ,so that they could transform me into one of their votive offerings on one of their altars dedicated to their idols of weakness and incapacity.

If I could only feel strongly enough the urge to discharge myself ,and I went ahead and did just that. Then maybe their words would hurt me less than sticks and stones..But they’ll still be waiting for me,waiting for me…..

My Sweetheart ( A Valentine’s Day Noir )

“My sweetheart!”..that random thought arced across the empty horizon of his mind illuminating its darkest corners like the flashbulb of a papparazzi camera.


He saw you there, there in the magazine, there on stage. there on the screen.Pristine,immaculate ; in black in white and in full glossy color.

You filled his eyes,sparkled and dazzled them in black ,in white and in full glossy..


The  hire car had taxed his already somewhat meagre budget that he’d calculated would be sufficient to draw this adventure to a successful conclusion.But it was a necessary investment ,after all anything even moderately inferior in style and quality than this latest model Porsche sports would raise furtive eyebrows here on the Boulevard Saint Michel.

And raised furtive eyebrows might become inquisitive,inquisitive as to what some tawdry, budget conscious vehicle was even doing parked in this pristine,immaculate area.

Pristine,immaculate – his thoughts strayed – just like your form,your shape.Sweet..heart! a form,a shape so casually,lazily represented as if painted by Michaelangelo in an Age of beauty and mystery.

The mystery he would soon reveal as no mystery at all.The bouquets ,the chocolates,the cards,the jewellery, all delivered by high end corporate business couriers and now on this very special,this unique occasion, Valentine’s Day,no more intermediaries would be necessary..


He sees you now. Pristine. Immaculate. Leaving your fancy apartment here on the Boulevard Saint Michel,

You are alone,You are pristine,You are immaculate;

He reaches for the syringe.And steps out to meet you..”Sweetheart!”

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.

The Unreliable Narrator

He said he couldn’t remember all that much,

maybe he chose to forget a little,

a few minor details

nothing of importance,

a few fragments here

something else there;

who cares?

who knows?

who cares who knows?

his whereabouts during those vital hours,

her unaccounted for absence from work,

that break-in at her home and nothing taken,

the discovery of her car in an abandoned lot,

those unexplained scratch marks on his hands?

He said he couldn’t remember all that much;

in front of him a nurse

ushering the detective out of the room,

sat up alone now

with just a monitor beeping above his head

and spreading across his face,

a slow smile.

 

Femme Fatale

She spoke with an accent I couldn’t identify,

her voice was a voice that came from another time,

or maybe that was the dress she wore,

and that dark perfume and the choker of pearls

as if she’d stepped out of a forties Noir movie;

Whatever her age she didn’t belong

to this year or even this century,

seeing her was like finding something

that had been lost for centuries then

restored to its rightful place,

she reminded me of a painting I’d seen

in the hush of a museum near closing time

with the spent awe hanging in the

gallery’s air like old dust;

I leaned toward her,

her perfume wrapped me

like a velvet cloak,

I watched immobilised almost as if

she’d struck me with a curare-tipped dart,

She smiled that half smile,

she turned and left,

her hair swinging against her naked back

as she walked away.