Tag Archives: Poetry Noir

The Stranger’s Absence

I recall him saying,

” of all the possible possibilities isn’t it possible

that there being no possibilities is amongst them? “

To which I countered,

” We cling obsessively to those pieces of a jigsaw

we’ve somehow come to accumulate by chance,

accident or ulterior design, only for those pieces

never to fall into place or even bear any resemblance

to a discernible outline or pattern or a promise of coherence. “

I contemplate the solitary glass of absinthe

that sits forever stationary on a marble top table,

un-paid for and un-drunk until The Stranger returns,

and quaffs it savouring the liquid’s unique indifference

as it surges down his gullet;

We are only led to imagine such things

because we imagine that the Stranger,

long since absconded into the obscurity of the world-at-large

might somehow re-appear unannounced as if by chance,

fate or ulterior design,

And then we might recommence the desultory dialogue,

the Stranger and me

that dialogue which he chose peremptorily to abandon

with his trademark flaneur disquieting insouciance;

and so I sit and toy with the pieces of jigsaw

left me as a memento or perhaps not,

some pieces are clearly missing and

the glass of absinthe requires that I pay for it.

……………………………………………………………………..

Author’s footnote:

My previous poems featuring “The Stranger” are

The Stranger,One Last time ( 23/4/2019 )

A Stranger Returns (23/4/2018 )

Encounter with a Stranger ( 3/10/2017 )

With Good Intentions

Tears welled in his eyes,
his breast filled with relief,
another young life saved;
his surgical skills
again exonerated,
despite the excruciating cramp
around his fingers and
stiffness in his joints;
Master Surgeon still after
all these very long years,
shuffling down the corridor
eyes wearied by concentration,
flickering billowing gaslight
making it seem darker still;
He had saved a very precious
young life, that knowledge lit
his footsteps the way out,
out into the daylight;
A great doctor who had
fretted and performed
near surgical miracles,
now face to face
with the anxious mother,
“ Is He..? ”
“ He is fine,there are no complications ”
“ when he fell ill,I thought he might die ”
“ no worries now,I’m sure your son will
enjoy a long and happy life ”
“ Thank you Herr Doktor ”
“ Good day, Frau Hitler,”

The Stranger, one last time.

There he sat,

in the place where he sat

the last time that we spoke

all those years ago;

And there he sat

as if he’d never left

and the years hadn’t passed us by;

” I’m still waiting for my absinthe that I’ve ordered ” ,

he ventured apropos of nothing,

his deprecating smile lingered

as he brushed some imaginary

cigar ash off the table;

A faint susurration arose

from a Greek Chorus somewhere

in the background of this

mise – en – scene ;

” Years in a desert of empty days,

years in a white nothingness,

Time itself marooned in

a white swirling fog “.

” Waiting..” the Stranger began,

my curiousity piqued,he continued,

” is the worst part of waiting “.

I concurred,which seemed

to set him at his ease,

though he glanced obsessively

at his pocket watch;

” Time flies and having flown

runs out of fuel and crashes

amidst the contretemps and vicissitudes

of our world “.

He once more glanced around for signs

of a waiter with the absinthe which he’d

ordered such a long.long time ago;

but no-one was forthcoming and

overcome by ineluctable disappointment

he rose and bidding me adieu

swept with customary insouciance

from the cafe into the busy boulevard;

as I turned my gaze from the departing stranger,

I saw the waiter arrive with a tray

bearing a singular glass..

**********************

Author’s Footnote:

The reader might care to also read ” A Stranger Returns ” -April 23 2018

and ” Encounter with a Stranger ” -October 3 2017 .

Hotel Nacional

The Hotel Nacional,
glamorous epitome of the Jazz Age
now a faded dowager in
her declining years;
riddled with labyrinthine corridors
arteries where no lifeblood flows;
Room 4-2-6 where Dexter Stevenson
a contemporary of John Steinbeck’s
who disputed the authorship of “Cannery Row”
claiming a similar manuscript and title
lodged in Paris in ’39,now long ago;
Room 3-1-5 where Steinhoffer,
distinguished doctor of medicine
originally from Klagenfurt
glowers in exile and
cannot return home due to
some administrative requirement
that he be detained and questioned
about his work at Dachau in 1944;
Elsewhere,black and white
portraitures annotate mildewed walls
fading to a natural sepia,
there the one with Cary Grant
and Marlene Dietrich
on their way to Rio,
or was it Havana?
and there,sailor-hatted,bare chested
the great Hemingway himself,
though he never deigned
to shake Dexter Stevenson’s hand;
And in the rundown lobby,
a receptionist stares into space.

Heckler & Koch

It’s gonna be a Heckler & Koch morning,

but i don’t know that yet as I get up at 4.30 a.m.

to use the toilet;

The hall light’s on and I notice the front door’s open,

wide open but I need the toilet first;

Minutes later appropriately attired I almost somnambulate

toward the wide open front door and the faces –

flecks of colour- in black black black camouflage;

It’s a Heckler & Koch morning alright,

Their voices instruct me to come out,

there they are strapped onto body armour,

their Heckler & Kochs:

who am I, who lives there,how many flats ?

I make it casual even conversational given the situation,

getting up and ready for work,

they say I should get back to my flat,

I do;

Time doesn’t flow,not much really,

I’m getting my breakfast ready,

they knock diplomatically on my flat door;

I cajole one of them to come in –

the rest of the squad is jackbooting

up to the other flats and I’m chatting and

giving what useful info I can ;

The scenario continues for about half an hour,

I hear them smashing the door to the empty flat next to mine:

It’s a Heckler & Koch morning in downtown Wakefield,

and I’ve had my breakfast and I depart for

my Heckler & Koch day at my Heckler & Koch job ,

the main entrance door to these 5 pokey apartments –

pied-a-terres-but without any metropolitan pretensions-

remains wide open until I close it respectfully behind me

and step out into the Heckler & Koch morning.

 

Author’s Footnote:

At around 4.30 a.m. Monday 26 November a heavily armed Police SWAT unit showed up at the address where I live; it turned out they had the wrong address.

 

A & E

Accident & Emergency

They’re waiting for you ,
they’re waiting for you to die ,
but not on their shift ;
They don’t fancy doing the paperwork
that you dying on their shift entails ;
They have tests to run ,
degrees to measure ,
percentages to ascertain ;
First you must be disempowered ,
brought under their stewardship ,
critical reasoning has to be set aside ,
so that you can be
assigned ,consigned ,designed
to fit in with their industrial logic ;
They’re waiting for you ,
to consent to your incarceration ,
so that they can transform you
into one of their votive offerings ,
on one of their altars dedicated
to their idols of weakness and incapacity ;
Should you feel strongly enough
the urge to discharge yourself ,
and you go ahead and do just that ,
They’ll still be waiting for you ,
waiting for you…..

Stalker

He saw you there,

there in the magazine

there on stage

there on the screen;

pristine,immaculate

in black

in white,

you filled his eyes

sparkled and dazzled them;

Pristine,immaculate

your form,

your shape

so casually,lazily

represented as if

painted by Michaelangelo

in an Age of beauty and mystery;

Pristine,

immaculate

he sees you now

leaving your fancy apartment

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..

Mystery Road Trip

Light and dark and

light and dark and then..

The long road into the nowhere

of a faraway never-seen;

Wind and rain and

wind and rain and then,

rain again,

washing the colours from

fading yester-me yester-you

yesterdays’ messages never sent,

telephones never answered,

doors that remain shut

at this and all hours,

no-one stirs inside the

Light and dark and

light and dark and then..

Night Listener

Listening to faltering surreal broadcasts

serenading another Summer equinox,

the composition’s title eludes him,

Miles;haunting contemplative succinct

flags down thoughts mimicking melancholy,

Gil Goggins’ circumspect piano

embedded in the spent day’s residue

receding like the listener’s reverie

broken by random sniper-shots of glass,

endemic tension flowing,

burst-veined onto midnight alleys

of this midnight City,

frantic frazzled red ‘n’ blue

taking some more cold meat

away to the coroner’s slab,

away from midnight streets

haunted by ” Yesterdays”,

that title hunted down and

captured by a desire to

have words for that spell

cast on a night long ago

in a faraway City where

another night-listener

heard the night

with its surreal,faltering..

Notes on an Approaching Oblivion

Outside
the snow drifted
like bad memories
across the gunmetal sky;
Someone called his name
as if through a mile long tunnel;

The spoon
the lighter
the pack of 5-millilitre syringes;
He shook the powder into the spoon,
mixed it with water;
a third of a bag,
a tenth of a gram,tops.

His body remembered what was coming,
Time would stop at last,
expanding horizontally instead
the emptiness would fill with..

He aimed the needle at his arm
at a 20-degree angle towards the heart,
always towards the heart,
the correct angle;

The blood was dark red;
it flowed into the syringe,
he pulled off the tourniquet
and injected;

The rush hit him like a..
his pulse disappeared
the world went black;

Someone called his name
as if through a mile long tunnel;
Outside
the snow drifted..