In The Heat of The Night: A Poem

July 15, 2014 at 7:28 pm (Detective story, Poetry) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

In The Heat of The Night: A Poem

Memories of Raymond Chandler’s Philip Marlowe stories come flooding through my mind
as floods of perspiration fall from my forehead
As a kid I was enthralled reading of Marlowe’s exploits on those hot humid Los Angeles nights
when the City came to a halt in the all encompassing heat
and the only thing that moved were criminals up to no good
and Marlowe who set out to stop them.
The alluring femme fatale standing in the doorway of Marlowe’s office
as the fan worked overtime to keep Marlowe cool
from the heat being generated from the humidity outside
and the heat being generated from the woman in the doorway.
A sip of bourbon
the cool taste of a menthol cigarette brushing the lips
such handy implements meant to lower the temperature.
Such were the stories I read of Marlowe in the Los Angeles of the 1930s and ’40s.
The California West Coast sweltering in unbearable heat.
As the British Columbia West Coast swelters in unbearable heat
and Vancouver cooks like a hot pot unattended on the stove
I perspire and seek the coolness of a lounge with first-rate air conditioning
and think of that metropolis far to the south
where Marlowe once walked the streets.
And then I think “but Marlowe wasn’t a real person”.
It says a lot about Chandler, his words and his writing
that his creation casts a long shadow
and seems to take the form of a real ghost
on those hot summer nights when the mercury soars upward like a rocket
and the perspiration falls like a waterfall
when the fan on the ceiling becomes a knight in shining armour
and damsels in distress flock to the office
where the bottle of bourbon is on the desk
and the cigarette smoke rises
to catch the reflection of the shining neon light outside.

-A poem written
by Christopher
Tuesday July 15th
2014.

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