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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Marlowe’s Last Case: A Film Noir Poem

May 18, 2014 at 7:55 pm (Detective story, Movies, Mystery, Poetry) (, , , , , , , , )

Marlowe’s Last Case: A Film Noir Poem

Hot night
cool breeze
a kiss by nature
wiping away the perspiration
the way other kisses
can wipe away tears
Marlowe smoked his last cigarette
looked at the blue purple and red of the sunset
as it set on Sunset Boulevard
The lights of the city shone
against the encroaching darkness
Neon flashed like a twinkling star
welcoming all to step in the dark
and be guided along by the neon signs
angels of the night showing the way
The way to what? Marlowe mused
Sin or redemption?
Maybe both.
Perhaps you can’t have one without the other.
In the shadows she approached
The outline of her figure highlighted
by the street lights
Mink coat
white blouse
Tight gray skirt
Spiked stilettos hitting the sidewalk pavement
like castanets on fingers of Spanish dancers
She stood in the open light
Her long dark hair as black
as the midnight sky of an Alaskan winter
There she was Marlowe thought
The ultimate femme fatale
Mr. Marlowe? Her voice whispered
like the call of dawn to a night that was far too long
I’m Marlowe, he answered blowing the last ring of smoke
from his last cigarette
Good-bye Mr. Marlowe, she pulled a gun out of her purse and shot him.
He didn’t have the strength to say good-bye
All those pellets of lead in his chest
seemed to restrict his speaking ability
to say nothing of his breathing
Oh well, he at least got one thing right
It was his last consolation
as his eyes fell into a darkness as black as her hair
She really was the ultimate femme fatale.

-A film noir poem
written by Christopher
Sunday May 18th
2014.

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