Cherchez La Femme

June 21, 2018 at 9:52 pm (Detective story, Entertainment, Film, Mystery, Poetry, Romance, The Supernatural, Vampire novel) (, , , , , , , , , , )

Cherchez La Femme

It would take a long time for the sun to set on Sunset Boulevard tonight
Carson Cody Albion thought to himself
in the midst of cigarette smoke and haze of bourbon
in his Los Angeles private eye’s office
It being the Summer Solstice and all that

Long hours of daylight
The riff raff of the city wouldn’t have so many hours to steal, extort and murder
Bummer for them! Albion thought

Albion had been hired to find a woman
Cherchez la Femme
as the French would say

He’d been told that she only seemed to venture forth at night
by the man who had hired him
The man a Hollywood director intended to give la Femme a screen test

Yeah right!
That’s what they call it these days
Albion laughed to himself
The gumshoe had his office door open to try to keep things cool
Between the hallway fan and the office ceiling fan
Maybe a touch of the Norse frost giants
would help cool down the flames 🔥 of Hades
on this Midsummer Night in Los Angeles

Albion’s ice in his glass had melted
The penalty for drinking straight from the bottle
He reflected
Well he should go see the sun set on this solstice night
before he started hitting the night spots and lounges
where la Femme was said to hang out

Albion locked his office door and walked down the four flights of stairs to the office building lobby
He tipped his fedora to the cleaning lady and walked out into the night

The neon lights hadn’t started to shine yet
As he walked through his sector of the city
They wouldn’t really come on until after the sun had set
Maybe that’s why he preferred California winters to California summers
The temperatures were about the same
maybe slightly cooler by inches of degrees in the winter
but what was missing was the glow of neon at night
in the summer
Neon the blood that seemed to make this city feel alive

It pulsed like the beat of a drum 🥁
and summoned all to partake in the wildness of the night
It was there that this urban jungle became a jungle
The women danced and swayed like tropical 🌴 dancers
and the men sharpened their spears for the time it was necessary
to stab both friend and foe in the back

Albion saw the sun set
He whistled
and the nearest neon light
seemed to answer his call
flickering on like a woman stirring towards orgasm

Speaking of women, it was time to Cherchez la Femme
Several gin joints and several nightclubs later,
he found her
in a midnight blue evening dress

Her brunette hair
The touch of a foreign accent as she introduced her next song into the microphone
Romanian I believe the film director said it was
And when she sang, Albion thought that the moonlight had never serenaded the ocean 🌊 so beautifully
The City of Angels had been touched by an angel
Albion stubbed out his cigarette
and approached her
when she had finished singing her numbers

It was a Los Angeles night in the mid-1940s
Midsummer Night
and Orson Welles wanted him
Carson Cody Albion to locate a woman for a screen test

What Midsummer Night’s Dream did Mr. Welles have in mind,
Albion thought cynically to himself,
after all the man was married to Rita Hayworth?
Wasn’t the Love Goddess enough for him?

But enough of reflecting like Chandler’s Philip Marlowe,
Albion started heading in the woman’s direction
for he didn’t have all eternity to make a connection
La Femme flashed Albion a warm smile as she saw him approach
Her sharp incisors that hung from her top front teeth puzzled the private eye
What manner of woman is this? Albion thought
If Albion knew at the time he asked himself this question
he’d have realized that the woman did have all eternity.

-A private eye poem
written by Christopher
Thursday June 21st
2018

Dracul Van Helsing was in Romania.

He was trying to track down Dracula’s daughter the Countess Draculina on behalf of her father.

The Count since his Cadbury Rocher inspired vampiric resurrection had learned how to use the Internet.

He was trying to track down his daughter.

The only thing he managed to find on the World Wide Web was that his daughter had once done a screen test for Orson Welles back in the 1940s

Now Van Helsing had managed to track her to Romania her ancestral homeland.

He had heard that she had dyed her hair blonde.

He walked over to the window of his room in the old inn in which he was staying.

And watched the sun set on the Carpathian Mountains on this summer solstice evening.

He turned on the television to watch the news hoping to find out the weather.

And there he saw… Countess Draculina.

(Notice her vampiric incisors unless of course your eyes are focused elsewhere for some reason 😉)

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Jack O’ Hare In Film Noir: A Poem

September 4, 2017 at 7:15 pm (Comedy, Crime, Detective story, Entertainment, Humour, Mystery, Poetry, Radio) (, , , , )

Jack O’ Hare In Film Noir: A Poem

It was on the other side of San Francisco Chinatown
lived the man called Emmanuel Gold Brown
He got electrocuted when the radio fell into his bath one night
with the result he died listening to Inner Sanctum but not from fright
The water was still bubbling when police and ambulance arrived
causing the lieutenant to quip this place is hotter than a jazz jive

Electrocution was the cause of death ruled the city’s coroner
no surprise- unlike the plum in pie of little Jack Horner
The question was who threw the plugged radio into the tub
leading to murder most foul- aye, there’s the rub

Now Jack O’ Hare was a private eye in town
one who knew a verb was different from a noun
The other eyes in town didn’t have much of an education
so bad- they could have been Congressmen planning legislation

It just so happened one hot and sultry night
as a lonely carrot succumbed to Jack’s bite
that Jessica Rabbit came strolling through the door
wearing an outfit that sent most men dead to the floor

Jessica’s tight fitting dress caused Jack to hyperventilate
but that would not be the extent of this bunny rabbit’s fate
for Jessica knew who had slain Emmanuel Gold Brown
the dashing night club owner and man about town

How do you know? Jack asked in between munching on carrots
he wondered why the building next door was loaded with ferrets.
I was there in the bathroom at the time
answered Roger Rabbit’s wife who was dressed to the nine.

Jack choked on his bottle of Avocado 🥑 and Grapefruit mix
he didn’t drink bourbon like those eyes in the Sticks.
What were you doing in the bathroom when the man was taking a bath 🛀?
This remark caused Jessica Rabbit to laugh and laugh.

Said Jessica, We owe the IRS a lot in back taxes
far more than Lizzie Borden gave her parents whackses
Now Roger’s acting career doesn’t pay much when it comes to loading the dice 🎲
In fact it doesn’t even pay for a take out order of rice 🍚
So I, sighed Jessica, have to make a little money on the side
which often involves taking men for a ride

That means you’re an —–? Jack paused on his paws
“Escort is the word I prefer,” Jessica said, “The service called Ma’s.”
“I just thought Mrs. Barker made apple pie,”
Jack rubbed the carrot juice out of his eye.
“Oh, Mrs. Barker has plenty of pies galore
as well as all sorts of cats coming in and out the door.”
“It’s a real cat house then?”
Jack caught an egg from a hen.
The hen ran up the fire escape
It was how she kept in shape.

“You could very well say that,”
Jessica spoke setting the trap,
“Now come along with me
to the wharf by the sea
and you’ll meet Brown’s killer
for real- not like in a Thriller.”

“And why would I want to meet Brown’s killer?” Jack asked,
“I’d sooner meet the Ghost of Christmas Past.”
“Because I’m paying you to,”
Jessica adjusted her dress tight and blue.

“Paying me to meet a killer?”
It did sound like an opening line in a thriller.
Jessica showed Jack her diamond ring 💍
as the nightingale in the alley started to sing 🎶
“These carats could buy a lot of carrots,” Jessica suggested
as she lowered her dress top showing she was amply breasted.

“Indeed they could,” Jack rose to the occasion
He didn’t need any more persuasion
so Jack and Jessica headed to a wharf on the Bay in San Fran
A foggy night where people get lost just trying to find the can

Jack and Jess got out of the car in time before it headed off the dock
With the splash, Jack sighed, “There goes my favourite sock.”
He really should learn to drive with his shoes on
either that or stop walking bare feet where the salmon spawn.

“Good evening, Mr. O’ Hare,”
said a voice most sinister,
“I’ve been expecting you.”
“Have you seen a floating red sock pass through?”
Jack O’ Hare was anxious to know
before he felt the urge to go.

“I killed Emmanuel Gold Brown,” the man grinned
to deed he’d admit but wouldn’t confess he sinned
“And why did you do that?” Jack sounded like the BBC’s Detective Foyle
while he sat and waited for his tea to boil

“Why are you boiling tea on the dock?”
This man wondered if Jack’s private eye reputation was all a crock
“Because I’m thirsty,” replied Jack
pulling out biscuits for a snack,
“Your voice sounds very familiar.”
The bunny waved aside Jessica’s offer of a Pilsner.

“It should sound familiar,” the man frothed, “for I am the voice of The Shadow.”
A ship 🚢 sailed by carrying llamas for cargo.
“You don’t sound much like Orson Welles,”
Jack found on the pier a book of spells.

“Ever since Welles played that role, the public won’t accept another voice for the Shadow,”
into his handkerchief the man his nose did blow.
“Them’s the brakes,” Jack remarked as a car spun out of control off the dock
Jessica wondered if she should go home and change her frock.

“So,” Jack scratched his whiskers, “why did you kill Emmanuel Gold Brown?”
“Because,” the man said, “he wasn’t listening to me- Lamont Cranston wealthy young man about town.
He was listening to Inner Sanctum Mysteries told by Raymond your host.
For that mistake in radio programming, he’s now a ghost 👻.”

The man took out a gun and aimed it at Jack,
“I wanted to get my reputation back,
to kill the world’s greatest private eye like meat 🍖 on a rack
but whoever told me about you was smoking too much crack.”

“Smoking is bad for your health,”
said Jack whose advice was medical wealth.
The man clicked the gun, “I’ll shoot you like a dog in my pyjama,”
It was then he was run over by a fleeing llama.

The Shadow was buried the very next day
while Jack was hopping through farm fields and hay
Jack thought of the night before and of Jessica Rabbit, he really should have kissed her
He sighed, went home, put the radio on and listened to The Whistler.

-A Jack O’ Hare poem
written by Christopher
Monday September 4th
2017.

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Haiku About Philip Marlowe Private Eye On The Case

February 25, 2016 at 8:38 pm (Arts, Culture, Detective story, Entertainment, Film, Movies, Poetry) (, , , , , , )

Haiku About Philip Marlowe Private Eye On The Case

Street lights and shadows
click of femme fatale’s high heels
sidewalk of dark noir

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A Day In The Life As Seen By Philip Marlowe: A Poem

April 15, 2015 at 7:38 pm (Detective story, Entertainment, Humour, Literature, Movies, Poetry) (, , , , , , , )

A Day In The Life As Seen By Philip Marlowe: A Poem

They say if life hands you lemons
then make lemonade
However that philosophy only works if you’ve also got sugar and water on hand
Bourbon and honey doesn’t really make for a great substitute
especially if Mrs. Mullins’ cat from upstairs drinks deeply from the pitcher you left on the fire escape
as deeply as Pegasus drank from the Pierian Spring
A little learning is a dangerous thing
and so was Mrs. Mullins’ frying pan that she hurled at me after she discovered her cat Absalom doing the dance of the 7 Veils up on the apartment roof top
after imbibing my own particular take on the lemonade of life philosophy
As she cried “Alas Absalom” on the rooftop
I quickly hurried to the safety of the streets below
If the client won’t come to Marlowe
then Marlowe better go to the client
and I need to find one in a hurry
if I don’t wish to be crowned “Lord of All” (as that old hymn puts it) by Mrs.
Mullins’ frying pan .

So I hurry through these streets in my trench coat
people stare at me no doubt thinking I’m a would-be flasher
guess they’ve never seen a private eye before
I hurry to my office and hope a client shows up
But one doesn’t
Seven bottles of bourbon and one finally dead ceiling fan later
I decide to head home
and face the music
(a little known melody written by some obscure composer for Mrs. Mullins’ frying pan)
As I walk down the street, there’s some positive thinking guru standing on the corner handing out this free advice,
If life hands you lemons, then make lemonade.

I hit him where it hurts.

“Let’s see if life hands you a new pair of testicles” was my last parting shot
as I walked beneath the glittering neon light
and off into the sunset.

-A Philip Marlowe narrative poem
written by Christopher
Wednesday April 15th
2015.

Note: As I wrote this poem, I imagined the voice of Humphrey Bogart reciting it in my head.

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Swimming Pool In The Rain: A Poem

February 10, 2015 at 8:15 pm (Detective story, Humour, Mystery, Poetry) (, , , , , , , , )

Swimming Pool In The Rain: A Poem

Rainy night
neon lights reflect in puddles on the street
Sound of footsteps striking pavement
and drops of water fly up as shoes hit concrete
The private eye dashed along the street
headed for a mansion on Sunset Boulevard
a body was found in a swimming pool
and he had been called by the victim’s bartender to investigate
fearing the police might prove incompetent in investigating.
A body in a swimming pool at a Sunset Boulevard mansion-
might make for a nifty plot for a movie
the private eye thought as he lit a cigarette
Damn- he shouldn’t try smoking in the pouring rain
both match and cigarette were extinguished by the downpour
Nothing like having a wet cigarette in your mouth-
he coughed to the nearby street lamps who didn’t answer him.
He arrived at the mansion-
the press were there taking pictures of the body in the pool.
“Say cheese,” one photog wag quipped as he snapped a picture.
“Albion, what are you doing here?” A police captain asked the private eye as he downed 10 different pills of heart medication in a large glass in the pouring rain.
“The victim’s bartender Roncalli heard on the radio that the guy’s body had been found in the pool,” Albion answered, “and wanted to know how he died.”
“Why?” The police captain then started taking 10 different medication pills for his liver, “is he feeling guilty about not cutting him off? Figured that all those extra shots of bourbon was a case of drinking and swimming don’t mix?”
“Depends,” Albion answered, “did this guy usually swim fully dressed?”
“Well according to the staff,” the police captain took another large glass of water handed to him by his sargeant so he could down 10 different medication pills for his kidneys, “he usually swam in the nude.”
“I see,” Private Eye Albion lit another cigarette that was likewise extinguished by the pouring rain.
“He was apparently shot in the back according to eyewitnesses,” the police captain searched through his pockets for his multiple-layered bifocals, “and then fell into the pool after he was shot.”
“That would explain the red colour in the pool,” Albion looked down at the pool, “anyone see who fired the shot?”.
“No,” the police captain then took another large glass of water so he could down 10 different laxative pills for his bowels, “the shot was apparently fired from that open window there. No one saw who fired that shot.”
“The mystery deepens,” Albion looked towards the deep end of the pool.
“Mind if I use your bathroom?” The police captain asked the Estate’s butler as he ran towards the house.
“Not at all, sir,” the butler answered, “it’s on the fourth floor of the mansion.”
“Oh shit,” said the police captain who proceeded to do just that.

“So, he usually swam in the nude, then?” Albion asked the French maid.

“Yes, Monsieur,” the French maid smoothed her skirt and adjusted her black silk fishnet nylons, “he didn’t usually wear his clothes.”

“Or Madame’s clothes either,” the Mexican gardener added.

“What did you mean by that?” Albion asked.

It turned out to be an open and shut case, Albion thought as he put the violin back in the case when he had finished serenading the Estate staff with his interpretation of Franz Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 after solving the mystery.

Mr. Wayne it turned out was a cross-dresser and had borrowed Mrs. Wayne’s favourite dress the night before without asking or even telling her.

When Mrs. Wayne found the French mustard and hot chocolate stains on her dress this morning, she had shot her husband in the back as he was walking pool side.

And so Albion walked back to his office in the pouring rain.
What an awful fate for a male cross-dresser, Albion thought, to be found floating face down in men’s clothes in a swimming pool.
And the moral of the story was, Don’t take your wife’s clothes without asking.

-A private eye film noir poem
written by Christopher
Monday February 9th
2014.

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Strangers In Black and White: A Poem

January 21, 2015 at 8:51 pm (Commentary, Entertainment, Movies, Poetry) (, , , , , , )

Strangers In Black and White: A Poem

A dark night in black and white
strangers down at the dock by the waterfront
he a disgraced ex-boxer who threw a fight
She a club singer who lost her voice due to illness
She thinks of ending her life
He’s trying to find his
They meet
These strangers in the night
They connect
which actually few strangers do
Most strangers meet and pass
like ships in the night.
They go to his home
get jobs in the same restaurant
and slowly fall in love
But while hoping for a brighter future
both their pasts catch up with them.
The gangsters who own the cabaret
where once she sang
find her
and return the canary
to her cage
however gilded and glitzy it might be
it’s still a cage.
As for the boxer who thought his brother had left for a ranch in Brazil
it turns out he never made it to Brazil
And so dreams become nightmares
Hopes that once were beacons of light
become like flashing signs of neon
They light up
only to turn dark again.
And so they become once more
strangers in black and white
like the film on which their story is told
like their lives in which the darkness of the past
seeks to engulf the potential bright light of the future
in that never ending conflict that is the present.
Strangers in black and white
a lot like you and I
who allow colour to distract us
and not see the light against shadow
and the shadow against light
that dance all around us.

-A poem written by Christopher
Wednesday January 21st 2015
inspired by having watched the
1957 Japanese noir film
I Am Waiting
on Turner Classic Movies
a few nights before.

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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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