Carson Cody Albion En Route To The Los Angeles Civic Grand Opera

October 7, 2020 at 11:00 pm (Arts, Entertainment, Film, Short Story) (, , , , , )

The year was 1948.

And Los Angeles Private Eye Carson Cody Albion had earned himself two tickets to the Los Angeles Civic Grand Opera.

The newly formed company would be mounting its first production – a performance of Verdi’s Rigoletto in a church hall in Beverly Hills.

The two tickets Albion had received were payment for a case in which Albion had tracked down a valuable stolen piece of furniture made by Hollywood furniture maker Francesco Pace.

Pace was the man who started the company and was its first director.

Albion accepted the tickets because he realized Pace was putting all his money into getting the opera company up and running.

It was fortunate for Pace that Albion was an opera lover.

Albion asked an up-and-coming young Hollywood actress Eva Roman if she would be his date for the evening.

Eva agreed.

They went for drinks before the opera at The Tropical Nights Lounge in Beverley Hills .

Actor Orson Welles came strolling through the door and strolled up to the couple.

“Carson, Eva,” Welles asked, “How are you doing?”.

“We’re off to see Verdi’s Rigoletto being performed by the new Los Angeles Civic Grand Opera Company,” Eva answered.

“Well,” Welles smiled, “Do beware of licentious Dukes of Mantua and hunch-backed court jesters when you’re attending the performance.”

“Will do,” Albion sipped his bourbon, “How about court jester’s daughters named Gilda?”.

Welles winced.

“I’m sorry, Orson,” Albion apologized, “I forgot Rita’s most popular performance was as Gilda.”

The Rita to whom Albion was referring was Rita Hayworth who was Orson’s ex-wife whom Welles had recently divorced.

Rita Hayworth had played Gilda in the 1946 film titled Gilda.

Gilda was also the name of the court jester’s daughter who gave up her life to save the Duke of Mantua (whom she loved) when she protected him from the assassin that her father Rigoletto had hired to kill him.

“It’s all right, Carson,” Welles took his usual glass of red wine from the Tropical Nights bartender, “I was an ass for spending more time in my thoughts and ideas for new movies than I was in giving my wife the attention she deserved. It was as my barber once said to me, genius can have its draw backs.”

Welles took his glass of wine and went and sat in a booth by himself.

“You know,” the bartender wiped the bar, “There but for the grace of God goes God.”

Albion did not smile or laugh.

It was a remark often said in Hollywood about Welles.

“The path of genius can be lonely at times,” Eva remarked.

“It can, indeed,” Albion looked over at Welles.

Albion looked at his watch as Eva put her stole over her shoulders.

The pair headed out to the performance of Rigoletto.

Welles continued to sit in the booth alone with his thoughts.

The bartender made a Shanghai Sling for a customer.

Welles watching could not help notice the irony of the drink being made.

“The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,” Welles thought.

He finished his wine, left his money on the table and left.

He walked past a movie theatre showing a poster of the film he and his ex-wife Rita had made together before their divorce The Lady From Shanghai.

The theatre ticket cashier looked at Welles as he walked by.

She thought to herself what others had thought, “There but for the grace of God goes God.”

-A short story written by Christopher
Wednesday October 7th 2020.

Permalink 13 Comments

Carson Albion Private Eye Walks The Boulevard of Memories: A Poem

May 11, 2018 at 10:59 pm (Detective story, Film, Literature, Poetry) (, , , , )

Carson Albion Private Eye Walks The Boulevard of Memories: A Poem

Carson Albion Private Eye sat in his office with the sideway blinds of his window slightly open
to let in the evening twilight
He loved the evening twilight
just as he loved neon lights
His office window gave him a view of the neon lights of downtown

How beautiful they looked in the evening twilight
They looked even more beautiful in the snow and the rain
One of the few creations of man that did look more beautiful in the snow and the rain

When it snowed or rained
while strolling the city streets
he looked up at the signs of neon advertising the gods Coca-Cola and Miller Beer
and then he looked down at the sidewalk gutters for signs of rhinestone cowboys
but they must have already been washed down to the sewers
dwelling place of nightmares, monsters and vermin
and assassins of character who work for the last Trump
and wait for John McCain to die.

The ceiling fans in his office blew cold air down on his head
offering relief from the heat of the night
The bottle of bourbon stood open on his desk
offering relief from those memories too painful to bear

She… she… her…
He never told her that he loved her
but that was because she was his best friend
How would she react to the news that he wanted to take their relationship up another level
what if she didn’t feel the same way about him?
Then he’d have lost his best friend.

Because such are the ways of male-female friendship
that if one of them loves the other too much
in a way above and beyond what they had previously understood
There’s no going back

It was like what Dermot Mulroney’s character said to Julia Roberts’ character in the film
My Best Friend’s Wedding
when Julia announces she wants the romance over
Dermot weeps, “I’m losing my best friend.”

Somehow though they manage to hold on to the friendship
in the film that is
but that’s Hollywood
and we all know how much Hollywood echoes real life
For real life is not a fairy tale
and they only award Oscars
for dramatic performances
not for actually surviving day to day.

Albion saw the reflection of himself in his glass
Was a reflection still a Selfie by any other name?
and just what was it the liquid showed?
True colours or a distortion of reality?

The liquid went down his throat
well posting on Facebook or Instagram never tasted this good.
He lowered his hat
loosened his tie
opened his shirt
closed his eyes
and let his mind wander
down that lost boulevard of memories.

-A poem written by Christopher
Friday May 11th 2018.

Permalink 18 Comments

Wilkie The Cat: The Big Chill: A Private Eye Poem

August 2, 2016 at 12:03 pm (Detective story, Entertainment, Humour, Poetry) (, , , , , )

It had been a hot and humid night
Wilkie’s fur was feeling tight
stuck together like glue
not even a cat brush could get through
Wilkie’s fan was working overtime
while Wilkie drank water mixed with lime

The private eye office door opened then
frightening the office hen
who promptly laid an egg
that rolled under Wilkie’s leg

It was Mitzi standing there
looking better than a Tic Tac square
Wilkie thought in unromantic fashion
after all the she-cat was positively smashin’

How can I help you? Wilkie did ask.
I need a private eye, Mitzi winked, are you up to the task?

Wilkie banged the desk to signify yes
and the squashed egg made quite the mess
but in spite of the yolk
it was no joke.

Mitzi’s catnip had gone astray
it just upped and walked away

So Wilkie followed the catnip trail
one that made magic mushrooms pale
Through the Looking Glass, Wilkie went
and caused in Mad Hatter’s hat a dent
The Cheshire Cat’s smile was all that was there
when Queen of Hearts’ head hung in the square

Wilkie awoke with a start
saying be still, my rapid heart
His private eye fantasy all but a dream
He looked out his window and saw the catnip gleam

Wilkie thought to himself, Hm. I wonder?
Yes, what cat and nip have joined together, let not dreams put asunder.

-A poem written by Christopher
Saturday July 30th 2016.

Permalink 36 Comments

A Private Eye’s Late Autumn Evening

November 28, 2015 at 8:54 pm (Detective story, Life, Poetry) (, , , , )

A Private Eye’s Late Autumn Evening

Silhouettes cast shadow on the wall
The light on the desk the sole light in the room
The open bottle of bourbon remains untouched
The ice in the empty glass melted hours earlier
All that bourbon in the bottle
in which was reflected the image of Carson Albion Private Eye
Would it really ease the pain of painful memories?
If it passed his lips
Those lips so often kissed by bourbon
yet rarely kissed by a woman he truly cared about
He discovered many women didn’t really care about guys who had been knocked down
by the school of hard knocks in life
They most often fell for the guys who had climbed their way to the top
no matter how many people they had stepped on and crushed to get there
And so they ended up as trophy wives
drinking from bottles themselves to cure their loneliness
since once caught, they were looked at and paid attention to as much as those animal head trophies that lined the walls of their respective mansions

Carson put the top on the bottle and put it away back in his desk
He sipped the liquid left from the melted ice in the glass
Another birthday spent alone
Five years in a row
A birthday spent alone
Was it part of some 5 year plan planned by a Politburo of cruel Fates
Whose threads formed a tapestry of Stalinesque style mercilessness?

Carson got up from his desk and walked out into the night
Lyrics from Simon and Garfunkel went through his mind
In the corner stands a boxer and a fighter by his trade
And he carries the reminder of every glove that laid him down and cut him
until he cried out in his anger and his shame
I am leaving, I am leaving
And so Carson left.

But did the fighter still remain?
Carson stood at the street corner
How much fight did he have left in him?
He headed home.
Tomorrow was always another day.

-A private eye poem
written by Christopher
Saturday November 28th
2015.

Permalink 36 Comments

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.

Permalink 2 Comments

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.

Permalink 3 Comments

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.

Permalink Leave a Comment

Reflections of Chandler and Marlowe In The Hot Humid Heat of The City

July 17, 2013 at 12:11 am (Poetry) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

Image

 

 

Hot humid day in Vancouver

the most humid since I’ve moved here 8 months ago

I walk the streets of the City 

like I’m Philip Marlowe

since Raymond Chandler’s prose

always describes hot muggy days in LA

when his private eye is out

walking about.

Coincidentally I see a whole bunch of women out today

wearing evening dresses

and they don’t appear to be part of a wedding party

Just out and about wearing evening dresses

on a day hot and humid at that.

I really feel like I’m in a Chandler novel today

hot and humid and feeling sticky 

out on the sidewalks and streets

and hotter women in hot tight dresses 

making a sizzling summer day

sizzle even more.

 

 

-A poem written by Christopher

 Tuesday July 16th 2013

 a hot and humid day

 in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Permalink 2 Comments