Tuesday, April 9, 2013

PAD Day 9

Today's double prompt is (1) Write a poem in the style of "film noir", and (2) write a poem about a hunter or the hunted.  My poem's connection with the latter is rather tentative, but I guess one could consider a private eye as a "hunter" of sorts.  I used the name of one of my favorite poets because it sounded like a good name for a gumshoe. I also had a little fun picturing him in that role. (I think he'd look pretty good in a fedora.) Hope you enjoy all the poetry references and at least one bad pun.

Billy Collins, Private Eye: Chapter One
It was one of those foggy nights in this city by the bay,
the kind of fog that comes in on little cat feet.
I was in my third-floor walk-up, feeling like a pair
of ragged claws scuttling across the floors of silent seas,
deciding whether to have a shot of Jack or a cup of joe,
when she walked in. Her name was Sylvia, a blonde
with curves in all the right places, and legs to infinity.
(Shall I compare her to a summer’s day?)
“You have to help me, Mr. Collins,” she cooed.
How could I resist those baby-blue eyes?
I snuffed my cigarette. “What’s the story, sweetheart?”
“It’s my daddy,” Shirley sobbed. “I hate the bastard,
but he’s disappeared. I need you to help me find him.”
“Maybe he went gentle into that good night.”
“No, no, no, I’m sure he’s still alive.”
I asked for a description – she said he was six-foot-six –
“Oh, a long fellow,” I remarked – and she said
he seemed disturbed before he left.
“Sometimes things fall apart, the center cannot hold,”
I suggested. “Where’d you last see him?”
“In his farm yard,” she replied, “next to his red wheelbarrow,
beside the white chickens.”
I asked for a photo and told her I’d get on it right away.
I threw on my trench coat and holstered my Magnum –
after all, if I cannot stop for death, he may kindly stop for me.
It’s a wild world out there – a million nighthawks
looking for a scared rabbit to sink their talons into,
as they sound their barbaric yawps over the roofs of the world.
As for me, I have a promise to keep –
and miles to go before I sleep.

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