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badger11

The bookshop antiquarian removes her glasses

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badger11

revision4

Marlowe, folded within crime
ridden pages, hurries along
the sidewalk, his fedora
pulled down tightly, diverts
the interrogation of rain
that works the cracks in concrete.
He's looking for a limited edition
but finds the bookstore closing.

The girl's seeking distraction -
tired of being mum's fable,
that cradle of clean cutlery-
wearied by books words books
that dampen and mottle her pages-
she wants the bruised promise
of him, the colours of dirty rain.
It's lunchtime and for a shot of rye?

The shadows thicken, ask the questions
only film noir can breathe:
You begin to interest me...vaguely
she answers.

 

revision3

Marlowe folded within crime
ridden pages, hurries along
the sidewalk, his fedora
pulled down tightly, diverts
the interrogation of rain
working on the cracks in stone.
He's looking for a limited edition
but finds the bookstore closing.
The girl's seeking distraction -
tired of of being mum's girl,
that cradle of clean cutlery-
tired of books words books-
she wants the bruised promise
of him, the colours of dirty rain.
The shadows thicken, ask the questions
in this film noir. For a shot of rye
the antiquarian removes her glasses.
You begin to interest me...vaguely
she answers.

 

revision

Marlowe folded within crime
ridden pages, hurries along
the sidewalk, his fedora
pulled down tightly, diverts
the interrogation of rain
working on the cracks in stone.
He's looking for a limited edition
but finds the bookstore closing.
The girl's seeking distraction,
tired of books words books -
hears the colours of dirty rain.
The shadows thicken, ask the questions
in this film noir. For a shot of rye
the antiquarian removes her glasses.
You begin to interest me...vaguely
she answers.

 

original

Marlowe folded within crime
ridden pages, hurries along
the sidewalk, his fedora
pulled down to shield his eyes,
a gumshoe drizzle conniving
its way through concrete.
He's seeking a limited edition
but finds the bookstore closing.
The girl's seeking distraction,
tired of books words books -
that homespun fable of being
mum's girl, that cradle of clean
cutlery - she wants the bruised
promise of him,  his cynic's smile,
the colours of dirty rain. The shadows
thicken, darken, brood on maybe's
in this film noir. For a shot of rye
the antiquarian removes her glasses.
You begin to interest me...vaguely
she answers.

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Tinker

Wow Badge,   Who could resist reading this after getting a glimpse of that title?   This poem is rich with images that had me hungry for the next and it is a bit of a puzzle. (At least for me)

This phrase, along with the title, suggests an antique book by Marlowe, wrapped up in a newspaper.
"Marlowe folded within crime
ridden pages"  
But then he wears a fedora and hurries along the sidewalk.   A "gumshoe" is a detective which kind of fits but it comes from a "sneaker" or rubber overshoe which fits better with drizzle.  (that last part I googled, I didn't know the name for a rubber overshoe. No one wears them here, we wear rain boots or goulashes. Well only kids wear goulashes.) I think it took a bit of detective work to find an original Marlowe but if you are walking in the rain, foot protection makes sense.  Anyway I read it, "sneak" like sluethe is a core word even though you never use it.  So I am all wrapped up in the mystery of the ancient book and of course the guy is headed for a book store where an antiquarian is employed.  Probably to authenticate the find.  🤔

So now he is "seeking a limited edition".  Why when he has an original Marlowe?  He seems serious, on a mission, rushing to get to the bookstore before the end of business.    "The girl is seeking distraction"     I am assuming "the girl" is the antiquarian who works at the book store.  And this is where the whole thing turns from books and words to drinking and flirting,  the studious glasses come off, the hair comes down and books are forgotten.  😜

Haha, that is how I read it, and weirdly I want to know what happened to Marlowe's book.   

~~Tink

 


~~ © ~~ Poems by Judi Van Gorder ~~

For permission to use this work you can write to Tinker1111@icloud.com

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tonyv

This is a nice read. I like Judi's take. I would add that I'm thinking about the first two lines, and I can't quite put my finger on it, but it somehow makes sense. Without "he" in front of "hurries," it seems like it's the book itself, or the story, or perhaps it is part of the the story which is moving along to the subsequent events. I woudn't change it.

 

On 10/25/2019 at 2:23 PM, badger11 said:

... He's seeking a limited edition
but finds the bookstore closing.
The girl's seeking distraction ...

... and this is where I anticipate that  the story takes off in a lurid direction (or at least a romantic one) I can appreciate.

 

On 10/25/2019 at 2:23 PM, badger11 said:

... The girl's seeking distraction,
tired of books words books -
that homespun fable of being
mum's girl, that cradle of clean
cutlery - she wants the bruised
promise of him,  his cynic's smile,
the colours of dirty rain ...

This is real. What we imagine, what we see when we encounter another can be closer to home than expected: tired of the job, the act, accompanied by a desire for something altogether different. "Dirty rain" is an inspired world class image.

 

On 10/25/2019 at 2:23 PM, badger11 said:

... The shadows
thicken, darken, brood on maybe's
in this film noir. For a shot of rye
the antiquarian removes her glasses.
You begin to interest me...vaguely
she answers.

And the rest is history. I didn't think I'd like this one, but I loved it.

 

Tony


Here is a link to an index of my works on this site: tonyv's Member Archive topic

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badger11

Thanks Judi and Tony. I think I've made a mess of this one, though both of you, as insightful readers, have given life to the poem. The limited edition doesn't exist:

 

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tonyv

Well Phil, I can see now that the poem is inspired by this terrific film noir which I happen to have here at home in the collection, though I've never watched it. :blush: And I love film noir. 😄 But okay, my version of what happens in this scene, both poem and movie, is much more sordid, more appealing to the prurient interest than what actually took place in this short clip. In any case, I still love the poem.

Tony :happy:


Here is a link to an index of my works on this site: tonyv's Member Archive topic

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tonyv

PS, I'd make her leave the glasses on. She's brainy, and I like it! 🥰


Here is a link to an index of my works on this site: tonyv's Member Archive topic

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badger11

Yes, I don't feel I've managed to translate the historical context and naturally a reader will filter through the contemporary lense. A C21 version would leave little to the imagination. The attraction of film noir, that play with black and white lighting that blurs moral codes, is to let the viewer imagine (much like a good poem).

Fritz Lang is one of my favourite film noir directers -  there is a scene in The Big Heat that still shocks me. One of my favourite films is The Killers starring Burt Lancaster - the remake with Lee Marvin is worth a watch too. The Big Sleep crackles with smart dialogue, though is known for its confusing plot.

Quote

The Big Sleep is known for its convoluted plot. During filming, allegedly neither the director nor the screenwriters knew whether chauffeur Owen Taylor was murdered or had killed himself. They sent a cable to Chandler, who told a friend in a later letter: "They sent me a wire ... asking me, and dammit I didn't know either"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Big_Sleep_(1946_film)#1997_release_of_the_1945_original_cut

 

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tonyv

This movie was on TCM just now, and I caught much of it, though I was dozing off. It's a great noir film. I was surprised that the scene you've references was right near the beginning; I don't know why I had thought it would come later on. Anyway, as I said before, I have the movie, so I'll have to re-watch it when I can pay closer attention to all its twists and turns. 


Here is a link to an index of my works on this site: tonyv's Member Archive topic

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badger11

Watched this one today...some dental advice...

 

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