Growing up, I thrilled to the exploits of hard-boiled characters like Sam Spade and Philip Marlowe and the high jinks of the Prohibition era in the USA.
The humble B-movie never won Oscars or plaudits but, in my opinion, it has an important part to play in the history of cinema.
I’ve written a collection of poems celebrating the noir genre but these remain, as yet, unpublished.
Here’s one that I’m particularly fond of.
The rhyme pattern is basic abba and the lines, octosyllabic.
When posting a poem, I usually seek out an image that seems to compliment it. In this instance, I stumbled on the wonderful image first and it triggered the poem.
THREE WISE GUYS
Three wise guys.
See what they run.
They run illegal drinking dens
in smoky rooms, behind locked doors,
where gents compete for busy whores,
illicit hooch from moonshine-men
or big cigars, thick as their wrist.
While jazz-men do their groovy thing,
a crooner murmurs, dancers swing.
Order is kept by gun and fist:
everything’s cool. Corruption buys
the mayor, the police chief. Cops don’t care.
Ten dollars here, a showgirl there,
it’s pocket-change to three wise guys.
They look respectable in suits:
just businessmen who do the maths,
not calculating psychopaths
who’d make you swim in concrete boots.