The dictionary defines Noir as ‘Crime fiction featuring hard-boiled, cynical characters in bleak, sleazy settings’ whilst other sources refer to it as being typified by 'cynicism, fatalism and moral ambiguity'.
Each of the poems during Noir Week were individual tales linked only by the characteristics of the genre. This prompted me to try my hand at writing a further sequence with an interconnecting linear narrative.
The result was THREE BLIND MICE, a set of twelve short poems, with a nod to the usual cliches of the genre, which you'll find here over the next few days.
1. BETTY MAE’S DREAM
She had a dream. Mice in a maze.
Blind. Trapped like lost souls in the Pit.
It haunted her for days, she says.
I tell her that dreams don’t mean shit.
I meet this bozo in a bar.
He says: You Wes? I say: Who says?
He says: I know you from the scar.
Ok, I say. I guess I’m Wes.
He says: We need you drive a car:
word is you’re outa work these days.
He offers me a big cigar.
I like his style: admire finesse.
He says: The job won’t take an hour.
C’mon, consider my request.
Just grab the dough then au revoir:
no stress. Hey Wes, just acquiesce.
I’m hooked: but something seems to jar.
3. BETTY MAE AND WES
Be honest Wes, I say: Confess;
you plan to do another job.
Wes says: It’s cool, I guess, don’t stress.
But me, I can’t suppress a sob:
I know, with every bank they rob,
the danger grows, his luck gets less.
He says: Just one last job, and then
we’re gone: we’ll quit this crazy town,
head for the coast and start again:
diamonds and mink, a classy gown.
I force a smile. Conceal my frown:
don’t want him back inside the Pen.
Wes laughs and says: I only drive.
They do the rough stuff, it ain’t me,
but I know there’s a forty-five
hid in his drawer: I found the key.
Goddam it, guns make me antsy.
I need Wes to come back alive.
To be continued tomorrow ...