Thursday, May 31, 2007

Eddie Mars in his Office (The Runaround)

Horses hang on these walls
like spit sits on ice, flat &
shit slick. Five hundred fatter
& can dig a hole in a bottle
big enough to sleep in. the fan’s
buzzin’ my song & whiskey
legs around the glass
like a thoroughbred, kicking up rye

to scratch his itch, his itching
to scratch this itching nose.

ignis sacer seizes skin

grand mal petit morte
jamb de la mouche

like a breeze through a screen.

(can you see the light
seeping through cigarette burns?
can you hear the projectionist
suppress a sneeze?)

Scene : Warner Bros. Production Offices

Jack Warner :
This film’s
got legs, boys.
Let’s light a fire
under her ass and
watch her



intraoffice fees epistles lost & found.
let her watch her leg her way around.
stalking runs her ass into the .

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Studio Systems Theory


Caffeine’s glittering realities
grind the stuff of cities to rosebush wreckage :
topography of washed wool
& molar-top hillocks,

as all the while skies hold brilliant still
like a sustaining chord : notes & tongues
piled thick as reams of colored silks.


Playbills spring up, weeds
in-fighting for audience :

sunlight & construction fence,
paste & traffic.

Publicists observe, plotting postings
on situ maps. A chicken in every pot,
a niche in every neighborhood.
Each movie stakes a shifting claim, combs the land
for fickle ore. Battles inch by avenue.
The slow ferric ferocity
of Stalingrad.
In movies,
you gotta run twice as fast
just to keep your place.

In the empty theater, a coat slung
saves a seat for no one.


Films flop & posters peal, flowers
dead & drying bifurcate to dying.
The city’s gaslight sighing.

[When a cosmonaut crosses
the event horizon, she receives no sign
of having passed already into death.]

As down the street, sequels obscure their lineage,
dynasties of paper (coral accrual) bloom, lichen-like.

Biomes unfold like pop-up books,
and poster pulp settles rich and black
as coffee grounds : first thrivings
of bio-economics.

until : the desiccation :

hard yellow days

in Hollywood sun .

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Eddie Mars at Geiger's Place

) when you own the joint,
you scrub the floors with a scarf whisk,
a flipped wrist; wave a black
jack to warner away;
you lay an oscolum infame
on a khmer oscar
of its negatives;
or call in your boys
for (applications of rouge. fold
your cheeks, Marlowe — you’ve found

your key,


(so scratch shame
& save us))
a ram and a swig

(‘cause only Eddie knows where it turns

[da capo]

Saturday, May 26, 2007

The Scream that Pierces (Tarnished Coinage)

Smoked corpse on the carpet,
tang of fag-joint hanged
in the air. Cigarette ash,
crushed egg of ant : concealer

nards the Persian. Faked duck
on the table or goose-skinned
hieroglyph, nipping ether
from a straw, what’d either

them see? And this —— laid out
on the floor, flat as phyllo —
who’d he
take for a roll in the rye? A.G.,
your argent tongue’s argot
couldn’t screen your skin
from some heater’s
ergotic fire : bullet holes
are blemishes
Max Factor can’t hide,

And buddy it looks
like you sipped your last
on that chinese sax
as Carmen sat

publicity still. Get up chinadoll,
those flashbulbs burned holes
like a screendoor [has]

in this sagging hunk of skin,
and baby, you look quite / the red rod
in this lavender light.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The Kiss-Off (Scratch Track Remix)

Dear Mr. Marlowe,

Attached cheque hundred I will
than for rendered.
are required. a five-($500)
in more compensation services services
longer is for dollars. trust
prove adequate the Your no



Mrs. Vivien Sternwood Rutledge

The Stakeout (Lucky Strikeout)

Lucky I

7 42pm

arr. A G Geiger res.
|(460 Laverne terr.)
Geig ents house
44 gray plym. arr :
| Cal 88 P 581 |
Reg. to Carm. Strw.
c s enters

[Lindy’s fly
weighed heavy on
the snaking flows of air.

eight plus nine
is seventeen chimes.

flybuzz fills the car
like the violet sting
of viper smoke.

I know
who you are.]

9 03 p swatted fly

[flyweights popped.
lucky, he was,
till the kid got hopped.

but Baby,
Lindy got bopped,
& Bruno fried,

uncommuted : uncomputed.
Uncle Ruth didn’t see
the assassins arrive

as the swatter fell,
so the hammer
struck the bell.]

950 rain stops

[who can
compute on the fly
the sky’s ten thousand folds?


black hasheesh
smoke strikes
against the,


uncle beastly
come home, Pop


between these broken
the mark]

Lucky II

[rolled beneath driver’s seat :
struck from time.]

Lucky III

1133 p light → side window

[ . . . wish I wish
this coffeebuzzing, this

] Expletive deleted. [

for the washing of the raining
for his fondness

for her burma shaving.
this business of sign post buzzards,

this plucking of the past from
out the grillwork of surveillance trucks

is the time is the side in the win—]

1206a.m (?) side window lightout

[ waiting,
like ice in a glass,

get crunched or just
melt away . . . ]

Strike three.
Fade out.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

The Ballad of the Fettered Fly


Musca domestica,
leathered in bibleblack,
bound in a corset
of chitin and wax,

Legs buttress your walls
buoying your vaulted shell,
holding gravity at bay

[a hobo holding back
a pack of dogs
with a six
foot fly's leg --
Musca gargantua]

ribs your corset,
the waxing moon,
the full white swell
of your bulging belly.

[I place my face
beside the quickening tide
of your abdomen;

May I play the moon
in this elliptical dance?]


Lindy ties the fly
with a thread of tale
spun silk to the air
plane's spinning nose, she

feeds the fly a
razor cut line, as
thin as scarred night's
caesarian crescent, he

cries, onward,
across the sea!


- pop -


The fly plummets
deeper than sound,

past bluebottles stuffed
with aery mail and trailing tails
that wrap around a listener's ear,
that pour nematocysts
like sky blue sins
down dear old Uncle's ear,
(that leather purse,
always void of change);

plummets deep

past jacksmelt, bonito,
pacific salmon, past pez luna
themselves passing behind
flashing clouds of silversides
that whirl about : a drunkard's
spinning room;

plummets deep

past giant cuttlefish, eyes
round and blank as
dinner plates
spinning on a broom;

plummets deep,
then comes to rest

away from phasic swell of fuselage,
those crescent rows of airplane ribs
that wax and wane in soundless depths --

plumbs the depths and comes to rest
beside a stray rib,
halfburied in mud,
that marks the grave
of her aery heart,

bottle of unbeating blood,
blue with air and aneurism,
bubbles in the line, bubbles
spinning like the moon.

[the fuel cuts,
the camera blinks,
the plane sinks,
subject to gravity's
eternal rain].


The moon, greaseblack with new;
the seafloor's rampant night, until


Grace intervenes, razors thorax
(chitin, film of wax) from wing

(two thin frames,
sprocket-lined & mullion veined,

that surface to spread, oil slick
across a Pacific rainbow screen)

Toto, I have a feeling that

Note: This poem properly belongs after "Legwork." --The eds.

Marlowe Watches the Grass Grow

I felt it under my feet, wrestling
into the tread of my shoes, holding
gravity at bay : a tramp waving
a broken rake at a pack of dogs.

The grass was green, sure,
green from rain sweated
by Mexicans making a memory
of diddly shit a day and eating

nada but tortillas and beans. Yeah,
the invisible hand’s a convenient jerkoff
when tail is scarce, but studios
rule this town like the sun does

the desert. Thicker the grass, kid,
harder it is to see the ground.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Marlowe Grabs a Bite

Pour on the ketchup, hon,
& maybe you’ll miss the flavor
of the eggs. Course,
if you’re feelin’ braver,
go it straight. Close your eyes &
down the hatch. Can’t be worse
than the coffee. Gonna taste it
bubble up, come back
like black water
seeped from storm sewers
hours after rain’s stopped, flowing
over curbs, no faster
than maple syrup ‘cross
those silver dollars you got.
& lemme say,
with regards to that muffin,
it ain’t worth no
two bits, but don’t carp
when it comes time
to pony up the tip. Whatcha doin’
here anyhow, that tie on
at three in the morning,
hanging heavy round your neck
like this chipped beef’s gonna sit
in your gut?
Gonna feel it weigh you down,
toots, sure as you’ll taste
that guy’s liver
creeping into your toast.

But hey, smile. It ain’t so bad.
You coulda had the hashbrowns .