Monday, May 28, 2018

On Dangerous Ground: Film Noir Poetry- The Big Sleep

“Ontology! I’m just
  telling you a story
  about this projector, that’s all.”

            Edward Dorn, Gunslinger, Book II

The Big Sleep (Howard Hawks, 1946)

No point summarising, neither could 
Chandler or Hawks. Bogart-Bacall 
mouthing Chandler-Faulkner-Brackett. 
Set pieces, anxious double-entendres. 
Elusive, like a re-financed dream, or 
suburban tracts, fuzzy around edges. 
The title: what we've yet to awake
from. Nascent spaghetti freeways in 
a land where dicks rarely walk. Down 
what mean streets? As if automobility 
were enough, or protection? Those
bonnes mots now rampant, quick, 
artificial, if left to the imagination, 
like “butchering on the parlor floor.”

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