Cleaving chandler

Murder Most Foul

“An affair with Raymond Chandler,
what a joy! Not because of the
mangled bodies and the marinated
cops and hints of eccentric sex,
but because of his interest in
furniture.”—Margaret Atwood

the neighbor boy—was suspicious
but he knew furniture—the way
it breathed & could feel—not like us
more muffled & subdued—like old
upholstery—with its undertones
sunlight—and scuffed leather

sleazy sofas—dumpy & stained
stuck in corners—like murderous
old women—blue-rinse alligators
hibernating crocodiles—just waiting
to clutch you—with ratty pillows
cushions like—queasy quicksand

he smirked—fingering the curtains
running his hands—along the
edge of the nice—smooth mantel
inhaling the odor—of the fireplace
the cigarette smoke—spilled wine
the quickie sex—smudgy gilt frames

he checked out—the three bathrooms
as if it were—an expensive hotel
sniffing, fingering—rubbing everything
the bed—kingly or queen-sized?
creaky four-poster?—lace-curtains?
the furniture—the important thing

only then—murder most foul
his pale cruel—cold-blooded eyes
knowing all about—greenhouses
the big sleep—the two daughters
one a nympho—young & murderous
the other—addicted to gambling

young chauffeurs—need to be
good drivers—with black cadillacs
and long skanky—lincoln limos
with backseats—like overripe peaches
back there—in the dark where things
get desperately—sucked & fucked silly

the new chauffeur—wasn’t naïve
he had a weaselly—malicious feral
sly porcupine—warthog skanky
romantic quivering—gearshift
always just barely—out of reach
knowingly agonizing—to the touch

if i got—too terribly demanding
pressing my lips—too devouringly
inserting my tongue—or forefinger
up into eden—much too quickly
he’d give me—the pouty look of
a hurt loincloth-less—bomba boy

such jungle love—teenage frisson
wrapping his—python legs tightly
around my neck—such strangled
moments—on top of the living-room
table—his haughty hors-d’oeuvres
my kind of—murder most foul…

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