Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Seattle Noir

SLAN Hunter

“I love it. Look at how dark
it is. One might call it stark.”
—Thomas M. Disch,
Camp Concentration

The dark side of Asimov’s First Law—
You know the one about robots can’t kill

Droids gotta obey humans and all that—
What a bunch of Pulp Fiction baloney

Let’s face it—Jommy Cross was a Killer
Droids and Slans are Murder Incorporated

Jommy was rough trade trouble—
From the minute he landed in Centropolis

He was tattooed with the Slan Stigmata—
The sure sign of Bad Seed and Big Trouble

It took one to know one—
I was his telepathic twin brother in crime

“The darkness was soothing”
—A.E. van Vogt, Slan

It didn’t take long to fall in love with him—
About seventeen watching me from his bed

His girlfriend Kimi gone to work—
Leaving him alone with me in the apartment

Smoking a cigarette—looking up at the ceiling
Bored, a starved intensity—arms behind his neck

A Slan kid—full of haughty unnatural pride—
Pulling back the dirty sheets—letting me see it

Watching me with a cool distaste—smirky
His peach-fuzz lips sizzling—when I kissed him

How I wanted to get him—in a pair of handcuffs
Then I’d wipe that smirk—off his wiseass face

“I caught the blackjack right
behind my ear. A black pool
opened up at my feet. I dived
in. It had no bottom. I felt pretty
good—like an amputated leg.”
—Raymond Chandler,
Farewell, My Lovely

It was kinda like Raymond Chandler—
Propositioning that cute young bellhop

In the San Bernardino Olympic Hotel—
Down there in neo-noir Los Angeles

Except faster—like Kiss Me, Deadly
A Mickey Spillane quickie—in sullen Seattle

He read my mind—like I knew he would
From then on—it was all pretty much downhill

I felt like Moose Malloy—in Murder, My Sweet
Stumbling onto—my Velma Velento again…

“There’s no way the snakes
can contact him”
—A.E. van Vogt, Slan

Jommy was on the top—the Most Wanted List
Most dangerous Slan—in the Pacific Northwest

He knew it, I knew it, the mutants knew it—
His tendril pubes down there—they knew it

It was raining hard outside—
The swarming, smarmy, scudding clouds—

The rain hitting—the upstairs windows
Oozing down the dirty slimy glass outside

The Venetian blinds—slanting down
Shadowy silhouettes—across his naked bod

Jommy’s svelte streamlined—animal intelligence
Making up for his—gaucherie and innocence

He was just a teenage hoodlum—on the run
Gigantic wings—always beating around him

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