Posts Tagged 'pastiche'

Poet rag

In this ancient burial ground
I am a heap of compost, not

Sure of sorrow, not sure of earth
worms roiling through sad entrails.

Today will die tomorrow, as surely
as restless nights in cheap hotels

Cannot but end with eyelids burning,
brandy scented, coy as any drifter

Lost in a bus station, lost on that cold lake,
a dark spot on a lung. Is there no crime

Committed when words decompose
Where no radish is ever terrified

When reality’s dark dream digs wet
dirt on a shovel, into some poet’s grave?


(patchwork of writing prompts gleaned from half-dozen writing anthologies – make of it what you will)


She’s a peach – a little pastiche


The Bossanova skipped-skipped-skipped (Blame it on the..on the..on the), the needle tilting in/out, in/out over the surface of the scratched LP. The turntable made its rounds, reliable as the US mail. The room was dark. A lissome but unlikely blond lay on the floor. Lissome but moribund, thought Dirk Savage, private eye, kneeling to feel for a pulse. In the hallway, candlelight jittered and threw shadows, hid secrets. She was a good looking woman. Savage muttered to himself, loosening his cummerbund and lighting his 71st cigarette of the day. He scratched his belly, then rubbed a manicured finger across his chapped lips.  

 “I could use a drink,” he said out loud. In the far corner of the room, a fully stocked bar reminded him of how the other half lives. He poured himself a stiff one, took a big swallow, then picked whatever that was out of his teeth. He walked back to the body. 

Cherry Baum was well known to Savage, at least from certain angles, but it wasn’t until he’d rolled the body over that recognition came to him. It was those breasts. Cherry’s breasts were famous – she’d come off the table with three, all of them big and bouncy. They made her name in that corner of the porn market where novelty really counts.  

“This extra breast is my retirement,” she said once in an on-line interview with Rod Slobber, fellow porn star. Dirk picked up his cell and called Rod. Guess she wouldn’t be needing that retirement fund after all. 

“Listen Rod, I need you to come down and identify the body. Unless you know some next of kin.” 

“Hell of a wedding,” Rod said, when he got there 15 minutes later, red-faced and pie-eyed with champagne, cocaine, coq au vin and the blow job he’d just gotten from the bride after the groom passed out in the coat room. 

“You’re telling me,” Savage shook his head, lit another cigarette. “Maybe I’m getting old, I’m just sitting here thinking ah little Cherry Baum here, she’s just a kid – but then I guess she’s a 40-year-old kid, all things considered. How do people get killed at a wedding? And who would kill a woman with three breasts? A national treasure.” 

Together, they lifted the body and put it on the couch. Rod covered her with a sheet; Dirk crossed himself. They each had a snort of whisky, smoked another cigarette. Then they put their cummerbunds back on, shrugged back into their smoking jackets, and went back to the reception, where they each danced one more dance apiece with the bride, Brandy Willing, and covered the groom with miracle whip and cherries and considered doing him a la flambé.  

When he woke in the morning, Jason Stiff was sticky, sore, naked, and lying in a rumpus room with the dead body of someone who was not his new wife. He sat on the edge of the couch, wondering what to do next. Room service? Ice water and oh by the way, would you mind removing this body? He had little red lip marks all the way down his chest to his belly, apparently from someone sucking the cherries off of him while he was lying in a strange room with a corpse. He had a bad feeling about this. 

*** Now that I look at it on screen, I believe it was from the same evening that produced the Betty Crocker story. Trying to get Jo to write something that wasn’t dark and psychotic, I think. Silly. Note to readers — it’s fiction!!!!

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October 2019
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