Film Noir Poetry

We’re sure it’s a win when the rushes fade in, showing him and me.

There isn’t a clue what we’re planning, we two; it’s a mystery

We shoot in the light, but it’s all day for night with this movie plot.

We’re acting with zeal by pretending it’s real, but it’s really not.

Those shadows on the pavement, that constant drip of rain:

All done by clever lighting and a hose on the window pane.

We believe while the red light is on,

When it’s off all the magic is gone.

The cameraman takes the blame for letting me fall out of frame,

When I’m dressed like that Vertigo dame

Playing Hitchcock’s deception game.

There must always be a nightclub scene it seems,

With a torch singer’s song to haunt your dreams.

When the last line is heard, the crew applauds the take

But like Hammett’s Black Bird, it’ s all just a fake.

So round up the usual suspects, and have them watch this:

It ends with a bang; the cell door goes clang

Then the torch singer and the shamus kiss.

Johnnie Pat Mobley



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