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Film noir

Homage to "Laura" [by John Harbourne]

Laura diptych John Harbourne

Diptych by John Harbourne. Copyright (c) 2022 by John Harbourne. All rights reserved.+
John Harbourne has made similar drawings of many other noir figures. www.johnharbourneartist.com

Laura

Then the doorbell rang.
Time for one more cigarette.
It wasn’t Laura’s body on the kitchen floor.
He is not in love with a corpse

Time for one more cigarette.
The venomous drama critic insinuates
He is in love with a corpse.
It’s a typical male-female mix-up.

The venomous drama critic knows
He is sane.
It’s a typical male-female mix-up.
He thinks she is dead and she thinks he is rude.

Is he sane?
Each wonders what the other is doing in her living room.
He thinks she is a ghost and she thinks he is rude
When the picture on the wall becomes a flesh-and-blood woman.

Each wonders what the other is doing in her living room.
It hasn’t stopped raining.
The picture on the wall becomes a flesh-and-blood woman:
Gene Tierney in Laura.

It hasn’t stopped raining.
“Dames are always pulling a switch on you,”
Dana Andrews says in Laura.
There was something he was forgetting.

“Dames are always pulling a switch on you.”
It wasn’t Laura’s body on the kitchen floor.
There was something he was forgetting.
Then the doorbell rang.

-- David Lehman


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Radio

I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark


from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman

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