Slip Alley IV

Sveta sits in her apartment
staring absently at a white screen,
filing her chartreuse manicured nails,
playing with possibilities
in arcs.

……………………….

Somewhere a woman
wearing mortician’s makeup
boards a long distance train
with a Prada bag, inside
an unread Christie novel.

The train pulls out,
she watches factories,
back alleys,
green verges choked
with morning glory
give way to open fields.

A swaying motion,
the train slows,
she looks up
from Murder She Wrote.

She looks through
sliding windows
into another train,
a couple kissing,
his hand upon her breast,
a child pulls faces
to scare the Bogey Man,
a man strangles a woman,
she blinks, someone soon
will get ten thousand dollars
deposited in his bank.

No Shit

 

In a vast megalopolis
raw shit floats
in open tidal channels,
bordered by houses
built from scraps of cardboard,
corrugated iron
and striped woven plastic;
children play in slimy
courtyards crusted
with Ecoli, untroubled
by the cloying stench
of digested food.

Around the corner,
a researcher stands
in a living room
with a voice recorder
capturing a conversation
about reality TV.

An animated face
talks of many things,
he gathers grist for his
theoretical mill:
consumer culture,
late capitalist pot noodles,
Slum Dog Millionaire,
and what happened
on Big Boss last night,
he laughs, no shit.

Slip Alley III

Jack steps into a bar,
faded leather sofas
wallpaper once flocked.

“A glass of your best Shiraz, please”,
he stares into dark ruby depths,
trying to remember
how he came to be here.

A rustling in his pocket,
an embossed envelope,
he opens it
and reads the contract:
For each rival you eliminate
you shall receive
ten thousand dollars.

Jack drains his glass, stands,
cracks his knuckles,
saunters to the ATM,
ten thousand dollars
deposited today,
he flips a coin: heads.

He leaves, walks
picking his way
past silver coins of the moon
caught in oily puddles.

He wonders how the John Doe
had been his rival.

Slip Alley II

Jack stands on the corner,
a vague recollection bending his mind,
a woman, platinum blonde,
hourglass figure, black suede pumps,
Chanel red lips
and a waft of subtle expensive tuberose,
an incongruous detail
given her Eastern European accent;
he expected something
more obvious like Poison …

A wind picks up cigarette packets,
manically tosses them into the air,
dust motes dance a fandango with moths
in the penumbra of a fluorescent street light.

Blue and white lights strobe,
breaking the shadows, wailing,
then silence but for the sounds
of an urban night.

Two suits and a skirt slam
three doors gathering
around the John Doe
like buzzards,
one flashes a camera, over and over,
the other suit blathers on a phone
stabbing the air with his fingers.

Jack
stands mesmerised
by the crime scene tape unfolding,
melting his spine into the brick wall;
he rubs his new finger print whorls
over the unfired piece in his pocket,
again he looks at his contract,
he’s been handsomely paid
without any effort.

The skirt snaps on thin latex gloves,
prods at the ooze in the gaping hole
where the blood fell out
with cotton buds,
screwing them into cylinders,
carefully. She stands arching her back,
looking up and down the alley
for something or someone
out of place.

Jack watches her look
right through him…

The skirt spots a woman gawping in glee
with a  dark pink collagen mouth,
thinks of a blown up rubber doll,
and wonders whose fantasy is that.

Jack walks away, invisibly.

Slip Alley I

An apartment window opens,
an alley in the heart of Melbourne,
people bustle down the centre,
some stop for coffee at the cafe,
all seem to be carrying phones.

The sun is still low.
Sveta looks down,
stretches aware of every pore
in her fingers and toes.

A man catches her eye.
She calls him Jack.
He leans against a lamp post
in the shadows
wearing sunglasses.

Sveta clatters
down Art Deco stairs.
She slinks towards Jack
whispers conspiratorially,
“You have a choice,
a game of chance,
leave now
all your obligations
shall be discharged.
You will be completely free.”

Jack looks at Sveta
with a deep recognition
and leaves.

Jack stands at the corner
the sky deep azure
blood streaked.
A body lies crumpled,
leaking ooze, he thinks,
“Why am I still here,
what have I done today?”

He slips his hand
to his inside pocket
feels a large envelope.
Inside is the contract, signed.

For

Open Link Night ~ Week 39