Slip Alley XXV

Eric lies nude
on the kingsize bed
his room, of course,
his wrists are tied with silk rope
to the bed head,
the snake tattoos around his neck
slide down his chest,
around his navel one bites its tail,
the secret worm called Ouroboros.

On a large screen TV
a threesome writhe,
Eric watches avidly,
thinking about how he
will kill his next mark
in the game for ten thousand.
It’s a pity she’s so pretty,
he could drown in her dark
eyes, and she seems to sense
his taste for silk and rubber
but the game is on, the whore
is just a whore… he will
play with her for a few days
before he breaks that slender neck.

Phong is in the bathroom
wearing thin latex gloves
and a silk kimono,
she holds a vial
‘just one drop,
or he’ll oversleep’,
were the instructions
from Isamu, ‘get him on
the bus and bring him to Cat Ba.
We’ll take it from there.’
She hides the vial
in her ruby sleeve.

Eric calls to her,
‘Phong, I am ready.’

Phong swishes in
perches on the bed,
stretches like a languid cat,
‘close your eyes, you’re a bad
warrior, you must be punished.’

Eric shuts his eyes,
his body taut with anticipation,
he feels her gloved fingers
trace his snakes,
his lips, a wet drop
on his tongue,
he sighs with longing
and falls into a dark haze.

Phong unties his hands,
sits crossed legged on the floor,
flips the channels to a romcom movie;
it will be a long
night, she can’t afford to sleep,
she orders coffee from room service
and a chicken salad.
In the morning, she will
get him on the bus with promises
decadent delights, she shudders.


Sveta sips her merlot,
smiles inwardly,
the strings are gathering

Outside the full moon
breaks through the clouds,
makes a stairway
on the wet cobblestones.

Sveta slips on a raincoat
and heads to her favourite bar
for a rendezvous with her editor…

For the rest of this noir serial please follow the Slip Alley tag.


Slip Alley XXIV

Phong looks in the mirror,
carefully smooths
on a creamy foundation,
edges her eyes
with smudgy kohl,
dusts on blush.

Her mark sits in the bar
at the next table
waiting for his Manhattan,
Phong slips him a demure
smile hooded through her long
mascaraed eyelashes
as she studies the drinks menu.

She keeps her breaths short and uneven
knowing that this will appeal
to the perp marked by Isamu and Thi.
Her trap has been set
with narcotic honey,
a promise of dark pneumatic bliss.

His faded brown eyes
glow with a stirring of blood,
he strokes the red stubble
on his cleft chin, imagining
the feel of her slim golden body
and the tumble of her thick black hair
on his marble white skin.
He imagines winding her hair
around her neck, tighter and tighter…
and tighter…

He clears his smoky throat,
“Do you come here often,
foxy lady?”
Phong meets his eyes
and blushes
“Can I buy you a drink?”
he asks, hoping.

For the rest of this noir novella serial written in verse, please follow the Slip Alley tag

Meeting the Bar–Writing Characters

Slip Alley XXIII

Phong stands at Hanoi airport
mid morning
waiting for the plane
from Singapore
to land with a taxi driver
at the ready.

The plane taxis to a stop,
the perp stands, opens
the overhead locker, takes
out his case and slowly moves
forward to disembark.
He goes through customs
and immigration and  out
into the airport’s noise.

He heads for the exit doors
flanked by Phong,

Just outside the door
a taxi driver offers him
a special price, calls Phong
to tell her the perp
is going to the Metropole.

Phong follows them
on her pink Vespa
wearing gauntlet gloves
with a bandito scarf
across her face.

She enters the lobby
of the Metropole, the perp
is there at the checkout counter,
She stands beside him
and books her room.

Two bellboys take
them up in the lift,
Phong sees Room 1021,
on the card
in the other bellboy’s hand.
The perp is yawning,
he looks like hell,
he’ll have a nanna nap
before dinner.

Phong lies in her bath with bubbles,
thinking of the night ahead,
the perp will be in the cocktail bar
tonight looking for company.
She giggles to herself,
calls her sister Thi, says
“Your little sister
has the bird in sight.”

Slip Alley XXII

Ollie picks up the baby Glock,
slips it in his pocket,
looks at Greta,
sitting on the couch
with shoulders heaving.
Her face is white beneath her makeup,
her mouth is dry,
her tongue clicks on her teeth
as she speaks.

“You saved me from the murderer,
I am so sorry…”
she can speak no more
as sobs wrack her body.

Blue sits by her feet,
stretches out his back leg
and washes his behind.

Ollie calls for an unmarked car
to take Greta to the station.


Ollie sits in a dingy room
with mustard walls,
a naked light bulb softly
hisses, throwing
a cold uneven light,
a woman sits beside him
wearing latex gloves,
sorting through
Greta’s Prada handbag,
reading through credit card receipts.
On the table lies Greta’s smartphone
and the baby Glock.

Across from them sits Greta.
Ollie looks at Greta’s panda eyes
and faded lipstick,
her cheek bones
bouncing light and shadows,
he flicks on the voice recorder
says the time, the interview
commences now,
Greta shudders and begins
her grand denial,
hoping the woman
won’t find the slip of paper
with instructions
rolled up inside her lipstick case.

Slip Alley XXI

The perp  has a window seat,
he plans to sleep, the plane
accelerates and flies,
bound for Hanoi via Singapore,
he flicks on an action movie,
waits for drinks and dinner…


Isamu speaks to Thi
in Japanese, the next mark
is on the way, he should arrive
in a day or so, she must call her sister
in Hanoi to meet the morning plane
from Singapore and find the man
with red hair and a clean shaven face,
tail him and then pounce
when he finds a hotel….

Isamu predicts
the perp will stay at the old Metropole in Hoan Kiem
where Ernest Hemingway
and Grahame Greene once sojourned
seduced by their dreams
of a glamourous Indochina.
There are even cocktails
named after them
to make tourist fantasies authentic.

Thi snickers in delight,
picks up her phone
to call her sister, Phong, who tells
her she is ready with a taxi driver.
Smiling, Isamu heads for the gym.

Thi saunters back to the resort suite,
Jack still sleeps like a dead man.
He has been sleeping peacefully
for two days. Isamu’s liquid substance works,
she takes Jack to the bathroom
to do his business.
Thi gently slips another drop onto
Jack’s slack tongue. If he were to wake
she would have to have sex with him again.
She walks him back to bed
and tucks him in.