Friday, March 17, 2006

A Poem by Lizzie Skurnick

Here’s a poem by Elizabeth Skurnick from her book “Check-In”. It was (the book) the 2004 Caketrain Chapbook Competition winner.

“Lizzie” has a lit blog called
The Old Hag which is kind of insidey. It’s not always that easy to figure out what she and her guest bloggers are going on about, but they appear to be closely worked into the current publishing game and up-to-the-moment where new writers and titles are concerned.

Her poems are certainly more complex, more original and less prose-like than the one the scribe has chosen, but it’s the scribe’s blog and the scribe likes her command of the genre at hand.

The book, by the way, was a gift from the author.

Villanelle Noir

A shot of Joe, and I knew I’d take the case. After all,
Stumpy had been found in a field, still steaming.
You don’t always want to, but you make the call.

“Miss, we’d like you to come on down. Some kinda fall,
we think.” “Stumpy? You sure he ain’t breathin’?”
“Don’t you worry, ma’am: Slade’s on the case.”All in all,

She was a looker – what we dicks like to call a long tall
Drink of water – great gams and a set of gleaming
Choppers to match. “My pleasure.” “Mind if I make a call,

Slade?” She puffed, frowned. “They seem to be out.” Her Pall
Mall burned like a ruby. “I only deal in being, Sugar, not seeming,”
I parried – she was still a suspect in the case, after all –

“How’s about you?” I beg your pardon!” “Listen, doll –
Your boyfriend ain’t home – he’s downtown singing
Like a canary. You got someone else you want to call?”

She was cool as Ma’s lemonade. “Guess I’m gonna take the fall
here, huh, Slade?” “Well, next time you go out tag-teaming
on your old man, change your brand, will ya?” On the desk, I lay all
the cold butts from the field, poured her a stiff one. “Last call.”

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