Poem Noir

by Mark Spencer   Jan 16, 2015


Poem Noir
By Mark Spencer

My name is John Calvin Diamond,
And I'm a private eye.
My partner's name is Lillian.
To see her, you'd know why.

Together we're Diamond and Pearl,
Since Pearl is her last name.
'Cause it has a nice ring to it,
For the detective game.

Our client, Penny Worthington,
Sent us out to Cape Cod,
Tracking a stolen artifact,
Known as the Hand Of God.

The Hand Of God is a statue,
Worth millions, so I'm told.
It's a hand reaching for heaven.
They say it's very old.

Commissioned by King Solomon,
Or so the story goes,
A gift for the Queen of Sheba,
But no one really knows.

Lil and I don't sweat the details,
'Cept when it comes to crime.
This ain't just about a statue,
Someone was killed this time.

His name was Dandridge Worthington,
Collector of fine art.
His body was found last Friday,
A bullet through his heart.

And Penny witnessed everything,
Nothing rattles that dame.
The killer she described for us,
Could only have one name.

Archie "The Hammer" Kowalski,
A killer through and through.
If the price you pay is right,
There's nothing he won't do.

I shoulda ate breakfast today,
At least stopped for a snack,
This ain't no empty stomach case,
If Arch Kowalski's back.

We both grew up in Hell's Kitchen,
That was no place for kids.
Arch became a mob enforcer
To get out of the skids.

And he's left a trail of bodies,
That started with his pop.
Who killed his mom, but wasn't charged,
Because he was a cop.

That was the day when Archie died,
And "The Hammer" was born.
The day he ended the abuse,
And quashed his father's scorn.

But I don't have the time to care,
About mooks I once knew!
It's time to pay the piper Arch!
Your killing days are through!

Lil and I caught up to Archie,
Somewhere near Buzzard's Bay.
Sagamore Bridge wasn't open,
And Archie lost his way.

But he wouldn't go down easy,
Especially to me.
And I had far too much respect,
For his abilities.

So I shot him in the kneecap,
Then clocked him on the head!
I cuffed him before he came too,
Otherwise I'd be dead.

The Hand Of God was in his trunk,
Stuffed in there like a wedge.
With his favorite set of hammers,
And his gold plated sledge.

That's how The Hammer liked to kill,
Not with some dainty gun.
He killed the way he killed his pop,
The hammers made it fun.

"Archie, this case does not make sense!"
I told him as I drove.
"Why shoot this Dandridge Worthington,
Then run for Yarmouth Cove?"

"The pieces don't fit the puzzle!
You left the cops a clue!
You left the victim's wife alive,
So she could finger you!"

"And how did she know you were here?"
Lil interrogated.
"Catching a legend this easy,
Means you're overrated!"

"The Hammer ain't overrated!"
Archie was quick to say.
"Yer just too dumb to see the game
That doll face likes to play!"

Now Archie is a lot of things.
Clever ain't one of them.
I think those beatings from his pop,
Left Arch a little dim.

The doll face he was talkin' 'bout,
Was Penny Worthington!
Arch just confirmed our suspicions!
It's time to find the gun.

I called Penny the next morning,
Said the case was complete.
We killed the Hammer late last night,
And it was time to meet.

The Olympia theater,
Would be our meeting place.
It was marked for demolition,
And would end with this case.

"Did you retrieve the Hand Of God?"
Penny's voice filled the room.
I nodded as she drew her gun,
"This place will be your tomb...

...If you don't hand it over now."
But Johnny ain't no sap,
I knew there'd be a double-cross,
And this would be a trap.

Penny will kill me either way,
But Lil is on my side,
It takes a dame to catch a dame.
I'm along for the ride.

Penny didn't know what hit her,
Lil pistol-whipped her good.
My partner got the drop on her,
And dropped her where she stood.

And the gun that killed her husband,
Was recovered that day.
She and Archie were convicted,
By the local DA.

The New York Times called us heroes,
Both Lillian and I.
Celebrating Diamond and Pearl,
As elite private eyes.

And that's the way this curtain closed,
For me and Lillian.
But curtains don't stay closed for long,
And we'll see you again.

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