five-cent pump; a murder mystery

queue red pump
a hand-painted sign reads 5 cents
that’s where the bloodstained diamond ring is found
not the body, she’s missing

a long rubber tube reaches into a black hulking car
with a grimacing silver grill
and a great shadow-casting hood ornament

designed by Jimmy Durante
that’s what I read in a retro diner somewhere
off route 46, maybe it was I95
fade to dim office

clanking Royal typewriters
swinging low lights
and leggy secretaries
dumb but smokin’
the night moon is pushing through slotted blinds
golden diagonals dramatically cut across dark green desk blotters
amber bottles are stashed in low metal drawers

a chisel-jawed guy smacks his fist
a nearby detective swizzles on a straw
like the red pump
except it’s a lot shorter
it only has to reach his curling lips
he’s clanking murder motives together
like the ice chips in his tumbler
if the clues were more cerebral

and less like the obscene-sized hood ornament
or the bad comb-over toupee
Don Morzellio wears to look good for Gina
who cares only about the bulge in his pants
the back pocket, not the front
the show would have to run much longer
the intense detective gulps down his bourbon
he’s figured out who dun it
the mystery parceled together
while drinking and making small talk with the sexy secretary

cracked windshield, blood-splattered ring, paid rat
and exaggerated theme music
woman with straw hat black lady jane created a few weeks back


19 thoughts on “five-cent pump; a murder mystery

  1. “OH!!!!”….okay, have to write this first, before I even read your words. That word came out of my mouth, in a whispery kind of awe. I LOVE this drawing!!!! It is truly beautiful!!!! Do you do portrait for people? As in, for hire? I’m totally serious in my question. This is just breathtaking. Okay….NOW I will read your words and then continue this reply……………
    Okay, the writing is incredible too! Home run! This could be a movie. LOVE it! You’ve painted the set, the characters, the colors, the everything….and the words fit the genre of the who dun it in the 40s….just FABULOUS. I am smiling and applauding as the curtain falls on this little murder mystery play! Bravo Ann Marie!!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ You’ve started my day with a smile. And I’m not even on my second cup ๐Ÿ™‚


    • Ah, thanks Lillian.
      This piece was actually rendered in pencil – I played with the contrast in Preview Mode (I’m smartly learning – I can make several versions of the same piece of art – more for the blog in different permutations). The pencil sketch will appear as well – at some point. ๐Ÿ™‚ This images was loosely inspired by a portion of a historic image from a paper clipping a while back.
      In answer to your portrait question – I have done portraits. I don’t know if you’ve ever checked out my “portraits” under “art” I think – in the pull down menu at the top. (In the large portrait with my folks and the grand kiddies – the blond girl in the foreground with the striped shirt and the blue-eyed, blond young man wearing red in the upper left – are both in Boston)
      Funny you mention portraits – I’m soon going to post about creating them – well, sort of. I just finished painting a portrait of my current dogs ๐Ÿ™‚
      Thank you for your generous words re:post. This was oodles of fun. I definitely was channeling a romantic version of Eliot Ness…
      On to cup 2…
      raining here today, but it’s needed

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Zowie, cool!!! A film noir prose-poem!! It hit me hard– like the big bountiful beautiful babe sittin’ at Maxie’s bar on a night when the rain pounded the city and washed all the filth and flotsam and jetsam and then-some into the gutters… yeah, baby!! : )

    “… a great shadow-casting hood ornament designed by Jimmy Durante…” haw!!

    “… Gina who cares only about the bulge in his pants, the back pocket, not the front…” HAW!!

    Give that Roselli-Kissack dame a Pulitzer for inspired noir jive, and another for that great sketch of Eliot “Loch” Ness, back when he was on his high school brass knuckles team!!

    Great stuff, AnnMarie– thanks for the thrills and chills!! (Hey, who wouldn’t be chilly standing in the shadow of that grotesquely humungous hood ornament??)


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