Michael Pruchnicki

Marlowe Between the Lions

Imagine reading between the lions?
I mean the two standing stony vigil outside
the Art Institute of Chicago on Michigan Avenue.

A novel by Raymond Chandler and paintings by
Edward Hopper are celebrated within -
laconic detective and barren cityscapes
set the theme of big city angst and anomie

I checked through The Big Sleep -
*He sat behind a desk, a middle-aged plump
man with clear blue eyes
He puffed evenly and stared at me level-eyed,
a funny little hard guy
His neat well-kept face looked as if it had been shaved
within the hour
A small man in a big man's world
He looked ready for a fight*

Look closely at Hopper's oils-
*Night Shadows* *Nighthawks*
*Night Windows* *Empty Room*

Then I lit a cigarette and downed a good slug
of booze. The 38 Special nested snugly in its
holster. That night I felt like a big tough guy
ready for a fight within the hour.
Sure, I got big baby blues
and a swinging dick
like Marlowe!

Submitted: Tuesday, March 04, 2008
Edited: Sunday, April 13, 2008

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