Category: Noir

She don’t play nice

As Clementine shimmied and swayed upon the bar top, she swung her lippy hips with such terrific, viscious force that as she leaned low to shoot whiskey from the bottle the bar keep innocently left unattended, she heard above the hootin and hollerin a masdculine drawl yell out, ” watch it darlin, don’t want ya to go breakin yerself” and as she turned her attentions to the dumb fuck who spoke too soon, she summoned a bright smile and purred at him ” I was born broken ” and proceeded to introduce his face to her boot.

And just as casual as yesterday, she hopped down off the bar, swiped her road worn suede jacket from the hands of one of the many stunned bar patrons , and waltzed out the front door, leaving the poor son of a bitch stranded on his back, not entirely sure what, or who, in this case, hit em.

Ya see, when ya trade the brawl for the drawl, don’t play with gals like Clementine, because as she’s said before, you’ll only end up winning yerself a mouthful of teeth. Not such a pity in this case, doubt the dumb yokel had anything close to a full set before she got to him.


The right flavor of wrong

Clementine knew that her lipey hips had nearly won her a mouthful of teeth on many a late night after dangling strings at the local yokels, there was the occasional surprise when some skel wasn’t so pickled that he couldn’t tell she was gonna roll him. If it weren’t the sweet talk, she relyed on being scrappy and havin good aim, hell, she had many a shiner in her day to chuckle over, ain’t no shame in that, just testimony.

Sometimes, her anger shone straight through her and punched holes in the sky, and when that happened, the world parted like the Red Sea, NO ONE  wanted a piece of that. Other times, it smoldered slowly, like steam rising after an August rain on Georgia asphalt, you could see it, feel it, and get close enough, taste it. She tried years back to reign it in, but it only wrecked her, made her soft and soggy, and she was built for speed, not comfort.

Nah, she knew her cruelty, she got cozy with it, it kept the right ones out.

The rain had abated, she stood beneath the lamplight, taking random drags upon her cig, wondering if there were any significance that her left earring had broke, what could that have meant?!?

The fella she would have spent the apocalypse with had gone to take the dirt nap in the bone orchard, what left did she have?!?! How is it that she could make her life count for the both of them? Where was her car??!

The night breathed humid upon her and her scars, those both above and below, knowing it all too familiar in the pain that ebbed and flowed in her in her strung out, hung out veins.Such the legacy he left for her, all to familiar pain, the grief of love and loss, that was her life lesson, was it not?!? Her constant companion in this awful hour, to always be the one on the other side, having to pick up the pieces in the final hours, holding loved ones close and maintaining a vague sense of calm amognst the calamity of death. This legacy he had left to her, to run around the universe looking for that which she did not know. Death always leaves her lumbering in slumber, seeking the answers to the questions she hadn’t been able to hear over the constant low, slow moan of the death rattle.

For she knew the time was NOW, to break away from convention, leave the childish comforts of wounds behind, move away from the familiar, towards the unknown. To see what lay before her in the faded glory of all she had known, and all that he had gifted to her and to strive towards all that await her.

He had promised her Prague, yet, she chose Philly, it’s a P, so it counts, right?!? A place to redesign her life, her soul, a new chapter in her sordid story to tell in years to come.She was both brave and crazy, isn’t that the best intro to so many great stories?!? The gal who did the impossible, who sold her soul for the sake of adventure and poetry, and wished to be something more, yes, that’s who she wished to be, the legacy, the summation of her, for she had so much more to give, receive, and to be.

The rain swept heavy on the windshield, on the move again, always cloaked by night air and the faint stain of whiskey. Clementine knew she had stayed just a hair too long, had let the lousy locals nose about her door a touch too long, and feared she wouldn’t hit the highway in time to escape the fear.

She wasn’t meant to linger long, she had the very hounds of hell at her heels at all times, forcing her to strangle the accelerator of her trusted ’68 caddy. She couldn’t begin to account for the layers of dust upon her boots, or even begin to give a damn what, or where, was next. She was like a crumpled brown paper bag, at the will of the wind, blowing her from street corner to highway, no particular direction, just to fuckin’ GO!!!!

Each time she hit the pavement, she had less and less in her faded carpet bag, as if she didn’t lighten her load, it would hold her down, root her in one spot, crush her soul and steal her heart. Hell, it was a pretty beat up soul and rather dark heart, but they were hers, to do as she wished, to destroy and rebuild however she saw fit. No desire to atone for her numerous sins, as they kept her company when there was a lack of rowdy honky tonk to fill her ears and had found her tarnished flask on empty. The moon was her beacon, her travel companion, and the only one who hadn’t fucked her over, she could always count on the moon to guide her to her next destination of faded glory. This time, she had a faint clue, a mere whisp of an idea, and it made her chuckle with that low throaty growl that always rattled the other bar patrons.

She knew to keep a sharp eye for con artists and poachers, but the goddamn poets got her ever friggin time!! But for once, she would allow the poetic vibe thrown her way to pitch her into another scene, and perhaps, just maybe, she might stay for a bit, see what kinda trouble she could stir up, but hell, ya just never know…..

As Clementine had always been snarky in her suspicions, she had been acutely aware that no matter where she went, there she was, getting in her own way! However, this time, instead of the ever present fear of being pinched by the brass, it all took a turn for the more interesting.

She had run away from home for the first time 20 years ago, and precisely 20 years to the very date, she did the very same. For on this day, she ran away from home in order to go home,the same home as she had found herself all those ragged torn years back. Back then, she had ran away from the raw pain of a terrible mistake she never could speak aloud . It was the first time she had willingly broken her own heart, out of childish fear.

And this time, much like the first, she took flight in the hours before sun up, and just like then, her heart lept madly as the ferry brought her to her first glimpse of the island. And she was still yet startled, kindly,by the low, mournful bleating of the ferry horn, the sound matching the same muted shades of grey that doted the landscape and sky.

Funny how her boots never allowed for her to stay truly steady upon the cobblestone. The day was grey and slightly damp, causing her hair to curl curiously. Her hands still yer shook from the deep sorrow that nestled in her rattled soul, from when she had received the news that her most beloved had slipped away during the night, to go take a dirt nap in the bone orchard. So when her hand fumbled slightly withthe door handle, she silently cursed the too little sleep and too much whiskey, but as her eyes met his cool blue gaze, beyond surprised, she realized it was because she had felt it that entire day. He was here, 20 years later, looking just as she had when she skipped town like a school girl. She was quickly reduced to the same stumbling, bumbling mouse she had been when they were young and had been lovers. All the swagger drained from her, she forgot to be scathing and haughty, Stark emotional nudity had long since gone by the wayside, yet, here it roosted, as they dared not blink in disbelief. They uttered halting greetings to one another, and she blathered something immediately forgotten and raced up the stairs. As she closed the door to her room, she sat heavily upon the bed and finally remembered to exhale.

She cursed her wander lust silently and hurled silent accusations at her boots. Could this have been the reason for the tremendous sense of urgency she felt to come here? Why after 20 years did she have to come here THIS particular day?!? Was she meant to reconcile something from so long back so that she could perhaps move forward now?? Did the Universe demand that she atone for her first sin, to make right her wrong? A certain sage had reminded her that very morning that things do not happen for no reason, only now did Clementine realize that is was no joke, yet it was on her.

She cocked her head slightly to one side, as if to try to decipher the blaring message the universe was screaming at her, and she waited, and listened harder,

And then there was a knock upon her door

White light

Craving the majestic, swelling curves of Her Highness, The Open Highway, she slammed her foot, no cause to pause, flying free past the the ghosts, post rain. Headlights catching glimpses of cars teeming with sheeple, her upper lip curling into the all to familiar sneer she wore.

This was far better than the slow, dark, winding roads she had crawled over earlier, kinda places where if a gal weren’t careful, she might find herself in the drink, and we ain’t talkin whiskey here!! Nah, this was were she needed to be,  the shimmy of the steering wheel told her all she needed to know about her speed. Drive all night, and hope that the slumber of the angels will take you from sun up to sun down. She chose to trade the 4 walls for 4 tires, waiting to see if she would ever grow weary with this maddening wandering.

At this late hour, drowning in song, what she was listening to wasn’t so much a lullaby as it was a slow, smokey serenade, to be served with the sultry pour of whiskey. She gulped back the shot of a hot tear and lit a smoke, trying not to think of him. Sure, she could’ve stayed put, but hanging tight just wasn’t her scene. If this were a story, she would be the Wendy to his Peter Pan.  Both lost, both with different fears, though hers allowed her fly, back in  her days of more promising youth, his kept him grounded in hurt and hiding all his years. She always tried to steer clear of boys wearing the masks of men, damned cowards!!! So many thought it that which kept her high tailin it across state lines. Some thought her restlesness was a symptom of being the Mariners Daughter, a curse in so many ways. Not to sway amongst the high seas, but to surf the asphalt ocean, careening from juke joint, to roadside dive and never far enough, as the dead always find ya, can’t out run those fuckers!!

She tore white light through the night, and her heart.

Another train wreck

She lit a smoke and pondered the ramifications of her actions. Having tore white light through him, dare she be so bold as to stick around long enough to see, or choose the obvious and high tail it outta dodge and leave him in a pile of the shivering fits. She had been there and done him, he knew her game and her shame. She knew lingering would lead to longing, and shit, that just wasn’t her scene. With a snarky sneer, she thought to herself, it would always end up looking like a crime scene when it was all said, and they had done.


And the birds chirped a welcome that was most uncommon at her unkown time, daybreak was foreign to her slightly crusted eyes, sometimes the whiskey doesn’t work the magic she required.

Always one to welcome the later hours, lost in time and space, never knowing the day or time like the other drones, she needed not to keep track of such trifles. Though her bruised heart kept time like that of the ticking watch in the belly of the scaled beast, her mind felt otherwise. When the only time clock to punch was that of wretched asphalt at late, shifting, scrambled hours, who was keeping track?!?! How often she counted days in means of the caked coating upon her boots, how she acrued time in the useless accumulated pile of those who came before him, the one she can never out run. The mass of complacent souls, never appreciating, loving, or even seeing her, untill she is far gone, done with the blindness of men who never see her, yet cling and groan, twisting in the wind, pleading so far after the fact, begging forgiveness of their hapless muse, did they not know she was gone, never to look back?!?!

Some scenes just weren’t her style

Pearls before swine

The color of her dusted up ’68 Caddy resembled the cold dry blood that caked her cracked leather motorcycle boots. The kinda blood that weather and tears could never truly wash away.

She was a scrappy thing, standing bold and brazen, a scant five feet, two inches. Atop her head a mop of weather wiped amber curls that trailed behind her like that of a small sea of fire. Her emerald eyes burned a deeper shade of trouble, flashing neon blaring NO EXIT!!! She was the kinda gal who had real lippy hips, ya know the kind, always undulating, a  finger tips graze from those who sought the maddening heat she threw and left behind in a sprawled pile of broken.

Clementine could never truly understand how it be possible that all these previous lovers still yet vied for her heart, ya see, there had always been the wrong amount of the right men. Often times, after shootin whiskey for a trifle too long with the lousy locals, she could be find growling and snarling ” Give me an emotionally stunted man, I’ll give the dumb bastard my heart “!!

Listen up fools, only a scant few shall ever be kissed by a muse, don’t be that dumb fuck who bungles the shit out of it!!


She swayed a little in the jukebox light, lost in the sweet misery of whiskey and broken hearted bits.

How dare she let the unknown sort scratch her caustic veneer? Dare she bother to care, to allow another be granted entry at the low low price of her heart?!?! How silly to even consider! No, she needed to eat asphalt for days and years on end and wish for the cool black top to bleat it all out, to let the deluge of uneven surface keep her from the broken promises and those who didn’t deserve her heat. What lopsided freak ever sang the songs of wanting and yearning? And what unguarded soul ever let em in without having earned the trust of the lust?

She has cryed enough tears for the unworthy, lost enough of her soul to sell the sea to the gaping, useless souls who struggle. As she sits still for no man, no soul, no song or siren!! For she is a mear vapor, that which songs are constructed at such late hours, when hearts hurt and crave to heal, she is not meant to keep company with mortal souls. She knows now that tears are empty, a crapped out vessel of nothin. Who gives a shit if her heart is used and abused, surely the angels care not to weep for such things, they have bigger fish to fry!!

She will steel herself from such common emotion, and proceed with a plucky soul, head held high, boots pointed forward in motion and allow the dust to settle, her tears shall turn to fire upon her broken cheek, and she will not cry another goddamn tear for him.

The funny thing about life, is that no one ever gets out alive.