Sunday, 13 September 2015

rainy déjà vu in the city

the canyon walls run with black tears - more dismal now than not.  
sulky bursts - at days end - dreary mood on dreary thought. 
a drenching, steamy alchemy of dirt and slate and smog.
from roof and arch and balcony:  a gauzy, ghostly fog.
tall sheets of streaked cold onyx mirrors - unfurl - in ribbons, wet.

i'm glad i wore a trench coat, to this bleak, soaked film noir set.

against  the looming buildings, gray iconic silhouettes
of smoky alton images - without their cigarettes.
here and there a mushroomed creature beetle-skitters down the block.

all looks to be dank-dour-drab upon the weeping walk.
a lightning bolt, a thunder crash, horns honking in the street.

bullets land on my umbrella and erupt around my feet.

the air smells like car fumes and grease and grass and musty mud,

stench of cement, a waterfall and hint of a rosebud.
splashed by a car, shoe puddled full ... now I can't see a thing.
except for street and window lights and blurry neon bling.

every surging byway, pretty much seems filled to brimming.

if i, woke from this
déjà vu, i'd think that i was swimming.

Notes:  posted for Poets United.

John Alton: cinematographer on some of the most classic Film Noirs of the 40's and early 50's.

Rosebud: In the movie Citizen Kane - when wealthy media magnate Charles Foster Kane dies, he utters the word "rosebud".  A reporter is asked (by the producer of the newsreel about his life) to find out the meaning behind his last word and as the reporter interviews Kane's friends and associates,  Kane's story unfolds in a series of flashbacks.  Many critics believe that Citizen Kane, with its inventive use of lighting and shadow, is the first film noir, or (with its dark, moody atmosphere to augment  mysterious events) the direct predecessor of film noir. 

photo:  Ink Drawing (& negative) - Shades of Black, White ... and Gray (that are all around us) - W. Bourke

© 2015 Wendy Bourke


  1. Plethora of gray images here...also the pictures in monochrome add to the this theme...

  2. Ah, that rosebud.. The ever enigma of gray and monochrome. There are those days (and nights) where the city turns into a carnivore. I feel the déjà vu of endless streets a shoes soaked, a day when umbrellas ceased to work. I love this poem Wendy with the rhymes and rhythm are like those passing cars.

  3. I think I would request a rosebud if grey consumed me convey the claustrophobia and bleakness so well.. it feels such a heavy and wretched place...

  4. What a glorious poem, gritty, wet and captivating. Rosebud was in fact Citizen Kane's childhood toboggan that was burnt in the film at the end not a mysterious girlfriend at all.

  5. You captured the darkness and gray silhouettes of those noir set films ~ This feels like a nightmare that I would like to wake up from ~

    Really well done with the theme Wendy ~

  6. i agree with Grace, it does have that ring of noir set films. this type of rainy, drad, smelly, type of night i dread

  7. It has that mysterious mystical sort of hues of black. A melodrama kind gives lots of serious enjoyment. Your take reflects the noir set feeling. Well done Wendy!


  8. You have described the set so very well. I felt as if I was right there smelling the car fumes & seeing that neon bling!

  9. Such intense & vivid images here in this poem... powerful write!

  10. I feel the mystery of the rain and darkness as bullets land on the umbrella protecting you from the pound pound pound of the rain. We had thick clouds of heavy rain here last night. It was good for sleeping as I like to drift to the sound of rain.

  11. The mood us definetly heavy set and carries throughout. The wetness escapes the poem into the reader' sphere. Your writing is that credible


    Much love...

  12. You bring me there, scuttling through the storm in my trench coat like a beetle. Phrases like "all looks to be dank-dour-drab upon the weeping walk" excellently employ alliteration and emotion. I especially like the bullets.

  13. First, I love your drawing, so evocative of the rainy city of Vancouver. It is perfect! Your poem captures the grey concrete city walls, the wet, the smells and took me there.

  14. I am a huge film noir fan so I loved the images here...gritty and perfect for a film noir set...wonderful drawing too!