Bogie Man

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bjondon
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Bogie Man

Post by bjondon » Tue Nov 12, 2019 3:22 pm

I once knew this guy or rather, I was thrown into his company. The whole thing was a strangely violent escapade - I don't come out of it at all well - in fact, I was almost killed, but that, I suppose, was just an accident. East Berlin, West too, were of course, a complete theatrical stage set back then, a noirish fantasy for us westerners. I got the boat train from London on New Year's Eve, met Eleanor on the first night. Bill didn't turn up till four days later. He was wearing a trench coat, collar turned up, possibly even a fedora. I realise now I've blanked his features out. Framed by my generous friends and a city that perfectly matched my mood, I had danced myself out of my habitually depressive shoes, sparkled just long enough to charm Eleanor into calling me up three days later. Would I like to come to Prague with her in two days time? Oh, and her 'friend' Bill was coming too. Bill and I bonded for exactly ten minutes (Tom Waits, I recall). Bill was an ex-punk out of LA, living cheap in West Berlin. I thought the Bogart get-up was just a kind of joke, a little bit of ironic theatre for the trip across the border; the stencilled neon skulls on his battered suitcase setting it off nicely. Conversation dried up already on the U-Bahn across town. The whole thing turned into an episode of Hancock's Half Hour in collision with The Big Sleep. And I was the patsy, the gooseberry, shaken awake on the long, cold hitchhike back, learning the impossible geography of the Belgium-Holland hellish nexus of motorways, the kindness of strangers. Bill, sitting in the same bar all day for three days until he 'made contact'; Eleanor dancing to the Beastie Boys' 'No Sleep till Brooklyn' watched by the pale-faced Czech kids and our hosts, the entire Iraqi Olympic Basketball Team; the bottles of ice-vodka wrapped in starched white linen; the speeding taxi that missed me, I don't know how; the skulls, yeah the skulls. Vonnegut used to say unexpected invitations were dancing lessons from God. I should never have listened to him.
Last edited by bjondon on Thu Nov 14, 2019 5:14 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Macavity
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Re: Bogie Man

Post by Macavity » Wed Nov 13, 2019 4:37 am

I'd still drop the Hancock reference Jules. It blinkers the slant too much in that world. Anyway the write doesn't need that prop or framing summation.

bjondon wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 3:22 pm
I once knew this guy or rather, I was thrown into his company. The whole thing was a strangely violent escapade - I don't come out of it at all well - in fact, I was almost killed, but that, I suppose, was just an accident. East Berlin, West too, were of course, a complete theatrical stage set back then, a noirish fantasy for us westerners. I got the boat train from London on New Year's Eve, met Eleanor on the first night. Bill didn't turn up till four days later. He was wearing a trench coat, collar turned up, possibly even a fedora. I realise now I've blanked his features out. Framed by my generous friends and a city that perfectly matched my mood, I had danced myself out of my habitually depressive shoes, sparkled just long enough to charm Eleanor into calling me up three days later. Would I like to come to Prague with her in two days time? Oh, and her 'friend' Bill was coming too. Bill and I bonded for exactly ten minutes (Tom Waites, I recall). Bill was an ex-punk living cheap in West Berlin. I thought the Bogart get-up was just a kind of joke, a little bit of ironic theatre for the trip across the border; the stencilled neon skulls on his battered suitcase setting it off nicely. Conversation dried up already on the U-Bahn across town. The whole thing turned into an episode of Hancock's Half Hour in collision with The Big Sleep. And I was the patsy, the gooseberry, shaken awake on the long, cold hitchhike back, learning the impossible geography of the Belgium-Holland hellish nexus of motorways, the kindness of strangers. Bill, sitting in the same bar all day for three days until he 'made contact'; Eleanor dancing to the Beatie Boys' 'No Sleep till Brooklyn' watched by the pale-faced Czech kids and our hosts, the entire Iraqi Olympic Basketball Team; the bottles of ice-vodka wrapped in starched white linen; the speeding taxi that missed me, I don't know how; the skulls, yeah the skulls. Vonnegut used to say unexpected invitations were dancing lessons from God. I should never have listened to him.

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Re: Bogie Man

Post by Dryanddeadwords » Thu Nov 14, 2019 1:41 pm

Hi bjondon,

Enjoyed reading this, but not sure why this is on the poetry board and not the prose board. Some typos cheapen the read too: Beatie Boys, Tom Waites.

Kind regards,
Dylan

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Re: Bogie Man

Post by bjondon » Thu Nov 14, 2019 6:19 pm

Hi Dylan - thanks for the read and the typos - you're right, it's flash fiction . . . though hard to tell these days.

mac - I see your point. The combination of sexual tension and 'holiday syndrome' is making all three characters revert to national stereotype. A UK/US standoff. Eleanor wouldn't dream of dancing to the Beastie Boys back home. The presence of N has maybe enabled her to get back with Bill. Perhaps Americans are brought up to project an image more than Brits.
I think something extra is needed there but the Hancock steer is over the top.

Jules

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Re: Bogie Man

Post by JJWilliamson » Fri Nov 15, 2019 12:54 pm

Philip Marlowe meets Rick Blaine, and who should walk in but Lisa Lund. "Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine."

Couldn't help but think of this, Jules, mainly because of the short, sharp delivery and matter-of-fact tone, which I enjoyed enormously. The writing is great from start to finish, drawing the reader into the heart of the speaker's world and experiences.

The style is prosaic but there are a number of rhetorical devices working all the way through, no doubt some of them accidental. Nevertheless, the flow and music of the poem is there, methinks. The assonance and consonance is especially impressive, AND there are some delightfully rhythmic sections, giving the feel of something beyond straight prose. However, I must admit that I struggle to define the prose poem, especially when it comes to definitive labelling.

Loved the geography.

Best

JJ
bjondon wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 3:22 pm
I once knew this guy or rather, I was thrown into his company. The whole thing was a strangely violent escapade - I don't come out of it at all well - in fact, I was almost killed, but that, I suppose, was just an accident. East Berlin, West too, were of course, a complete theatrical stage set back then, a noirish fantasy for us westerners. I got the boat train from London on New Year's Eve, met Eleanor on the first night. Bill didn't turn up till four days later. He was wearing a trench coat, collar turned up, possibly even a fedora. I realise now I've blanked his features out. Framed by my generous friends and a city that perfectly matched my mood, I had danced myself out of my habitually depressive shoes, sparkled just long enough to charm Eleanor into calling me up three days later. Would I like to come to Prague with her in two days time? Oh, and her 'friend' Bill was coming too. Bill and I bonded for exactly ten minutes (Tom Waits, I recall). Bill was an ex-punk out of LA, living cheap in West Berlin. I thought the Bogart get-up was just a kind of joke, a little bit of ironic theatre for the trip across the border; the stencilled neon skulls on his battered suitcase setting it off nicely. Conversation dried up already on the U-Bahn across town. The whole thing turned into an episode of Hancock's Half Hour in collision with The Big Sleep. And I was the patsy, the gooseberry, shaken awake on the long, cold hitchhike back, learning the impossible geography of the Belgium-Holland hellish nexus of motorways, the kindness of strangers. Bill, sitting in the same bar all day for three days until he 'made contact'; Eleanor dancing to the Beastie Boys' 'No Sleep till Brooklyn' watched by the pale-faced Czech kids and our hosts, the entire Iraqi Olympic Basketball Team; the bottles of ice-vodka wrapped in starched white linen; the speeding taxi that missed me, I don't know how; the skulls, yeah the skulls. Vonnegut used to say unexpected invitations were dancing lessons from God. I should never have listened to him.
Long time a child and still a child

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Re: Bogie Man

Post by Namyh » Fri Nov 29, 2019 7:08 pm

Bjondon - Don't know why I enjoyed this but I certainly did. Thanks for sharing. Namyh

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