a shimmer shape (in a scarlet cape)

was that youida . . . they said you worea red cloak that youwere waitingwhile squizzy stolethe stoles and the furs and dresses they held youin a lock-upbut . . . perhapsyou playedyour charms . . . . . . in such a way . . . in such a way . . . you … Continue reading a shimmer shape (in a scarlet cape)

besotted (said detective piggott)

detective piggottsaid they make him outsome sortof demi-god a crafty eyeanda curling sneer he wears the bestof suitswitha velvet collarandblack bowler hat he’s little morethana snazzy littlevillain . . . and a murderer . . . they idolize said detective piggott and the girls – poorunderworld besottedcreatures – allseem readyto do more ~

a gun he was (with a drooping eye)

lesliewas a spivthey said sharpand meanand threatening a very nastylittle man handy with a gun(the law could nevermake a chargestick fast) buthe loved his girlswitha dangerous edge and they lovedtheirlittle man ferociously with loyalty even thoughhe was so bad even thoughhe dragged themin he was a gunwith a squizzy eye he lovedto dance ~

to be (jazz baby)

what did you learnin miss lillias’school to twirl . . . pirouette . . . to floatas though uponthe air and whendid you first learnaboutthe palais the palais de dance about escapefrom your bedroomin the nightto float acrossa different air jazza-ma-tazz from fourteenin a ballet classtosixteenin the night ohwhat a journeyfor a girl to bejazz … Continue reading to be (jazz baby)

dance in the shadows (for leslie)

babe it’s nineteentwenty-twoyou know you’re seventeenand leslieis on a job come on be in it waitin the running carsitbeside the driver there’s money’and there’s fursand . . . what won’t youdofor the thrillof your man babe babe . . . when the copperscome saynothing at all tell themnothingat all leslie your lesliewill break youfree babein … Continue reading dance in the shadows (for leslie)

the powerful woman

I heard shediedin seventy-one that can’t be rightif sheis myida andI heard she marriedthreeor four times my ida! was she a womanwho stayednear the inner cityand fitzroyuntil she died a woman who marriedbecausea manis a manandit can bea dangerouslife orwas she alreadyailingin nineteentwenty-six did she struggleeven thenwith murderous demonsthat stayed with herall her days and … Continue reading the powerful woman

ida-spider (I knew her when)

oh . . .yes I remember Ida she was in the psychogeriatric wardwhen I was a student backin the late seventiesI think it was at leasteveryone said –all our amateur nurse-detectives –that it washer she was thinwasn’t she spindle legs gauntbony armsand face blackened eyes I recallshe would walkpacing up and downthose long corridorsbetween the … Continue reading ida-spider (I knew her when)