Casablanca Blank

It is always Gare de Lyon

and the last train out

of a city facing ruin;

It will always be

“As time goes by..”

and by,

and bye-bye..

The trenchcoat and hat

drenched by the long rain

of waiting and waiting,

of being Rick Blaine

a man with too much valour

in his heart being caught out,

not by the Men in Grey

who only want his life,

but by you,Ilse,who should’ve

wanted his heart and that stood

alone and waiting in the long rain

on the crowded platform

heaving with hearts pounding

in the communal solitude

of a time and a chance

left twisting,slowly,slowly,

in mirrors and labyrinths

where memories lose themselves

and are lost and found,


always at Gare de Lyon,

on fateful afternoons

where time never goes by.




Posted in Classic Cinema, Culture, Existential, Nostalgia, Poetry Noir, Popular Culture, War, World war II | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Encounter with a Stranger

The Stranger with the shabby overcoat
and hangdog expression asked me
if I could spare him a few reminiscences,
I replied that the change in my pockets
changes with the changing tide,
though I could offer him
some reflections instead;

The Stranger sat back in his chair
ordered himself another absinthe
and began whistling some nameless tune
while he waited for his drink to arrive;

” If all our pain and sorrow
only came on the morrow
would we set the alarm late
or not at all?
taking the chance that
vicissitudes had all
somehow passed us by
while we were fast asleep.”

” And were we to store all
our tears shed in our lives,
how big would the bottle have to be?
Could we claim back some pennies
if we returned it empty? ”

The Stranger glanced askance
at his watch where time had
stopped years ago,
he wondered aloud where
the waiter might’ve got to
with his drink?

” If we don’t feel the suffering of others,
how will we know if we have blood in our veins? ”

The Stranger got up,
bid me adieu;
after he’d left
I saw in the mirror that
there was no longer a reflection there
of me.

Posted in Allegory, Contemporary Society, Ennui, Existential, Homage to Borges, Horror, Identity, Poetry Noir | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment


Stumbling along wet evening streets

glancing at the jigsaw faces

from years ago

torn and flapping,

trying to recall who they were

their names erased by years of exile

from the beams of projectors

piercing the spiralling smoke

with their monochrome magic

engraving spendthrift lives

with icons of fulfilment,

momentarily tethered to

hearts by a spoken word,

a melody hummed,


while we watched their ghosts

glide across the screen like

seagulls into the fleeting clouds,

where they were lost

to the naked eye.

Posted in Cinema, Classic Cinema, Ekphrasic Poetry, Ennui, Existential, Nostalgia, Popular Culture, Social History | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bruges Ennui

Lost in the grey

of an evening

in Bruges;

On streets I no longer recognise

searching for those bars

whose names I no longer remember,

where I was enveloped in a

pervasive aroma of wheat beer

that hovered aloft like incense

at altars I once worshipped at;

The Belfort Tower still towers above

an intricate labyrinth of crook backed,

criss crossed narrow streets

whose timeless mise-en-scene

admonishes me for not staying longer;

From a distance,

thro’ a smoke misted window pane

a jingle jangle jukebox

whispers inarticulately

remnants of a melody

that once was the anthem

of lives lived long ago.

Posted in Allegory, Bruges, Contemporary Society, Culture, Ennui, Existential, Identity, Nostalgia | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Existential Interlude

The pain Antonio Cabral felt

for the loss of his loved ones

could not be negated

by a latent dependency on

opiates and liquor;

Amid the dank squalor

and vicissitudes of an ascetic refuge

in the doldrums of a nameless

friendless city he finally

confronted the phantasms of

his ineluctable failings and

was reconciled to them.

Posted in Allegory, Contemporary Society, Dystopia, Ennui, Existential, Horror, Identity, Philosophy, Poetry Noir | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Daily Routine

Every evening at 5.09
he leaves the office,
takes the streetcar
into town,
goes for a stroll
down to the park
by the canal;

there he sits
on the bench nearest
the ornate water fountain;

He dreams,
of a lost childhood
long summers ago
by the sea,
days filled with singing,
laughing and

Crying now,
the little girl
by the fountain
who has lost her way,
golden hair,eyes of grey,
reflected in his thick lenses;

As he watches her
he dreams,
of long summers ago,
a childhood by the sea
filled with laughing
and crying;

now in the park
he lies beneath a summer sky,
side by side with
the golden girl
she lies
very still.

Posted in Dystopia, Ennui, Existential, Homage to Film Noir, Horror, Identity, Poetry Noir | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Notes on the Passage of Time

In empty rooms

filled with the scent

of nicotine and loneliness,

once shining

memories of bronze

turned verdigris

through harsh winters;




the dots and dashes

of life

rendered indecipherable

by the passing of time;

Its fragile tones

a melancholy tune

on an old music box

that echoes in empty rooms;

Bereft of




Posted in Allegory, Dystopia, Ennui, Existential, Faith-centred, Horror, Identity, Nostalgia | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment