Zach Rogow: “Film Noir”
On a street jeweled with shadows and trembling with light,
Deep eyes over a trench coat narrow with shame.
In a world big enough to hide in, no one does right.
A tainted blond sings lamé ballads every night.
Her wit, her power—and she knows so well the game
Of a street jeweled with shadows and veiled by the light.
A bullet—a body that he covers from sight.
This city! Every match here can become a flame.
In a world big enough to hide in—how to do right?
The trench coat solves the puzzle—no, maybe not quite.
He makes one false move, he’s a fall guy for the blame
On a street jeweled with shadows and trembling with light.
Is the blonde on the level? They had that one night.
He thinks the redhead pictures him inside a frame.
The world’s big enough to hide in. Should he do right,
And will he crack the case and get the girl? He might
Or might not win the race to rinse his name.
On a street jeweled with shadows, and trembling with light
The world’s big enough to hide in—still, he does right.
Zack Rogow is the author, editor, or translator of twenty books or plays. His eighth book of poems, Talking with the Radio: poems inspired by jazz and popular music, was published by Kattywompus Press. He is also writing a series of plays about authors. The most recent of these, Colette Uncensored, had its first staged reading at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC in 2015 and ran for six months at The Marsh in San Francisco and Berkeley in 2016 and 2017. He teaches in the low-residency MFA in writing program at the University of Alaska, Anchorage.