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(Poem Noir: Insert Title Here)

Did I tell you about Uncle Leo?
Uncle Leo lives in the big city –
In a rent controlled apartment,
He’s PI.
He sleeps in the morning
works at night
smokes incessantly.

Lola, his blond girlfriend,
she is gorgeous, I might add,
cohabitants those two.
Well sometimes.

Some days
she goes missing
for days.
Uncle Leo says he despises her
thinks she’s cheating on him.
“Well why don’t you break up then?”
Uncle Leo says he can’t
He loves her too. Much.

Uncle Leo harbors a secret, too.
He performs this ritual
every morning he opens the safe
and takes something out.
Every night he opens the safe
and puts something back in.

What is it, a gun?
a diamond? something of value?
He won’t tell –
not to Lola
not to me
not to my mom
who is, his sister
To no one.

(“Will you stop spinning tall tales,
This is suppose to be a Poem Noir”).

Ok. Ok. I have a confession to make
I did make stuff up
about Uncle Leo.

That’s not his real name.
He doesn’t really live in Manhattan.
He is not really a PI.
He doesn’t smoke.
Goes to sleep at 10pm.
Well, sometimes 930.
He doesn’t really have a blonde girlfriend named Lola.
As a matter of fact
He is married. To a brunette

for long, odd years
and yes,
she’s faithful.

Leo, let’s continue calling him, Leo
shall we?
He is my uncle.
He’s an average, normal guy
lives in the ‘burbs
in a cookie cutter house
with green, manicured lawn
works 9to5.

But he does have a secret.
He does do that thing –
opening and closing the safe
every morning
every night.
Taking something out
putting something back in.

Today. Yes today.
Is the big Reveal.
After my insistence
and his denials,
for all those years – The Reveal.

He hands me the keys to the safe and
tells me to open it
And asks me to take out a brown pouch.
“Bring it to me”.  I do.
He unzips
and empties the contents
on his open palm

two shiny
glassy, round mounds.
Two marbles,
with rich hues of greens and blues and whites.

WTF, Leo, WTF.
After all these years
this was your big secret.
Two Marbles.
1. 2. effing marbles.

Leo senses the disappointment.
“Don’t you want to know, how I got ’em?”
Fine. Tell me.

He says:

In college,
at a party this crazy guy
bumps into me and says:
‘Look out the window, what do you see?’
The clouds.
Two minutes later, he asks me again
The clouds have moved.
Two minutes later, he asks me again – ‘Anything else?’
The sky, I said.
He slips something in my pocket and 

whispers something in my ears.
I never see him again.
Well, don’t you want to know
What he said.

Little intrigued. I said sure.

Leo, with a mischievous glint in his eyes
hands me the marble and says:

The marbles are yours to keep.

The guy had whispered,
‘don’t lose your marbles.’

Notes: NaPoWriMo 2013 Day 9 prompt is writing a poem inspired by noir. This is out on the limb for me.  Either this worked or it bombed major. Either way, keeping up with daily posting, there is no second-guessing.



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