After William Dobell's Painting Supposing him to be her superior was a bad start to any interview and, like a school ma’am on picnic day, she gathered herself into her face imagining the square root of herself emanating, dark and precise, from eyes as piercing as the tines of a rusty fork. The lawyer before her had ears like bent paperclips - too long in the hands of a fidgeter. And his neck was run up fervently by the collar of his shirt. At its base, the stalk was reinforced by wide lapels, caressing the edges of his skinny, asaparagus-style shoulders. She took her seat, meanwhile, noting his small head, and hands as generous as a Woolwich home, narrow fingers promising narrow thoughts. And yet… and yet, his wrists were palely slender like the tights of those Russian ballerinas on the ardent stages of Sydney town. Yes, to her disgust, under the morbid gaze of those too-poached eyes, she knew she wanted to kiss his pale wrist skin, the way it barely concealed bones & vessels, a sheer kind of petticoat for the man’s inner workings, a daring display beyond the modesty of his voluminous sleeves.
Written for NaPoWriMo Day #24
“Hard-boiled detective novels are known for their use of vivid similes, often with an ironic or sarcastic tone. Novelist Raymond Chandler is particularly adept at these. Here are a few from his novels:
- A few locks of dry, white hair clung to his scalp, like wild flowers fighting for life on a bare rock.
- Dead men are heavier than broken hearts.
- From 30 feet away she looked like a lot of class. From 10 feet away she looked like something made up to be seen from 30 feet away.
- She smelled the way the Taj Mahal looks by moonlight.
- He looked about as inconspicuous as a tarantula on a slice of angel food.
Today, I’d like to challenge you to channel your inner gumshoe, and write a poem in which you describe something with a hard-boiled simile. Feel free to use just one, or try to go for broke and stuff your poem with similes till it’s . . . as dense as bread baked by a plumber, as round as the eyes of a girl who wants you to think she’s never heard such language, and as easy to miss as a brass band in a cathedral.”