Meeting with a Lawyer

“Joshua Smith” by William Dobell
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.”

17 thoughts on “Meeting with a Lawyer

  1. You certainly succeeded in hard boiled similes. “asaparagus-style shoulders” “narrow fingers
    promising narrow thoughts” I’ve never read Raymond Chandler, but I enjoyed this poem very much.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. wonderful writing; you have described the man with acuity ; best of all, all stanzas make compelling reading; and, Worms, I inadvertently deleted your comment on ‘They See Ghosts’; if you could put it up again, that’d be freat — it was a great comment

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi John, THanks for your lovely comments. I can’t remember exactly what I wrote on “They See Ghosts”. I think if you click on “My Site” in the top left, and then “comments” you might be able to retrieve my original comment. I”ll reread the poem and see if it evokes the same comment. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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