They Write by Night: Conjugal Bliss and Some Murders
It’s not noir exactly — this show’s much too cheerful, and it pre-dates noir — but it’s got some bodies, murdered ones, and a detective to puzzle over them. So, close enough.
It’s not a realistic marriage, not exactly, but parts catch the fun of marriage — or, at least the fun parts of a fun marriage. And in The Thin Man nothing’s more fun than solving some murders. Why, Nick Charles, with moral support from his wife Nora, can solve a murder in between cocktails. That’s Nick and Nora played by William Powell and the peerless Myrna Loy.
I’m now discovering how many of my friends lust after Powell. I never wouda guessed. Just goes to show — ya never really know anybody.
And, as for the female lead… I want to be Myrna Loy and, years back, an elegant, older British man told me I could be. In fact, he went further. He told me I was… Some men’ll say anything.
And some of the things men’ll say are said by the massively popular poet and YA author, first Poet Laureate of South Pasadena. You know who I’m talking about. Ron Koertge. I feature his poem, and what a smooth, silky noir poem it is.
– Suzanne Lummis
Top image credit to www.Poetry.LA
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Suzanne Lummis, noted practitioner and exponent of NOIR POETRY, unpacks a genre infused with the ethos of mid-20th Century hard-boiled fiction and crime movies, presenting examples from poets both living and “quite dead.” An influential teacher through the UCLA Extension Writers' Program and co-founder of the Los Angeles Poetry Festival, Lummis produced a 2011 city-wide, 25-event series, “Night in the City: L.A. Noir Poetry, Fiction and Film.” Her 2012 essay “The Poem Noir — Too Dark to Be Depressed” (Malpais Review, Vol. 3, No. 3) is essential reading on the subject. Lummis was awarded a 2018/19 C.O.L.A. (City of Los Angeles) fellowship to create a series of new poems. Her most recent collection is Open 24 Hours (Lynx House Press). Her poems have appeared in three Knopf "Everyman's Poetry" anthologies, including Killer Verse: Poems of Murder and Mayhem, and in The Antioch Review, New Ohio Review, Plume, The American Journal of Poetry and The New Yorker. She edited the anthology "Wide Awake: Poets of Los Angeles and Beyond" (Pacific Coast Poetry Series/Beyond Baroque Books) named one of the Ten Best Books of 2015 in the Los Angeles Times. (Photo by Alexis Rhone Fancher)