Monday, January 15, 2018

Joe Nazare


The first time, he was looking for clues in a warehouse
And ended up studying the backs of his eyelids
When the night watchman sidled up and sapped him—
One quick, clipped blow, tender as a sledgehammer.

A mere love tap compared to the work of Angel Devine.
Girl had the kind of curves they post road signs about,
And proved just how dangerous she was when she
Unceremoniously knighted him with a fireplace poker.

A has-been pug and would-be enforcer for Slick Mickey Hart,
Trying to dissuade his investigations with haymakers.
Automatically, he’d cracked wise to the thug after each blow.
FYI: it works much better when the wrist isn't limp.

Same racket, but with badges: that boozehound Blaxton
Made a Monster of the Midway look like a puppy dog.
Had to be a graduate of the Inquisition rather than the academy,
The way he conducted interrogations with his brass-ringed knuckles.

Such scenes he can recall, so many others lost to the shadows.
Trouble is, his ship’s hull of a skull wasn’t enough.
Despite his determined efforts to embody the hard-boiled,
He apparently failed to prevent a belated scramble.

Would've raised his rates had he known the protracted cost of business,
The terrible theft that had gone undetected all these years.
Last month his doctor hit him with some ominous acronym,
A condition he couldn’t even begin to understand.

Privatized, he sits in his armchair, gun nested in blanketed lap.
Never ventures out: isn’t a street now that doesn’t seem mean to him.
These days, the only one he suspects is everyone,
And none moreso than himself.

Gerald So reads "Thought Crime":

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Joe confesses: "Diagnoses of CTE in former football players got me to thinking about another profession that traditionally involves repeated hits to the head. This poem is my speculation about what the latter days of a Chandleresque hard-boiled detective might be like."

A personal trainer by day, JOE NAZARE spends his nights working to get readers bent all out of shape. His fiction, poetry, and nonfiction has appeared in such places as Dark Discoveries, Pseudopod, Clowns: The Unlikely Coulrophobia Remix, Star*Line, Grievous Angel, Death in Common, and The Internet Review of Science Fiction. He is also the author of the collection Autumn Lauds: Poems for the Halloween Season. His blog, Dispatches from the Macabre Republic, is published at

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