Here’s a fun piece I did a while back, while writing The Naked Dame. I used this series of connective or narrative haikus as warmup toward writing the clipped prose of that novel. You can consider this a prelude to the novel, or at least a mini-story that takes place in the same nostalgic, black-and-white 1950s universe.  I think the fact that it’s a bunch of haikus strung together to form a story flies in the face of the purity and essence of the haiku, but hey, who cares? It was fun. (And is the plural of haiku haikus? Again, I don’t care.)

Haiku Noir
by Jason Bovberg

Femme fatale lights up
From red lips smoke in his eyes
Money changes hands

She stands, turns to leave
Curves in all the right places
He smirks at her scent

The office is hot
Charlie thinks about the dame
He fingers the dough

That night Charlie prowls
The mean streets are hot and wet
He’s tailing her Frank

He catches a whiff
Down by the piers past L.A.
Mournful foghorns moan

Charlie cocks his hat
Drops his smoke under a boot
He’s found his target

Ol’ Frank is busy
His whore has a blackened eye
Motel sign buzzing

Frank juts his cruel jaw
A chewed cigar flops around
The whore mewls and whines

Snap! goes the photo
The private dick earns his wad
Charlie packs it up

Back at the office
Frank’s wife bends over pictures
Charlie studies her

“I knew it,” she says
The detective nods curtly
His work here is done

But then she’s crying
Charlie grabs for his hankie
She’s pretty, broken

Sudden lonely kiss
The room goes quiet, appalled
Their bodies collide

“This is a bad thing,”
He whispers into her lips
Her tears wet his cheek

Door glass says PRIVATE
She stands, wobbles, blocks the word
He knows it’s still there

“Come back here,” he says
They become one on his desk
Feels good to be bad

Frank rams through the door
The glass, PRIVATE, shatters in
“Knew you were a whore!”

Frank’s gun bellows fire
Empty whiskey glass explodes
Blood on the dame’s thigh

Charlie picks her up
Tosses her screaming at Frank
The brute drops his gun

Desk drawer opens up
The gun slides neat as you please
Weapon in his palm

“Out of my office!
The two of you stink like fish!
I’ve had it with you.

“It’s always the same
The dame and the jerk, two creeps
Each is out for blood.

“She caught you, ol’ Frank
And you caught her, bare, right here
So enough’s enough.”

The naked dame squirms
Frank shifts cruelly; he’s seething
They dress, go away

Ol’ Frank will be back
The dick can count on that, yes
Pretty soon, in fact

He loads up his gun
Thinks about the dame and smiles
It’s a crazy world