Live Life Like A Thin Man Movie

by Matthew Peluso


Look at us!

Mask-wearing isolationists, plague survivors

Virtual reality dwellers, afraid of basic human interaction

Living in a world where Dr. Seuss and Mr. Potato Head

Are deconstructed like Derrida on a bad identity politics trip    

How Nick and Nora would mock us, rightly

Mugs . . . lummocks, they’d call us

They had to live life in a convoluted and impossible story-line

So incomprehensible that even Hammett’s denouements could only be ludicrous 

No wonder they started the day with a whiskey or rye (booze, not bread)

And needed at least 30 or more of the same throughout the day

Before switching to endless cocktails and champagne later

With all the everchanging fall guys, saps and stool-pigeons

Being set-up, or beaten into false confessions by flat-foots   

Eventually bumped-off by monosyllabic fat guys in double-breasted suits

To the eternal disappointment of some diminutive, sarcastic 80-lb broad

Quick of jaw, and with a smack or kick to get her point across

Bemoaning her falling (again) for such a stupid gorilla, ape or lug

Yet, no caving-in to yoga or lounge paints for those mouthy sisters

They were always perfectly made-up and coiffed, regardless of plot-surprises

Dolled up in formal evening gowns, furs and a bizarre assortment of hats

Whether in bed, or constantly sashaying around the hotel suite  

Hosting impromptu parties with dozens of uninvited, disparate guests

Before heading out to the same club in every city, open all hours

That always had a 50-piece band fronted by some as-of-yet unfamous singer

Completely ignored by the couple thousand people jammed into the joint

Chain-smoking non-filter cigarettes and talking non-stop over each other

Until they hit the dance floor, cheek-to-cheek, but still wise-cracking to

Their tuxedo-wearing, pencil-thin mustached fellas with Brilliantine-slicked hair



Matthew Peluso is a civil rights attorney and poet based in Princeton, New Jersey. His poetry is inspired by the discriminated and marginalized people he represents. His poems have appeared in the Opiate Magazine, Roanoke Review, Waterways: Poetry In The Mainstream, the Wilderness House Literary Review and Stoneboat Literary Journal. Bill Mazza is a visual artist using chance, duration, and accumulation to reinterpret landscape as a relationship of people to their mediated environments, through painting, performance, and community-building collaborations.

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