Sunday, December 6, 2009

Pulp Poem of the Week has moved!

New poems are now appearing weekly at

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Monday, November 16, 2009

She had no business being
so damned smart and
so damned sexually attractive
at the same time.
One or the other was fine.
A man could understand that
and cope with it.

Brett Halliday
A Redhead for Mike Shayne

Monday, November 9, 2009

His eyes were dimming crescents,
straining upward into the starred
night sky,
as if trying to make out, to visualize,
some phantom face that no one else
could see.
And what is love anyway but the
the reaching out toward an illusion?

Cornell Woolrich
Rendezvous in Black

Monday, November 2, 2009

She knew how.

Marvin H. Albert
Devil in Dungarees

Monday, October 26, 2009

What the hell!
Two hundred bucks a week,
and all I'd have to do for it
was occasionally kill
somebody for him.

"When do I start?" I said.

Bruno Fischer
The Fast Buck

Monday, October 19, 2009

Dead men
are heavier
than broken hearts.

Raymond Chandler
The Big Sleep

Monday, October 12, 2009

Ostensibly a lawyer, he maintained
a luxurious Hollywood office.
He even kept office hours.
But he hadn't appeared
in a courtroom for years.
He didn't have to.
He knew where too many bodies,
male and female,
had spent their lost weekends.
His was a nasty business
but he never had trouble
with his conscience.
He had none.

Day Keene
Framed in Guilt

Monday, October 5, 2009

What was that line
about walking a mile
in another man's shoes?
Oh yeah:
By the time he figures out
you've screwed him over,
you're a mile away, and
you've got his shoes.

David J. Schow
Gun Work

Monday, September 28, 2009

I'm not afraid
of dying.
Dying is
the easy part.

Jon Bassoff
The Disassembled Man

Monday, September 21, 2009

He lay beneath a single white sheet
which still showed creases from the
This sheet had not been slept with--
and neither had Halquist.

Gil Brewer
The Bitch

Monday, September 14, 2009

Bookmakers have
remarkably little faith
in the inherent
nobility of man.

Charles Williams
Nothing in Her Way

Monday, September 7, 2009

It sure is awful
to die in Arkansas
with this circus.

Jim Tully
Circus Parade

Monday, August 31, 2009

His books don't sound
like he had any fun
writing them.
But you see ads,
you can buy every book
Zane Grey wrote and
fill up a whole shelf.
For people who
don't know any better.

Elmore Leonard
Up in Honey's Room

Monday, August 24, 2009

It had been good.
He'd thought he loved her,
and she'd certainly acted
the part of loving him.
It was like getting cut
across the throat
when he found she was laying
not one guy, not even two--
but every beer-faced stud
in the county.
And then coming back to him
with her fine virginal face,
her just-for-you-honey body,
and her church-going, fine, clean
mind that manufactured
all the crazy promises
that had him standing
on his ear night and day.
And he never knew until
that time in a bar,
when a stranger began
bragging to him
about the quick piece
he'd knocked off
that afternoon
in a park
on the edge of town.

Gil Brewer
Little Tramp

Monday, August 17, 2009

I don't mind if you
forgot my name.
It's about as ordinary
as a name can be.
Even I feel like
forgetting it sometimes.
It's not that easy, though,
to forget your own name.

Haruki Murakami
After Dark
(translated by Jay Rubin)

Monday, August 10, 2009

are just
a nuisance.

John Farris
Baby Moll

Monday, August 3, 2009

it is good
for a man
to be drunk.

Dorothy B. Hughes
Ride the Pink Horse

Monday, July 27, 2009

She started a low
continuous moaning,
as though she had
just been branded.

James McKimmey
The Long Ride

Monday, July 20, 2009

Did you ever stop
to figure that
there's all kinds
of ways of dying,
but only one way
of being dead?

Jim Thompson
The Killer Inside Me

Monday, July 13, 2009

I had to see you,
or I'd go crazy.

Gil Brewer
The Brat

Monday, July 6, 2009

It was an ancient house,
built in the late nineties
and constantly repaired
and restored since then.
There was nothing
but the look of money
wastefully squandered here--
a smell of money
even in the flower beds
where roses smelled like
sweaty fifty-cent pieces
instead of roses, and
the jasmine had the scent of
a disinfectant used in banks.

Harry Whittington
Hell Can Wait

Monday, June 29, 2009

You can label almost anybody
by finding out what time
they go to work in the morning.

Robert Bloch
The Scarf

Monday, June 22, 2009

New York and Hollywood
is full of her, she is
everywhere you turn,
and when you have reached
the ripe age of thirty-six,
you have learned it is
useless to try to warn
her of the pitfalls.
Because nothing can daunt her--
nothing except time,
years of batting her pretty head
against too many disappointments,
and her firm white fanny
against too many mattresses.

Steve Fisher
No House Limit

Monday, June 15, 2009

I had seen
so many houses burned down,
so many cars wrecked,
so man corpses
with blue holes in their temples,
so many awful things
that people had pulled
to crook the wheel,
that that stuff didn't seem real
to me any more.
If you don't understand that,
go to Monte Carlo
or some other place
where there's a big casino,
sit at a table,
and watch the face of the man
that spins the little ivory ball.
After you've watched it a while,
ask yourself how much
he would care
if you went out and
plugged yourself in the head.
His eyes might drop
when he heard the shot,
but it wouldn't be from worry
whether you lived or died.
It would be to make sure
you didn't leave
a bet on the table,
that he would have to cash
for your estate.

James M. Cain
Double Indemnity

Monday, June 8, 2009

It don't take
much brains
to outsmart
a man who
trusts you.

Jim Thompson
Nothing More Than Murder

Monday, June 1, 2009

What can a man do
when a girl
grabs him like that?
A man has to be

W. R. Burnett
High Sierra

Monday, May 25, 2009

"Don't move," he said,
in a voice that was
forty percent gravel and
sixty percent inert materials.

Donald E. Westlake
Somebody Owes Me Money

Monday, May 18, 2009

There was now only
the process of taking away.
He wondered if
it was like that with everyone,
and he decided that
it must be.
And he wondered how
they felt,
and reasoned that
they must feel
about as he.
That was all
there was to life:
a gift that was slowly
taken away from you.

Jim Thompson
Heed the Thunder

Monday, May 11, 2009

He cursed us in a low,
steady, monotonous voice,
ripping his words
off back-alley fences,
off privy walls.

Robert Bloch

Monday, May 4, 2009

The lights were coming on,
twinkling in Glendale,
flickering over Forest Lawn,
sparkling along San Fernando Road.
Los Angeles, that gaudy old
whore of a city was putting on
her jewels for a big night.

Robert Bloch
Shooting Star