Wednesday April 10th, 2013

The exercise:

Write about: the chameleon.

Uneventful day. Hoping to get some work done tomorrow.

Sorry this is going up late, I got a little carried away with mine.


In the silence
That accompanies
His presence,
He speaks to the bouncer.
His words are not loud
Slipping through his easy smile
As he scans the crowd.

With a Benjamin handshake
He lets the bouncer know
Which two lovely ladies
Are going to go.
He takes them out of line
And brings them in on his elbows.

Speakers shrieking,
The floor seems to shake;
He buys a drink
For all the cops on the take,
Then brings his beer
To the back table,
Where he has the mayor's ear.

Their conversation
Doesn't last very long,
As a call interrupts
After just one song.
He shrugs his apologies,
Leaves a few bottles from the rack,
And with no explanation
Makes his way to the back.

A dark room
With one wooden chair;
Hands bound, mouth gagged,
A traitor waits there.
He walks in,
Closes the door with a sigh,
Cracks his knuckles,
Then removes his jacket and tie.

The beating is precise,
No energy is wasted;
Though before it ends
His own blood is tasted.
The tie and jacket return,
He gives his knuckles a rub,
And before a word is spoken
He returns to the club.


g2 (la pianista irlandesa) said...

Just because we're talking chameleons, I thought I'd share this lovely bit by Ze Frank (whom I highly recommend checking out in general).

And I think I'm drawing more inspiration from your bit than the chameleon bit, but ah well.
- - - - - - - - - - - -
Funny you should say that. I've never understood the comparison, nor do I particularly dig it much. For some reason folks call others who blend in well "chameleons", which isn't entirely fair to me or the chameleons. I looked them up once: they change color, but when they do they don't blend in, which isn't useful at all in my line of work. Plus they're from Earth---which I'm not---and they're a lizard---a comparison I don't particularly appreciate. I like to think I have some kind of standards.

Comparison aside, I don't understand why people feel the need to point out how apparently well I blend in until it's too late for them to do anything about it. Very Terrestrial of them, really, to point out a job requirement.

Of course not everybody goes the route of subtlety, relying instead on sheer intimidation, with varying degrees of success. Usually very low degrees. They get paid, sure, but their clients are those with a grudge to settle, no time to actually find the person, more money than is sane, and no appreciation for anything they can't hear coming from five kliks off. There's usually a bonus if they can feel the ground shake, too.

My clients, on the other hand, appreciate a bit of quiet and care, and prefer shadows to explosions. They understand the value of my occupation, though sometimes I have to explain it: if they want someone found, that's all well and good, but how valuable their target is to them is directly related to how much they're willing to pay. Live gets are also more, as they're a bit fussier in transit, but they're a hell of a lot easier to move; saves on shipping, really.

I know how to find my targets. In many cases, oddly enough, initially they tend to find me. I'm approachable like that, apparently. And they've no idea they're wanted beings.

Now, my client would prefer you alive, but understood that that may not be feasible. Honestly, I'd like to keep this as clean as possible, but of course that's all dependent on you.

David said...

Juan painted the car green. The week before blue, orange before that. Juan met every client's wish, although he never actually met them. The process repeated itself - envelope, cash, color choice. Forty eight hours later a car showed up at Juan's garage.

This car appeared three Mondays in a row, each time with a new license plate and scratches along the driver's side. The rear bumper was smashed on the second Monday. Juan fixed it, and the next weekend's envelope included extra money.

Juan finished the final coat. Rehab session complete. Good as new, Juan drove the car to 14th and Park. He stuck the keys in the glove box. Stay safe buddy. Juan got out of the car, ran his hand along the hood and walked away. See you next week.

Greg said...

@Marc: That's the longest poem I've seen you write for a while – did you have more time than usual, or was the muse just whispering insistently in your ear?
I like the structure you've chosen for it, and the way the rhyme scheme seems to drift in and out a little, always lurking somewhere but perhaps not where it was in the previous stanza. That said, I wonder if you didn't make a real decision about it until the third verse and that's why it's a little erratic at the start.
It tells a story, and although it's not original it is interesting. You don't tell us much about the protagonist, but everything in the poem is about him, as though you're describing him by the shadows he casts rather than by the light he avoids.
I quite enjoyed reading this, and I'd definitely encourage you to post a little more of this long form when you've got time :)

The chameleon
"I hate my pet."
"Why's that dear? It's a lizard, just like you asked for."
"I hate it."
"Darling, I understood you the first time. Why do you hate it? I'm sure it loves you."
"I can't find it!"
"Yes, well I did warn you about picking a chameleon in the pet shop, didn't I?"
"You said it reminded you of Daddy!"
"Yes, and it still does...."

Marc said...

g2 - I first heard of Ze Frank through his TED talk and meant to look into more of his stuff. Thank you for the link, both for its hilarity and as an excuse to lose myself to YouTube for... longer than I care to mention :P

Lots of great details in your bit, and I particularly like your final two paragraphs.

David - excellent stuff. I would happily read more about Juan's life, and the interesting complications that are sure to arrive at some point.

Greg - I didn't really have the time for it, but I couldn't make it any shorter. It was rather insistent :P

And yes, the rhyme scheme was... let us call it flexible... because I couldn't be bothered to make it consistent. Perhaps if I had more time.

Hah, nicely done with yours. Didn't see where that was going at all.