Friday, June 23, 2006

Entry #16

"Hoboken Haiku"
John McAuley

Bright part of dark sky,
open eye of a witnessing angel?
Forgive me for what I've done
in the shadow of an electric crucifix.

Dreck. Written while drunk after a job. Maybe I should stick to haiku. And teaching.

Teaching poetry part-time at Hoboken Community College barely keeps a roof over my head. But my side-job keeps a decent car in the garage and allows me time to write.

I would've done the last job for free though.

Somebody powerful was taking heat over the unacceptable activities of one of his "family" members.

I was the perfect outsider to clean things up.

It was easy. The target bought my story about having car problems and invited me into the house.
He was still staring at my chest when I shot him.

Tony Pallazio wouldn't be hustling any more twelve year old kids with booze, drugs and video games.

I set the house on fire when I left.

In the movie, "Unforgiven," Clint Eastwood's character ponders his motives for killing. The sky above him is dark on one side, bright on the other; with a gray, jagged strip in between.

I was thinking about that scene when I was settling up with the man who'd hired me.

"You did good. "

"Thanks," I said, handing him a note before taking the money.

Under Eastwood's sky;
Old house, dead end road of dirt,
Murder, justice, cash.

He laughed when he read it.

"Think I'll call you, ' The Haiku Hit Woman From Hoboken.'"


bekbek said...

The poetry and the movie reference make the character so natural. I love it. And I'd like to follow her story, which makes this like a really good appetizer!

Flood said...

Fun to make the underworld poetic.

Anthony J. Rapino said...

Nice bookending the story with poetry. I dug how natural she felt doing her job.

Jaye Wells said...

I love the twist of having a female hitman (hitperson?).

Bhaswati said...

I agree. The unlikely combination of poetry and the underworld add to the originality of this piece. Enjoyed reading it.

For The Trees said...

This is Choice Quality Shit, y'know?

She's good, we just didn't know it until it was over. The part about staring at my chest was the clue.

Damn fine work.

Scott said...

Hmm. I'll have to watch out for creative writing teachers. Nice mix of poetry and fiction.

Jer said...

I LOVE that the killer is a woman. Nice touch there.

Jeff said...

I'll never believe another woman who tells me she has car trouble. lol
Good writing. :)

desiderata said...


jest being knotty here - I'd still stop to help change tyres for a woman. I would have to be always behind her back, still.LOLs!

Jim said...

Heh, now that was poetic! ;-)

Amra Pajalic said...

Agree with all the posters. Love the twist with the hitman and the poetry book-end. Great twist on a traditional genre story.

JLB said...

I love the way you've intertwined poetry with the character and with the telling of the story! Well written!

Anonymous said...

Kind words; many thanks.
Mob hit, Clint, haiku killer.
She was fun to write.

John McAuley

jason evans said...

Congrats on 2nd place!!

This was wonderful. The perfect union of a unique idea, strong writing, and strong voice. Also, you packed a great deal of story into a small space. Bravo!!