Night & The City: LA Noir
1.
LA Noir is the other side of Sunshine;
Crime Novels, a Century of scandals:
OJ Simpson to Fatty Arbuckle,
Charlie Chaplin to Phil Spector
Black Dahlia to the Hillside Strangler,
the Night Stalker & Charles Manson.
Celebrity mansions in Coldwater Canyon.
Mickey Cohen’s Haberdashery,
The Doors Live at the Whisky!
Take a left on Doheny,
Unsolved mysteries like Who shot Biggie?

2.
Robert Downey Jr. & Charlie Sheen
Celebrate hedonism’s program
Like Lindsay Lohan.
Ike Turner was an old man
Still doing cocaine.
Some hate the player,
Some hate the game.
Southern California seldom rains.
The Landscape of Broken Dreams,
Everything is not what it seems.

3.
Where have you gone Rita Hayworth?
America’s first Cover Girl
Divorced from Orson Welles.
“Who knows what evil
Lurks in the hearts of men? The shadow knows.”
Literary alcoholics Like F. Scotch Fitzgerald
Came to Hollywood for the paycheck.
Faulkner, Hemingway & Nathaniel West
drank at Musso & Franks.
Basking in B Movies & Ida Lupino
The Outsider under red-lit rain.
Dashiell Hammett wrote The Maltese Falcon,
James M. Cain began his reign
With The Postman Always Rings Twice.
Lucky Luciano & the Sunset Trocadero
Look at Dolores Del Rio on LA Brea,
Celluloid myth & screen legends
Gloria Swanson & Sunset Blvd
Somebody tell Cecil B. Demille
I’m ready for My Close Up.
William S. Hart to Humphrey Bogart,
Belushi OD’d at the Chateau MArmont.

4.
The Hollywood Ten became defendants
McCarthy frightened the country.
Fear ruled the Cold War,
Radicals became scapegoats.
Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
The City of Industry & Chinatown,
Conspiracy Theories abound,
And Most of them are true.

5.
Marilyn Monroe’s ghost haunts
The Hollywood Roosevelt,
where the first Oscars were held.
Now they’re in a shopping mall.
Everybody’s got something to sell,
Drop the velvet curtains
& roll out the red carpet.
The Hollywood myth
Started with Strawberry Fields.
The dirt road called Prospect Avenue
Grew into Hollywood Blvd.
Technicolor marquees & bright lights,
Tabloids publish catfights,
Fans line up on Premiere Nights,
Kodak got the naming rights,
Hollywood’s a lot prettier at night.

6.
Bards born under Bogart
Like Suzanne Lummis, LAureL Ann Bogen & Michael C. Ford
Created the poem noir...
Welcome to Beverly Hills.
EL Rancho Rodeo de Las Aguas,
The Gathering of the Waters.
LA Cienega began swamplands,
Cactus gardens & landscape architects
Rows of Palm trees & Eucalyptus,
Purple owers on Jacarandas,
Towering gates on Westside mansions.
Bette Davis said, “Take Fountain.”

7.
Restrictive Housing Covenants imposed social distance,
The struggle for Existence
Causes people to go for broke.
Hollywood is the City of Hope,
Songs of Innocence become Experience,
Dime detectives, dangerous dames,
Dead bodies & late night games.
LA’s criminal underworld dates back to the legend of Zorro.
Offshore Gambling ships owned by Bugsy Siegel.
A blanket of lights, the hills are on fire,
The city of night,
Seduced by desire.
Screams heard from afar,
An empty drink in a quiet bar,
A lonely ride in a busted car
Night in the city is L.A. Noir.