A 3rd-Rate Philip Marlowe (2019)

A 3rd Rate Philip Marlowe - drawing by Harvey Dog 2020

She walked up to me
at the smoke-filled bar
(cliche) right on time,
I looked at her legs
(they were good legs),
she looked me in the eyes
& offered me a drink:
“What will you have?”
I looked at her legs again,
she asked me why I was
acting like a 3rd-rate
Philip Marlowe,
I said because I am a 3rd-rate
Philip Marlowe,
she didn’t know what to say
…so I kissed her

Our lips parted
I said alright babe
take me to your leader,
she took me outside
in the rain
& stopped
beside a parking meter,
she looked up & down
the street and said:
“They’re gone.”
“You playing me for a
3rd-rate Philip Marlowe?”
I asked her,
she shrugged her shoulders
& smiled
…so I kissed her

Why do you keep kissing me?
I’m looking for clues, I replied,
any luck? she asked me
not yet,
she looked me up & down & said,
then you better keep looking
for clues, you 3rd-rate Philip Marlowe
…so I kissed her


  • Do I need to explain that I am not encouraging the behaviour of this 3rd-rate Philip Marlowe? Satire, baby.
  • I read “The Big Sleep” last fall, and it was the first Raymond Chandler I perused. I enjoyed it…appreciated his craft, it was a breezy read…but, I cracked a lot at the dated dialogue. Did people really talk like that?

Written: September 19th, 2019

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