There’s nothing but noir evenings on this street where the pavement is uneven. Never try to build up the infrastructure with a bunch of scabs who have no romance for civilization n their bones. The gunman is on his way to the pawn shop to get the ticket redeemed on his art. I saw him peeking through pretty Maryanne’s keyhole on Wednesday night. Those were better times. So much can change after a short trip to Egypt and the arrival of another Saturday. I was with him at Maryanne’s, but figured that it was for the best not to catch the flight to Cairo where I had never been, and didn’t want to be, being that I was short of cash and it was still another week until payday. I stayed behind singing the Dead Sea Scrolls by the side of the swimming pool at the Hilton Hotel where all the National Guardsmen had come to congregate and smoke cigars during the days of the emergency. They were a casual lot, easy with the toss of nickels and dimes. At a certain point I wasn’t even trying to carry a tune, but they didn’t care and I came out of it with enough cash to buy myself a pack of cigarettes. The gunman didn’t have the same luck. He had the Pyramids though. He ended up on some slave ship or Mayflower working in the galley to make his way back to America. There’s no money in that, but he was good at selling stolen harpoons that he had smuggled off the ship and that was what set him straight in the end. Now that he’s got the cash to get his pistol back, along with the silencer, the world seems like it’s spinning straighter than it has been in some time, probably since the days of Christopher Columbus. The road back to being an assassin isn’t as easy as it’s made out to be in the pulps.
John Greiner is a writer living in Queens, NY. He was educated at the New School for Social Research. Greiner’s work has appeared in Sand Journal, Empty Mirror, Sensitive Skin, Unarmed, Street Value and numerous other magazines. His books of poetry include Turnstile Burlesque (Crisis Chronicles Press) and Bodega Roses (Good Cop/Bad Cop Press). His collaborative work with photographer Carrie Crow has appeared at the Tate Liverpool, the Queens Museum and in galleries in New York, Los Angeles, Venice, Paris, Berlin and Hamburg.