Vera: No Detours

Detour (1945)

Dedicated to Ann Savage

“Come on, come on
Put your hands into the fire
Explain, explain
As I turn and meet the power
This time, This time
Turning white and senses dire
Pull up, pull up
From one extreme to another”
– Into the Fire by 13 Senses

standing by the highway
alone against eternity
one last chance
to make it – big time

your dyin’ babe
lungs can’t hold out too long
against the rising tide
choking blood

you need a ride
booze
a shower
wash the lizard’s skin from your nails

he offers
okay
what the hell!
maybe this time

another loser
lost
so stupid
he thinks fate did it

make it happen
he’s a goner
one last chance
do it

you need love babe
I need dough more
this guy’s a ticket
to blow before I split

booze
makes me sad
lonely
love me

just one time
before I go

17 Comments

  1. I must again issue unreserved praise for Tony for his most recent foray into poetry. After his previous poem in consideration of IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE (published at another site)won numerous admirers, this new piece, which captures the angst, yearnings, failures and loneliness in recently-deceased Ann Savage’s most famous character in Edgar Ulmer’s DETOUR. This is a poem of great depth and feeling, and it’s a touching tribute to Ms. Savage, wrought with appreciation and distillation of a character in an environment. Few would venture into this territory in fear of failure, but I think Tony has not only taken up the mantle, but has succeeded rather spectacular. It also has me wanting to see DETOUR as soon as possible.

  2. Thank you very kindly Sam. I felt I was being very brave and very foolish all at once.

    This piece followed my re-assessment of Detour after Ms Savage’s passing. I kept reading about Vera as a tough-as-nails femme-noir if not a femme-fatale, and I recalled what struck me most about MS Savage’s portrayal of Vera was that behind the tough exterior there was a vulnerability and a tenderness…

  3. Kilgort Traut

    Great stuff, such poems should be used instead of dumb synopsis, last lines broke my heart
    Great blog by the way

    From Russia with love

  4. Hi! Tony,
    I wonder why I did not comment on your poem entitled Vera: No Detours when you, first published this poem on your blog.

    What I like most about your Tweets on Twitter…is the fact, that I ‘am watching the films as soon as you post or tweet them…I must admit that this poem is very emotional, touching, poignant, and almost disturbing…By the way, every adjective that I can think of has been utilize to describe your poem…entitled Vera: No Detours.

    Take care!
    I also hope that you, and your family, have a relaxing
    holiday weekend.
    DeeDee ;)

  5. Tony said,”MS Savage’s portrayal of Vera was that behind the tough exterior there was vulnerability and tenderness…”

    Tony,I agree with you, to a certain extent she (Vera) may have been vulnerable and tender when it came to her interior, but on the other hand, when it came to her exterior persona, I found her character Vera to be a very “bullying” and very manipulative lady.

    Who would not give actor Tom Neal, character Al Roberts, a break…personally, I could never warm up to or relate to the character actress Ann Savage portrayed in Edgar’s 1945 film Detour.

    DeeDee ;)

  6. Tony said, Story of a guy so dumb that he blames fate for his own foolishness

    Personally, I think that “fate” dealt him a bad hand, but on the other hand, I also feel that some of the decision or choices that he made were not very “wise” with each bad hand, that “fate” dealt him.

    Tony, I think if your readers, want to know why actor Tom Neal’s character Al Roberts, made the decision(s) that he made…I would advise them to watch director Robert Wise’s 1947 film Born to Kill.

    …and listen closely to author Eddie Muller’s commentary…after actress Claire Trevor’s character Helen Brent,find the dead bodies in the kitchen of her rooming house. I feel that actor Tom Neal; character Al Roberts, made the same fatal choice(s).

    Of course, I think that this had to occur in order to set the story in motion. I think when it came to his problems… that he kept trying to place a “bandage” on a “gunshot wound”…instead of, running away from his “problems” he should have addressed them immediately. However, if he did not make those foolish choices…there would not have been much of a film.

    DeeDee ;)

  7. By the way, Tony, do you and Andrew (Katsis), (The writer for my blog) “celebrate” or recognize the Labour Day holiday “down under” in (Australia)?

    I must also ask writer R.L.Bourges, the same question since she live in France.
    Sometimes…I forget that not all countries…celebrate the same holiday(s) that some people in the United States celebrate.

    Take care!
    DeeDee ;)

  8. Thanks for all that DeeDee. Nice segue to Born to Kill and its similarities. My views on Detour I agree are not mainstream. It is a personal reaction. Maybe the deadpan way Neal plays Al pushes that perception forward. Vera softens up when here defenses are down after she gets tipsy, but Neal’s rejection of her closes that window into her soul all too quickly. Indeed, the movie itself ends too swiftly…

  9. DeeDee, in Oz Labour Day is held on the first Monday in October, and marks the passing into law of the 8-hour working day. In Europe, they have May Day on May 1. I attend May Day in Rome in 1976 – it was quite an experience with streets awash with red and big crowds. Over here Labour Day is a low-key affair.

  10. Tony said, “Vera softens up when here defenses are down after she gets tipsy, but Neal’s rejection of her closes that window into her soul all too quickly. Indeed, the movie itself ends too swiftly…”

    Touché!…Nice “point” and well taken…I also noticed that very moment in the film as you, say, when…“Vera softens up when her defenses are down after she gets tipsy, but Neal’s rejection of her closes that window into her soul all too quickly…”

    I must admit that I always wondered what would have happened (or how their relationship would have developed) if his character Al Roberts, would not have rejected her advances.

    DeeDee ;)

  11. Tony said,”My views on Detour I agree are not mainstream. It is a personal reaction.”

    Tony, I feel that is your opinion and I of course respect it…as a matter of fact, I relish different or opposing views…because it give me a chance to look at a situation differently.

    I really like to read or hear someone who opinion is going against the grain or mainstream views.

    Opposing views somestimes generate lively conversation and I know that this is a cliché, but food for thought…too!

    DeeDee ;)

  12. Tony said,”DeeDee, in Oz Labour Day is held on the first Monday in October, and marks the passing into law of the 8-hour working day.”

    Wow, Therefore, I’am wishing Andrew and you, a Happy Labour Day a month to early. Oops! :oops:

    “…In Europe, they have May Day on May 1. I attend May Day in Rome in 1976 – it was quite an experience with streets awash with red and big crowds. Over here Labour Day is a low-key affair.”

    Tony, I’am quite sure that was some experience in Rome. I guess that I should do a little research before I start wishing everyone holiday wishes!
    Two words that I most learn…“Never assume!”
    Take care!
    DeeDee ;)

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