Best Noir first paragraphs by Matt Rees

I’m writing this in a plain office in the corner of a building that was described by the realtor as “exclusive,” though it doesn’t exclude despondent ultra-Orthodox Jews panhandling for cash, plumbers who break all the pipes you hadn’t called them to fix, or the cheerful lady who lets her dog pee in the elevator. There’s the hum of heavy traffic from the road below and a view across the valley of brake lights on a highway where no one ever seems to move. The air is clear enough up here that I usually only smell me, sweating through the desert heat, except when the garbage truck empties the trashcans and sends up a rotten fruit ripeness, or when the khamsin blows and I can smell the dirt on the hot wind. There’s a mosquito in here, but the bastard isn’t friendly enough to show himself. When he does, I’ll do what people in the Middle East do best. There are already spots of my blood across the whitewash where his brothers and sisters felt the thick side of my fist.

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Who does not belong?

Vladimir Nabokov

Our sister publication Bare Knuckles Press is creating a wallpaper with portraits of the great writers who wrote in the style and spirit Bare Knuckles wants to pursue. Did we miss some, were we too generous with others? Who should go, who should stay? Let us know.

Georges Simenon
Richard Wright
Joseph Conrad
Apollonaire
Jean Rhys
Jane Bowles
David Goodis
Charles Bukowski
William Burroughs
Ferdinand Celine
Flannery O’Connor
Paul Bowles
Herman Melville
Knut Hamsun
Jack Kerouac
Allen Ginsberg
Yukio Mishima
Ryūnosuke Akutagawa
Earnest Hemingway
Ezra Pound
Ann Sexton
Willa Cather
Zora Neale Hurston
Edith Wharton
Dorothy Parker
Kate Chopin
Charlotte Perkins Gilman
Jose Marti
Anna Akhmatova
F. Scott Fitzgerald
W.B. Yeats
Isak Dinesen
Vladimir Nabokov