About a year ago I started thinking about a novel-in-verse, a murder mystery/ghost story/urban fantasy/satire, written in terza rima (or maybe ottava rima). I posted my plea to the muse. I tried writing straight to verse and it didn't work, so I've done some outlining, some character sketches, an some prose drafts, and this last month I've actually done some work on the versification. Here's about half of the first draft of the first scene:
Rachel was showing Hank her brand new tat —
Emerald scaled, sapphire-clawed and ruby-eyed,
A dragon curling from her ass, its bat
Wings slicing moon and comet, stretching wide
Across her shoulders, shiny with ointment spread
Wherever new gold gleamed. "You satisfied?"
"You kidding, Rachel? That's the day I'm dead.
I've got to know if you can shake that thing."
She rolled her eyes, then blew a kiss and said,
"I can't sit down. Go give your ex a ring —
She's drunk enough by now — or pour some beer
On your right hand and have yourself a fling
With Rosie and her sisters. I'm out of here."
She pulled her clothes together, waved to her friends —
The usual closing crowd gave her a cheer —
Put on her coat and left. "See how it ends,"
Hank mourned, and told his hand "Babe, I'm afraid
It's you and me, and if your love depends
On beer, we're out of luck. I don't get paid
Till Friday and I can barely pay my my cab.
It's been three weeks since poor old Hank got laid ..."
Outside his taxi honked. He turned to grab
His coat and stopped, amazed, when he heard Newt,
The barkeep, saying "Hank, how about that tab?
I'll make it fifty, even." "Don't get cute
With me, old buddy. How would I get home?"
"Don't you get cute with me. I know your route —
It ain't too far to walk — not sober. Come
Across with cash or learn to live that way."
"Goddamnit Newt, I ain't no drunken bum.
I'll pay it Friday." "Friday's not today.
I've carried you for months. You pay me now."
"Just what the hell you talking about? I pay
My debts. That tab's before you anyhow,
And since you bought the place from Rita
I pay you cash! No need to have a cow."
"I bought what's owed the place, and I don't need a
Deadbeat like you or Gene or the rest of you
Got tabs to tell me what she did! Yeah, she'd a
Gone on forever letting you slide and she knew
That wouldn't make no money so she sold
Vedanta to me! And I ain't selling brew
To those as has a tab." "That's pretty cold,"
Gene Waldrip spoke — his tab was legendary —
"Is interest next? It's not just cold, it's bold,
So bold that even you might find it scary,
Thinking about your bar tomorrow night
When no one's here but your imaginary