MockingHeart Review contributor, Howie Good’s Dangerous Acts Starring Unstable Elements contains poems that feature a penetrating analysis of contemporary life. It is published in paperback, available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and distributed through Ingram.
Praise for Dangerous Acts Starring Unstable Elements
DALE WISELY: One of the poems in this collection is “On Being Asked, ‘Where Do You Get Your Ideas?’” The question annoys artists, but when I read Howie Good’s work, it’s the question I want to ask him. In Good’s recent work, he builds each poem into a hypnotic sequence of seemingly unrelated images and observations, meditations on the strangeness of existence, the anxiety and dread of our time, but with glints of beauty and grace.
LAURA M. KAMINSKI: Dangerous Acts of Unstable Elements is a sequence of “selfies” on exhibit, one per page, in which the poet is relentlessly “photo-bombed” by reality, history, and myth. Nasty stains of every imaginable kind, the memorabilia of a witless age, constitute another section of the museum… (“And That’s What It’s All About”). But the poet gives us clues on how to cope with the nastiness: Point with your fading heart at the shadows puddled in the bottom of the ditch, where, nonetheless, something still glitters… (“Objects in This Mirror”). The only piece in these …Acts… to which I had an objection is the prose poem that ends with I made a list of things still to do: choke, weave, sense, deal, blunder. Which left just enough time to admire, between small, tedious breaths, the snowy egret standing there. The poem is titled “Words Fail Me.” No, Howie Good. I disagree. They don’t.
BRAD ROSE: In Dangerous Acts Starring Unstable Elements the masterful Howie Good teaches us to look coolly and directly into the eye of quotidian surreality. Although the speakers in Good’s stark, yet luminous, poems variously inform us that: the future consists of a certain unrest in all that has been, that behind every work of art lies an uncommitted crime, and that the rider may guide the horse, but only in the direction the horse wants to go, we learn from Good’s inimitable powers of ironic description, keen eye for dark paradox, and unfailingly calm counsel to ably navigate an often up-ended, disconcerting territory. Indeed, with Good’s skillful guidance we learn not only to negotiate this weird and mysterious world, but to relish it.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Howie Good, a journalism professor at SUNY New Paltz, is the author of several poetry collections, including Beautiful Decay and The Cruel Radiance of What Is from Another
New Calligraphy, Fugitive Pieces from Right Hand Pointing Press, and Lovesick from The Poetry Press of Press Americana. He co-edits White Knuckle Press with Dale Wisely.
The Poetry Press of Press Americana
Americana: The Institute for the Study of American Popular Culture
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