cross the thin line
to the sacrificial lamb,
wish Spanish treasure ships
back into existence,
dig up the graves
of things left unsaid,
but won’t smash in
a door, or piddle
on flowers, or ever
name a dog Granola.
Ambulances roam the roads in anticipation
of frequent car accidents. The sky gets so dark
sometimes that shadows from all over the world
seem to appear out of nowhere and then leave
us with eyes engorged with blood. Today yet
another woman said the darkness reached up
her skirt. Point me to the doorway to the river.
I just want to sit and play guitar to the goldfish.
The Patron Saint of Useless Causes
A woman with blood on her hands is begging for help. The neighbors, attracted by her screams, just stand there and watch. Someone should hug her. Fuck it, I’m the patron saint of useless causes, the flamboyant bird of the desert.
Birds didn’t arrive on this planet going “Fuck you” to everyone. Now, though, there’s hardly enough space for them between earth and sky. One bird teases another. Then the two commit suicide together.
There was only grass. I couldn’t pass it through my throat. Yet I forced myself to swallow in front of the children so they would accept it as food. Ever dial F-U-C-K-Y-O-U and L-O-V-E-Y-O-U to see what would happen? A man knocked at the door and gave us his ear in a folded piece of paper, saying, “Take it, it will be useful.”
‘Happiness Is a New iPhone’
You go searching for one of the 10 useful objects that the magazine says no one should be without when traveling. As you walk around, you grow convinced that the Watusi longhorn, once the cattle of kings, is already extinct. You confront a man drinking in the woods and then a bearded lady who is considering shaving her face. Meanwhile, a crowd has gathered in the parking lot of a sprawling apartment complex for the rumored appearance of dead Elvis. Acres of invisible fence surround them. You get the uneasy feeling that this isn’t like fixing a Monet after someone has punched it.
Lit From Within
This is XX,
the pixel forest,
in the bath
and a rock swoon
in the eyes
of the animal.
the light after
not so much
to discarded fantasies
as the fourth floor
white bird, to the shores
of the nude woman.
Come again soon.
Howie Good, a journalism professor at the State University of New York at New Paltz, is the author of Dangerous Acts Starring Unstable Elements, winner of the 2015 Press Americana Prize for Poetry. His other books include A Ghost Sings, a Door Opens (2016) from Another New Calligraphy. He co-edits White Knuckle Press with Dale Wisely.