Six Poems - Howie Good


The cops are at the door right now looking for me. Tune in, tune in, tune in. If you don’t want me to jump, let me know. I like to drink and laugh, and I like to get laid like everybody else. Could I please get some viewers? The open eye is very human. There’s also a darkness. Sometimes it’s accidents, too. The headless torsos usually have this Elvis stance. It’s just a family of everybody. I have explained this time and time again, but they won’t listen. The one who tires, loses.

A Plague of Angels

They arrived at night. They wanted to kill because they all had knives. We said hello and shook hands with them. I wasn’t thinking of anything. I just did it. I didn’t realize until later that many of them were criminally insane. Hence the bad weather, the hunger, the kids dying in the countryside. Every time we thought we had shut the siren off, the siren sounded again. We were all in shock and those who could lie on the floor did so. The rest sat outside and drank tea by the fire each morning and each evening. I wouldn’t have turned down wild dragon blood if it were offered. Shadows had to suffice for the real thing.

Reality Engine

Don’t mess with women who are into gore. They’re feeling the pain. They’re imagining the pain of the bullets hitting them. She’s got her boyfriend’s entrails in her backpack. It’s too awful here. Yesterday she was crying in the night because of this place. We studied in the daytime and listened to bombs in the night. We heard something that sounded like rocks being unloaded from a dump truck. People were shouting, “Run, run!” I stepped out to take a look, and I saw one of the nearby houses coming our way amid a cloud of smoke. Again, they strapped me to the jeep and made the rounds of the villages. I looked just like someone whose insides were cracking open. When it’s evening, I see them in my thoughts, coming again to take me away.

The Colorful Shadows of Imminent Danger

The projectionist once in a while would make a mistake and put reel four before reel two. People still made sense of it. As long as you knew the alphabet and could count, you could watch America go by. I completely collapsed, and my children were wondering why I was crying. The important thing was to go into another world. Ideally, you would have a quiet, dark room – no interruptions. There were 20 guys down there when I started. I heard the cries of “Attack! Attack!” You could feel the ground shake. “Oh shit!” someone said. “This is it.” The whole area was bright. I was feeling that boom till the morning. Now I’m the last one. It feels like my heart is going to stop. Everyone is running after gold. Some dumb girl is running through the woods naked screaming. She’s the reason this is about to happen to you.

Flies That Start With the Letter ‘M’

I heard him load a gun. And then I saw his gun was black and his jacket was black.  “So, how does the story end?” my daughter asks me. To all these questions, I could answer yes. I begin explaining the dust of this planet, the pre-digital clouds. Either a bomb was planted or someone blew himself up. There’s flesh and blood everywhere. “I thought everyone would run past me and save themselves,” I say. It’s a horrible way to search. It’s like you’ve lost your car keys at night in your backyard and you’re looking for them through a toilet paper roll with a flashlight. I’m going to leave flowers at the place where it happened. That place could actually be in your head. It’s quiet. Like flies stuck against the glass.

Dirty Deals with Dictators

It’s now a crime in Utah to harass cattle with drones. The really strange thing is that no one thought this was strange. They want to see the trapeze artist fall and the lion tamer killed. If we don’t protest, can it be assumed that we concur? The minute you saw people running, you knew what was up. Sweden had been attacked. There was a nasty bug going around eating them in Spain. This is our history, everywhere full of blood. Today there was even a shortage of coffins. So, you play The Beatles’ “A Hard Day’s Night” at a relatively low volume, pretending it’s from the military speakers 200 yards away.

Howie Good is the author of The Loser's Guide to Street Fighting, winner of the 2017 Lorien Prize from ThoughtCrime Press, and Dangerous Acts Starring Unstable Elements, winner of the 2015 Press Americana Prize for Poetry. He co-edits White Knuckle Press with Dale Wisely.