How the Heart Hardens

You move around like a fish,
searching for possibilities.

You should invest in failing.
Invest in losing. You should

create a room to get lost in,
a room where you lose names.

Don’t ask why something meant
something to you. That’s actually

not such a nice way to grow up.
If you go to bed with French fries,

you will lie there, thinking about
what it means. You have to be

the beast. There is a child world
that needs to be destroyed.

Howie Good, 2017

Remixed works:
Hyperallergic article

Work Dream

I dreamed I was a book. The missing letters were missing so that, no matter what I thought they were, I could never be quite certain. There are no real gatekeepers. And no mission. Have you ever wondered is Florida real? Funny, right? You can do a lot of stuff. The guests at a wedding breakfast reach for their swords and hack the would-be groom to pieces. It’s like deciding to be a samurai or a dandy: you’re in for a miserable end, but one you’ll be able to face with honor. We cope with liquor and drugs and sex. That’s not going to change. It’s probably something we have in common with small punk rock record labels. Never talk to cops. Eat with your hands. The best work should scare you.

Howie Good, 2017

Remixed works:
Quotes from small press editors, at Entropymag

The Far Side of Zero

My life has been a migration. The last
movement is the sound of a waterfall

in a hurricane. Debra wants to hear oldies.
We will sing today with a child almost

hit in a crosswalk by a pickup truck –
yes, something possible everywhere.

Howie Good, 2016

Remixed works:
Your Deathbed Playlist, New York Times, Nov. 18, 2016
Police log, Nov. 8-15, 2016, Times Argus, Montpelier, VT

How to Fix a Monet after Someone Punches It

You can see Syria from here,
fish in a dead landscape,
starry nights and astronauts,
the soft edges of time.

What year is it?
Don’t you think it’s time for love?
Everything else has failed.

Fuck it, I’m high.
Let’s walk to the middle of the ocean.

White roses sing and sing.

Howie Good, 2016

Remixed works:
Titles of artworks by Alma Thomas, Hema Upadyay,
and Kung Me

Missing Persons

Do you see the donut?
Do you just see the hole?
But if you see the hole,
then where is Mary?

Stop crying.
It’s simple,
like strikethroughs
on a typewriter.

I’m killing you –
in my dreams.


Nobody ever
dies of it.

Howie Good, 2016

Remixed works:
Assembled in part from Mercy Hospital,
a series of drawings by Ida Applebroog

Homo Homini Lupus

Aliens rescue animals
from Central Park Zoo.
I’m afraid of human beings.

Hold your breath,
dance slowly

to riffs on real time,
voyeur voyager forager forester,

a small sound
in your head.

Then at one point
I did not need
to translate the notes.

We run things
in the forest
while the wolf
is not around.

Wolf, are you there?

To hell with it all,
let’s pray
that it lasts.

Howie Good, 2016

Remixed works:
Assembled from the titles of paintings by Francesca Woodman,
Ryan Brown, Anton van Dalen, Mie Olise, Manuela Viera-Gallo,
Lee Kit, Leslie Hewitt, and Brent Birnbaum


Arboretum presents white dogwood,
3 jars with roots and a heart,
monument to the people
we’ve conveniently forgotten.

I hate you
armored heart,
caged heart.

I peeped your demons
becoming robots,
meeting with remarkable men,
being the light.

Behold an aquarium of flowers
where the cricket sings
how to properly touch a girl
so you don’t creep her out.

Then again, no.
Why I am so worried.

Fucked-up flowers
ruin everything,
pretty much every word. . .

Howie Good, 2016

Remixed Works:
Titles of artworks by Alma Thomas, Nam June Paik, Heman Chong,
Geoffrey Rigden, Matthew McCaslin, Andrew Hem, Seth Alter,
Douglas Gordon, Zeyno Pekünlü, Bill Scott,
Erika Ranee and Paola Pivi


Ladders cross the blue sky
in a wheel of fire. The red sun

gnaws at the spider. A person
is throwing a stone at a bird,

the beautiful bird revealing
the unknown to a pair of lovers.

Howie Good, 2016

Assembled from the titles of paintings by Joan Miro,
translated from the French