Infirmities

1
I saw a black mass of smoke.
I felt the fire touching me through my window.
I heard a snap or a crackle.
I saw the flames rising.
A bird gave this to me because I freed her wing
from a tangle of balloons.

2
Stranded between one act and another,
jump, turn clockwise,
cut with the kitchen knife
through the beer belly of the Republic.
The more a visitor is willing
to play in my nightmare,
the more all of us will receive.
The island sinks now, but it’s still there
just beneath the waves.

3
They came and knocked on the door.
Why didn’t you open the door?
My daughter could have been in there bleeding.
I can’t keep doing this.
The bridge is going to collapse.
They’re saying I have to walk,
but it’s raining and dark.

4
Whatever happened here,
it was at the wrong time, wrong place.
This place is very dangerous.
I imagined that there might be someone with a gun.
Crowded places, we try to avoid.
Malls, we try to avoid.
So much is coming at us.
It’s like watching your heart outside your body.

Howie Good, 2017

Remixed works:
Hyperallergic article
AJC article
ABC News article
New York Times 1 article
New York Times 2 article

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

Techno 101

No. I don’t know what Pokémon Go is
and what all these things are…You’re talking
to somebody who made his first phone call
at age 17. You’re talking to someone who doesn’t

have a cell phone, for example, for cultural reasons.
Tell me about Pokémon Go. What is happening
on Pokémon Go? Does it tell you you’re here
at San Vicente, close to Sunset Boulevard?

But what does Pokémon do at this corner here?
When two persons in search of a Pokémon
clash at the corner of Sunset and San Vicente
is there violence? Is there murder? Physically,

do they fight? Do they bite each other’s hands?
Do they punch each other? I have no clue what’s
going on there. Yeah, you’d have to give me
a cell phone, which I’m not going to use anyway,

Howie Good, 2016

From an interview with Werner Herzog, on Hyperallergic

When Nothing is Cool

A time for nothing much,
one child teasing another,
twins committing suicide together,
a man drinking in the woods.

We dialed F-U- C-K- Y-O- U
and L-O- V-E- Y-O- U
to see what happened.

Someone called Vincent
rang at the door and gave his ear
in a folded piece of paper
to the person who came to open it,
saying, “Take it, it will be useful.”

Howie Good, 2016

Figurative Painting That’s Emphatically Human, from Hyperallergic
The Best Art Books to Read for Free in the NYPL’s New E-book App, from Hyperallergic
How Van Gogh’s Ear Incident Went Viral in 1888, from Hyperallergic

Chirping Bird Soundtrack (Remastered)

Time is totally nuts, paper in the wind,
yet none of which soar, so it seems
like nothing is happening. But, of course,
I’m physically older. That’s the point!
What happened was that rather than wilting
over a period of time, the roses exploded
at a certain point, releasing birds and chirping
and slowly dissolving into frightened dust.

Howie Good, 2016

Remixed Works:
Hyperallergic 1
Hyperallergic 2

Why Working on Yourself Won’t Work

You want to find
that one thing
that defines you,
the ball floating
in the air, but it’s
not like that.

Sometimes
you only need
a couple things,
and other times
you need one hundred.

You might think
you are awful
when you finish,
an empty interior,
the Black Dragon.

There are tons
of philosophers
and thinkers
who have some
sophisticated answer
about why.

I don’t think
it should matter,
one way
or the other

I’m looking
at what they are
looking at.

It was a room
I spent time in
as a child.

Howie Good, 2016

Remixed Work:
Hyperallergic

Donald Trump Won’t Leave Us Alone

I like to walk around with a friend and a granola bar.
Today I was punched in the face by a man
who got out of his car and yelled, “Trump 2016!”
Four small pink alligators are still missing.
Theoretically, I love the fact that cities
from all over the world are under one roof.
Point your camera at the world around you.
I just want to sit and play guitar to my goldfish.

Howie Good, 2016

Remixed Works:
Hyperallergic 1
Hyperallergic 2