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.

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.

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.

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

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

Prayer Against War

A sturdy chapel
of adamant invalids
& insomniacs,
so photogenic,
only to have
danger follow,
though never easily,
that’s the art,
almost child-
simple flowers,
one standing,
one leaping,
against a dark blue ground,
as a small bird
evolves for hours,
days, weeks,
painted & scraped
to the point
of collapse,
pinned, unpinned,
& pinned again,
whatever it takes,
slivers, puncture marks,
for fragile & rough
doves to fly up

Howie Good, 2014

Remixed works:
Wisps From an Old Man’s Dreams,
by Holland Cotter (NY Times, 9 Oct 2014)