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

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,
repositioned
& 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)