After November 8

Her coda is her confession and
her request for absolution,
but also her catharsis.
She has nothing left to lose.
We imagine, as does she,
what it would be like to lose the caution,
to ditch the calculation,
to be irritated and blunt,
to not care too much,
to go out in a blaze
of fury and candor—

Hillary! You are entitled to rage.

Sofia Kwon, 2017

Remixed works:
New York Times article

The Fireworks Galaxy

1
Go to a farmers market,
buy a new candle,
drive with the windows down.
This is our revolution,
a fast way to get killed.

2
When I come back the next day,
the office is closed.
Still, through the window,
I sense the atmosphere.
There are holes in the floor,
new cracks in the walls,
a Madonna washing
her clothes in the toilet.

3
You asked for justice;
they shot you in the face.
It’s hard to believe
it really happened,
and everyone is sitting here
having a good time
and the music is still playing.

Howie Good, 2017

Remixed works:
New York Times article
NPR article

Time Bomb

We didn’t know what it was, whether it was
a train crashing. There were children, blood,

shoes, splattered all over the floor. Everyone
was crying and screaming. I felt so helpless.

A man walked past us, just covered in blood.
This can happen anywhere, at any time.

How can I explain any of this to a 14-year-old?

*
This is the world we live in now.
Even the police are bandits.
We have to face up to it.
A very horrible morning of death.
Kids were getting crushed.
I didn’t know what to do, where to go.
I didn’t have a phone.
I just kept screaming for Patty.
She needs to grieve.

*

Backpacks aren’t allowed.
Drinks are taken away from people.

But getting a car or knife is easy.
And it usually involves other people.

To make matters worse,
Senegalese have less and less money.

*

Everybody’s constantly looking
at the clock. The clock’s ticking,
the clock’s ticking. Got to go, man,
got to go! Otherwise you kind of
get trapped. Yeah, it’s the same
sun, but it’s different everywhere.
Nobody knows which way to go.
Keep on running, keep on running.

Howie Good, 2017

Remixed works:
New York Times article 1
New York Times article 2
New York Times article 3

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)