In the Dark
My thesaurus lists some 140 words
related to darkness, including black,
blackness, pitch black, night, nightfall,
nighttime, umbra, penumbra, umbrous,
leaving no doubt that dawn is still far off.
Howie Good‘s new collection of prose poetry is Famous Long Ago from Laughing Ronin Press.
Giant radio telescopes restlessly
scan the cosmos, but I’m in no rush,
living someplace so Zen it doesn’t
have a doctor or a police department
or even anyone on standby to plow
the roads in winter or fix the potholes
in spring, only worn-down mountains
and gray trees and the sad beauty of old
dilapidated things everywhere you look.
Howie Good plays the ukulele pretty well and the guitar pretty bad.
Art for Art’s Sake
When Henri Matisse was an old man,
too feeble to handle a paintbrush any
longer or even get himself out of bed,
he rubbed some charcoal on the end
of a pointer stick and drew on the ceiling –
it had just seemed so chillingly empty.
Howie Good likes to stay up late.
Love Note / Anniversary Edition
Yes, because there is space junk
falling uncontrolled toward Earth,
and poseurs occupying roles that
rightfully belong to love-drunk poets,
this is not the worst place for us
to possibly hide, a country overlooked
on the Discovery Channel but crammed
to its very borders with kindergartens
and prayer candles and repurposed
war machines, and where, if it rains,
the rain is vastly similar in sound
to the tiny tinkling bells of your name.
Howie Good stays up late.
and index finger
one by one,
like a student trumpet
and some flat
like a paper star,
but others more
like a poet confined
in a madhouse,
petals curled inward,
Howie Good believes with Mencken that a good phrase is better than a great truth.
We were born into an idiotic age,
given only clichés to speak growing up,
warned not to change the words around
or otherwise stray from the script,
and we meekly obeyed, but today
a bird in the pine outside our window
piped a string of discordant notes
once, twice, three times, waking me
just before light with its haiku.
Howie Good dislikes author bios.
Notes on Punctuation
Consider the period the smaller
of the cannonballs Galileo dropped
from the Tower of Pisa; the comma,
the lolling tongue of a dog; the colon,
the top two buttons left unbuttoned
on her filmy blouse; the semicolon,
an open fly; the exclamation point,
the one-finger salute or a bald man
doing a headstand; the question mark,
an exclamation point bent over with age.
Howie Good is the author most recently of The Death Row Shuffle (Finishing Line Press), The Trouble with Being Born (Ethel Micro Press), and Gunmetal Sky (Thirty West Publishing).
I am writing
at the kitchen table,
when my wife
excitedly calls me
to the window
and points down
into the yard
where a doe
with a coat
just a shade
on fallen leaves
that if it wasn’t
for the hours
I spend trying
to make poems,
I would have
burned long ago.
Howie Good‘s full-length poetry collection, Gun Metal Sky, is due in early 2021 from Thirty West Publishing.