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Prose poems by Howie Good

Cops Seek Masked Gunman

but find only a crew that parachuted into a Neverland after their plane was shot down last century during World War II…a couple arguing in the street like Rimbaud and Verlaine when they were lovers and drunk and at odds about money or poetry…your dentist, probe in hand, bent provocatively over an attractive woman patient in his home office, while out front former role models load his furniture and other possessions into a U-Haul truck…oh, and a long, tedious stretch of highway that ends abruptly in a human eyeball displayed like an exquisite jewel on a square of black velvet.

Bad Shit

There’s bad shit going on. An unexploded rocket sticking out of a field. Wildfires capable of creating their own weather. Supply chain problems. Often one has to make things oneself in order to have or see them. Just ask meth cooks what that means. Bodies are lying here and there and walking through dark forests. They whisper, Who are we fighting?” Some are packing bags just in case the enemy comes this way. A scared older woman confesses, It feels like they’re already here.”

For MM

The ground is wet with rain, and yet a book is lying there dry. I pick it up. Whoever snapped the photo used on the cover was either too excited or in too much of a rush to hold the camera steady. The faces of the naked women standing in an open field are blurred, less visible than their dark triangles of pubic hair. Soldiers gesturing with rifles have lined the women up in a front of a burial trench. The women keep their arms folded modestly over their breasts, still concerned for decency. Everything that isn’t a predator is prey.

Being Geniuses Together

Beethoven would chase after rats with a meat cleaver (the bite of a rat flea infected him with the typhus that helped destroy his hearing). I have also read that he had a bossy, off-putting manner and an unfortunate face, and that he dressed shabby by design more than necessity. At the world premiere of the Moonlight Sonata, he played with such violence that strings on the piano broke. I picture him as alone when he emerges from the recital hall that winter night. It’s been snowing. The streets are deserted. He has left an unemptied chamber pot under the piano.

Howie Good

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