Two Prose Poems By Howie Good

 

 

Flying Coffins

My zayde kept begging me not to leave him there. I tried to reassure him, told him there wasn’t always that great a difference between a funeral and a carnival. Even as I spoke, crows were gathering on the headstones, just a few at first, then maybe a couple of dozen. Child, child, the crows cried, you can’t kill what’s already dead. It got me wondering if sunshine was an overrated virtue. I couldn’t decide one way or the other. Since then, where my dog is, that’s where home is, and that’s not bad, that’s about as good as anything.

 

The Deluge

“By three things is the world sustained,” the rabbi said. Then he asked me, in his morbidly conscientious way, to name at least two that laid end to end would stretch from London to Paris, about 300 miles. While I was working out how to respond, the congregation started to yell, “No! No!” as if there needed to be some sort of machine that could detect all things with value that had been taken by the water. It’s why now when my children hear sounds at night, they think the rain is coming back, and even I’m scared to sleep.

 

About the Author: Howie Good is the author of three recent collections, I’m Not a Robot from Tolsun Books, A Room at the Heartbreak Hotel from Analog Submission Press, and The Titanic Sails at Dawn from Alien Buddha Press.

 

More by Howie Good:

“Maiden Voyage”

“Spy Culture”

“The Anxiety of Influence”

 

Image Credit: Alfred Stieglitz “Equivalent, A3 of Series A1″ (1926)  Digital image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program

Two Prose Poems by Howie Good

 

Spy Culture

Just before dawn, the train barreled across the border. My carryall bag on the overhead rack contained an entire set of ant-dreams preserved in amber. Spies lurked everywhere, but, after the train pulled in, I eluded them by frequently changing my facial expressions. Later that day, I traveled by sampan and pedicab to meet my contact, an experienced agent posing as an English nanny. We met in a neighborhood playground beside a tree whose round fruit the children pretended were bombs. At one point I forgot the word “cremated” and had to ask her, “What’s it called – incinerating the body?”

 

The Anxiety of Influence

A banner stretching across the building’s exterior said, What’s Shakin’. You entered through a glass door, walked down a long, dim hallway and up a set of stairs into an area with large windows. The view was constantly changing, and you weren’t always sure what you were looking at or how it was happening. Jack Kerouac berated you for your perceived lack of cool. William Burroughs wouldn’t remove his hat. If you were going to be somewhere, this maybe wasn’t the best place. Many years would pass before anyone would realize that among the 20 most common passwords is “trustno1.”

 

About the Author: Howie Good is the author of three recent collections, I’m Not a Robot from Tolsun Books, A Room at the Heartbreak Hotel from Analog Submission Press, and The Titanic Sails at Dawn from Alien Buddha Press.

 

More by Howie Good:

“Maiden Voyage”

 

Image Credit: Alfred Stieglitz “Rebecca Strand” (1922)  Digital image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program

Maiden Voyage

Arthur Brown “Man on Bridge” Digital image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program

Maiden Voyage

By Howie Good

 

Maiden Voyage

All things are photographable. Two days ago it was a ruined farmer walking slowly over a country bridge, as if looking for a place to jump. Yesterday it was a man washing a car. Today it was a woman arranging a light-up plastic Jesus in a front yard. Meanwhile, the few children ever visible in this broken part of the world seemed even fewer than usual. Does that surprise you? The only explanation I heard I heard at the barbershop. It was that the Titanic sailed at dawn.

 

About the Author: Howie Good is the author of The Loser’s Guide to Street Fighting, winner of the 2017 Lorien Prize.  His latest collection is I’m Not a Robot from Tolsun Books. He co-edits the journals UnLost and Unbroken  with Dale Wisely.