Sunday, April 17, 2016

6 poems ~ Howie Good


Politics as Usual
An apparition of the Virgin Mary appears on the window of an otherwise ordinary house in Jersey City. Angry white men pretend that it’s only frost. Faceless angels dressed in tinsel wander through the neighborhood, a way for them to ensure that they don’t miss out on the war. Women begin to sob when the TV news comes on. “Donald Trump won’t leave us alone,” one says with a tearful shake of her head. Saints and martyrs ride a shaft of starlight down to ground zero. And those not burned up by death rays become their slaves.



 Life After 60
The black tulips were open for only a day when a big wind bowled most of them over.  I gathered up those with broken stems and put them in a clear glass vase and put the vase on the table. This is what life is like after 60, the wind, wet and moaning, sprouting strange new black feathers. None of us remember how, or there wouldn’t be an interrogator pushing the old man headfirst into the wall or a pool of blood on the floor moving as if it were alive. 



The Small Hours
This is what I saw when I got home, monstrous miserable flesh-tints. Anything can happen in the land of childhood obesity. Prostitutes and clowns insist that I pay attention to them, yapping and whining and pushing against my legs. The small hours of the night are the worst. It’s nearly impossible to silence them. I ignore all pleas to proclaim the necessity of burning the museums. For the time being, nothing somehow becomes something, the terrified faces of passengers on a hijacked flight.


 
Black Threads
It snowed up here today. Dogs became capable of filling their own bowls. You sprawled on a divan with your bare back to the viewer.  Every time you shook your hair more poems fell out. You don’t know who I am, but somehow you have been affected by things I did. Asked what the light was like, you describe a carnival of shadows broadcast in HD, just as I would. We invent the world in the instance of seeing it. The country where my family was changed into threads of black smoke doesn’t exist anymore. Bruno Schulz lived, there, too, trying to cross a crocodile-infested street with a loaf of bread under one arm.



The Theater of Eternal Music
Cigar-smoking angels who shoot pink waves of peace from their fingertips are full of complicated feelings. The grumpy cat has too much coffee, which has a psychedelic effect on its appearance. Some villagers worship a giant machine that dispenses eyeballs. Franz Kafka, struggling to write the first sentence of “The Metamorphosis,” finds himself constantly interrupted by loud neighbors and strange door-to-door salesmen. Flowers rise up against their oppressors. Beings made from string unravel in a railroad car. Kafka’s self-doubt pokes through his facade of positivity. A middle-aged man takes the fact that his son doesn’t want to play the flute surprisingly hard.



 A Cooking Show for Cannibals
A simple change of a light bulb has far-reaching effects. I don’t understand why this should be so. Murderous puppet typewriters misbehave with deadly results. A shirtless tomato farmer sings a hypnotic ode to his favorite crop. In a drab city, the sale and purchase of emotions are strictly regulated, but not everyone follows the rules and a gangster has himself gilded in gold. Fishing is a metaphor for Alzheimer’s disease. An elderly man thinks he’s related to a cow. As far as I can tell, there’s no reason to despise the monkey with a helium-filled balloon for a head or the preteen girl playing a sax solo in front of a deer carcass.




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