Howie Good


A History of Something in Three Acts

Lady Ogre was working out on her Peloton bike when she felt faint and dizzy and puked up a junkie. Downstairs, her sometime boyfriend, alias Captain Dread, stood with one booted foot on an alligator skull, preparing to address his perverted but talented crew of piratical underground cartoonists. “Don’t let the page be gray,” he growled. “Make it jump! Make it crackle! Blister their irises!” Nothing came easy. Nothing. Old friends who had drowned while drunk or high on drugs – Whitney Houston, Natalie Wood, Dennis Wilson – would turn up at all hours acting sadly like themselves.




Prophecy Is for Believers

A tree has sprung up from the grave of Tom Paine, patron saint of outcasts and rebels. We are traveling there to find out if what we have heard is true, that when the wind ripples through the monstrously large leaves, the leaves speak in the doom-laden voice of prophecy. There are certain words that are rightly feared. “Better you cry now than I cry later,” my mother would darkly say as she slammed drawers and cabinets, searching for a hairbrush, a wooden spoon – anything! – with which to beat me.




Deep Moaning Blues

They’re traveling incognito, George Washington with a moustache and Abe Lincoln without a beard. Time is like a river that has jumped its banks and carved a brazen new course through the ruins of fabled industries. They follow its many twists and turns, only to find themselves weeks later cold, ragged, and hungry, and under perpetual ban. Meanwhile, killers walk around free if they’re white and have a badge. It’s as though the laws have been rewritten by malignant algorithms. A night of solid sleep is impossible. The moans that keep waking me up, I finally realize, come from me.




Into the Darkness of Moby Dick

If you drive slowly and look for it, you just might find it, a faded little seafood shack named for Melville’s wicked white whale, the parking lot covered in crushed shells that crunch nastily underfoot, midday growing so dark with each step the crickets begin to chirp, thinking it’s night.



Howie Good is the author of more than a dozen poetry collections, including most recently Gunmetal Sky (Thirty West Publishing) and The Bad News First (Kung Fu Treachery Press).