IN A LONELY PLACE
The heart is breathing
all on its own,
like a town so small
it doesn’t have a priest,
the insects and birds
just loud enough
for us to believe
they might still exist.
* * *
(BELATED) ELEGY FOR BRAUTIGAN
A woman from Tacoma
screams your name
while having drunken sex
with a stranger.
The stolen painting hangs
in the house next door.
Trout dapple the Pacific Northwest
like the silver sound
of Chekov’s phone ringing.
It’s a little early to think about dinner.
The stuff your mother threw out
would be worth a lot of money now.
* * *
He dialed 911. The war had just started. Bees fed on the golden face of a sunflower in a city
twelve-thousand miles away. Pilots called them Flying Coffins.
His heart started going like an antiaircraft gun, a spy caught leaving coded messages. Dusk
seemed to fall by 2 p.m. Reporters interviewed mothers with dead children in their arms. The
wind from the heights acquired a touch of red. Look out the window, the caller said, summer is
The purpose of catastrophe apartments eluded him. Taxis ran on charcoal gas. He never
requested a different ending for the old people wrapped in rags.
Howie Good, a journalism professor at the State University of New York at New Paltz, is the author of a full-length poetry collection, Lovesick, and 21 print and digital poetry chapbooks. He has been nominated multiple times for a Pushcart Prize and the Best of the Net anthology. He is co-editor of the online literary journal Left Hand Waving. He blogs at apocalypsemambo.blogspot.com.