On the Eve of the Next War

Howie Good Hear that? you ask. Both of us look, but only you see the fuzzy gray silhouette of a bombed building. Nothing matters and nothing connects. The torn gum wrappers are one small hint. Elderly tourists covered in cameras are another. It isn’t until later, while I’m still shaking my head at your question,… More

Poe in Love

Howie Good 1 A man jammed fistfuls of earth into his mouth. And why not when nations sell weapons to their enemies? The weather arrived late, a funeral with only four mourners. All his life he liked to wander through cemeteries. If everyone is doing it, someone said, it must be OK. 2 Probably the… More


Howie Good The crowded elevator disappeared between floors. Pedestrians stood weeping at the crosswalk. She still loves you, said the old man walking a dog on a rope. I smelled the salt of the nearby tears. It took two or three matches before the light would stay lit. Howie Good is the author of a… More

Howie Good

The poet reads and discusses his process and aesthetic.


Heart Trouble

Howie Good 1 Pilots called them Flying Coffins. He scanned the dingy sky. The war had just started. Tourists listened in a daze to a cunning old woman who had outlived all her children. 2 His heart started going like an antiaircraft gun, a spy caught leaving coded messages. Dusk seemed to fall by 2… More

Famous Long Ago

Howie Good Oh, habitués of the walk-in clinic! Oh, aficionados of the cockpit voice recorder! Nothingness isn’t something you sleep off in a doorway. The buildings are full of forgotten vaudevillians and signs that say EXIT, and every panhandler demonstrates the doubtful efficacy of begging. Light slows to a trickle. The sun has gone behind… More

Coming Attractions

Howie Good As mourners do, I’ll cover the mirrors before I go out and still arrive in time for the last showing. The seats around me will all be empty, but toward the end, when even the music stops caring what happens next, the heavy-set usherette will prowl the aisles of another gloomy day. She’ll… More

The Ethics of Ambiguity

Howie Good 1 Sometime during the night someone redrew the town line with a length of string and a piece of chalk. There are footprints that might be clues. A detective in an ancient derby sighs and crouches down. Some of the footprints belong to the green gloom of evening, some to ambiguous silence. 2… More

Dark Blue

Howie Good 1 I hear crying. The crying goes on all night. My heart tries to sleep, but can’t. I watch it walk away. I watch for a long time. I watch my heart until it’s out of sight. It never looks back. It doesn’t wave. And then the street fills with bruised shoes and… More

There's No Money In Poetry, Someone Said

Howie Good True, but wouldn’t you rather jerk awake to the beating of invisible wings and later, if the light is right, watch a river scratch itself until it bled? And as to the example of those who keep their feet firmly on the ground, like a telephone pole, or a feeding trough, or a… More

Spring, Delayed

Howie Good Birdsong alarm don’t cry I can feel broken idols change trains upturned hands forfeit fire uncle decay still trying shhh tree sleep Howie Good is a journalism professor at the State University of New York at New Paltz. He is the author of seven poetry collections, including Tomorrowland (2008) from Achilles Chapbooks in… More

The Secret Policemen's Ball

Howie Good Ever since logic fell into disuse, I wake up every morning in the same room but a different city, the buildings a bright blur, like something out of a secret policeman’s florid conception of heaven, a place where millions anxiously spy on each other from between their fingers and all you can hear… More