Howie Good: Being Me

Being Me

There’s bad shit going on. Supply chain problems are said to be to blame. Often one has to make things oneself in order to have or see them. Just ask meth cooks what that means. I’ve been following a long, confusing route, down streets that twist and turn like Nietzsche’s enigmatic aphorisms and then in and out of rooms where people repeat phrases in the mindless manner of a talking doll: “Thank you,” “I love you,” “Awesome!” It’s all part of the inconvenience of being me, father of orphans and foster children, inventor of the fingerprint smudges on touch screens.


The meat wagon still hasn’t arrived for the limbless corpse discovered on the beach by an early morning jogger. Uniformed officers are stringing yellow crime scene tape to establish a perimeter around the crime scene. An overweight homicide detective, collar turned up against the cold and damp, squats with difficulty on the sand to question some seagulls that are hanging out. He’s either unaware or doesn’t care that a little way down the beach, former ocean deities, broke, mocked, abandoned, homeless, sleep among the dunes and with only the fog for a thin, tattered blanket. Grunting, the detective stands back up. He takes a moment to gaze around. Rain has begun to fall like bright stupid confetti. Jesus Christ, he thinks, there’s just so much so in sorrow.

The Last Nursery Rhyme

Wounds heal from the inside out. The next 48 hours are likely to be crucial. I begin climbing the stairs, crawling on my hands and knees. There’s a sudden sickening stench and only then do I notice that the leaf wallpaper has already erupted in fall colors: Dragon’s Blood, Uranium Yellow, Mummy Brown. I keep climbing anyway, climb and climb, and yet the further I climb, the further away the light at the top seems to drift. Tears stream down my face, thinking of the three mice and how they became blind.

Postcard from a Dream

(1) In the dream I was trapped under a dock. My dead cousin Rhonda appeared, peering down at me between the wood planks. The water was up to my neck and still rising. “Why would you do this to us?” she scolded. (2) People are going about their lives as if nothing terrible is going on, as if corpses dressed in civilian clothes aren’t being exhumed from mass graves and discovered with gunshots to the back of their heads and their decaying hands bound behind them. (3) I’m also trying to think about what I don’t see. The worst atrocities aren’t on the news. Do you hear the rain? It is walking toward me. It is walking toward me without hurrying.


— by Howie Good.


Copyright © 2022, by Howie Good. All Rights Reserved.

Howie Good’s latest poetry collection, The Horses Were Beautiful, is forthcoming from Grey Book Press.

Howie Good: Being Me
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