A bird I can’t identify by its red markings visits me, holding a playing card in its beak. I feel elated to finally be remembered. But when I grab for the card, the bird darts away.
Come back, I yell, and the bird does. I realize then that its markings are actually splashes of paint or maybe even blood. The shock wakes me up.
I once took thirteen years to write a poem, if you count the mass of scar tissue that throbs in our dreams.
Sometimes we talk like characters in the kind of indie film nobody goes to see. To live, I say, dooms us to a life that’s never really ours. You think you know what I mean. You think I mean the hitchhikers we just passed on the entrance ramp might be escaped convicts. And it’s true, nothing survives here in the darkness behind words but dry fallen leaves, everything used up, worn out, cast off, and the white bony ass of the moon.
A YEAR OF SLIT WRISTS
There was blue darkness,
cold & growing colder,
& somebody from somewhere else
who looked like somebody
I knew from here,
her head cocked
& her eyes sadly puzzled,
as if inferring for the first time
the rumble of panic
— by Howie Good
Copyright© 2012, by Howie Good. All Rights Reserved.
Howie Good, a journalism professor at SUNY New Paltz, is the author of the new poetry collection, Dreaming in Red, from Right Hand Pointing. All proceeds from the sale of the book go to a crisis center, which you can read about here: https://sites.google.com/site/rhplanding/howie-good-dreaming-in-red. He is also the author of numerous chapbooks, including most recently The Devil’s Fuzzy Slippers from Flutter Press and Personal Myths from Writing Knights Press. He has another chapbook, Fog Area, forthcoming from Dog on a Chain Press.