“a history of something in three acts” – “republic of tears” – “in vino veritas”

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 – Whitney Houston, Natalie Wood, Dennis Wilson – would turn up at all hours acting sadly like themselves

Republic of Tears

They were traveling incognito, George Washington with a moustache and Abe Lincoln without a beard. It was spring in name but not in substance. The land, to their amazement, seemed to constantly rearrange itself in wild new patterns of rage and decay. On the border, they saw small brown children languishing in lockups. On city streets, they saw young black men in police chokeholds begging for breath. There was something they had to do. They didn’t know how they would do it exactly. They just knew from the pressure of tears behind their eyes that it had to be done.

In Vino Veritas

A seagull rises in a white flurry from the blacktop with a series of heartrending shrieks, a vocabulary very few of us understand, such a waste of wisdom. It’s why Rimbaud, for all his poetic genius, sighed in his lover Paul Verlaine’s ear that sometimes he just wanted to be a beggar in Africa. And yet ballsy acts of creation as destruction do occur. After a day of drinking wine, for instance, I view things through a kind of reddish mist. “Stop the car!” my passenger screams. “Let me out!” I push the accelerator all the way to the floor.

— Howie Good is the author of more than a dozen poetry collections, including most recently The Death Row Shuffle (Finishing Line Press), The Trouble with Being Born (Ethel Micro Press), and Gunmetal Sky (Thirty West Publishing).

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