In his book On Analogy, Julius Caesar advises us to “Avoid strange and unfamiliar words as a sailor avoids rocks at sea.” My wife had a smile-shaped scar just above her pubic mound from a Caesarean. How beautifully torn, I thought, and rose into the sky and flapped away, leaving a mysterious future gap in the fossil record.


If there were actually angels, would they fly in a V-formation like geese, you think? Crows can hold a grudge for a year or more against a person who’s mistreated them. It’s like I always told my writing students, houses don’t burn up or burn down, they just burn. 


He yelled up the stairs that he was going duck hunting and walked off with his shotgun into the dunes behind the cottage. Once out of sight, he sat down in the sand and planted the butt of the gun between his legs, leaned his forehead against the muzzle, and jerked the trigger. Typical country music – three chords and the truth.


I was born with holes in me and only a slosh of bourbon left at the bottom of the bottle. These chains on my heart were added later, about the time a purplish darkness crept over the windows. Climate change deniers blamed the new fashion for dark sober Victorian attire. The most streamed song on Spotify namechecked the working girls who had been mutilated in the fog by Jack the Ripper.

Evening Walk

I’m walking the dog along a narrow strip of dirt, a kind of no man’s land, between bare woods and the roadway. Although the clocks were set forward an hour a week ago, darkness is falling fast, as if every little town has its share of evil. When the dog squats, I take the couple of moments to look around. I like to see things that maybe I’m not supposed to see. But there are no difficult truths or coded warnings visible, only the faintest bulge of new buds on dead-seeming branches, the gnarled, knobby fingers of fierce invalids. 

— Howie Good is a poet and collage artist on Cape Cod. His latest poetry books are Famous Long Ago (Laughing Ronin Press) and The Bad News First (Kung Fu Treachery Press).

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