2 Poems by Howie Good

Departure Plans

I’m starting to think Marx was right – everything solid melts into air. The breakfast menu at Chick-fil-A might be the nearest thing we have left these days to a coherent statement of philosophy. Even the sky seems all in a jumble. More and more clouds are traveling under aliases or assuming the extreme shape of angels wielding flaming swords. As a precaution, Cinderella’s castle has been evacuated, and its many windows boarded up. Any moment now I’m leaving for. . . I don’t know where. Somewhere bodies behave simultaneously as particle and wave. You can come. There won’t be roads and bridges made of spider silk or lakes whose colors pulsate to the iridescent dreams of sleeping fish, but only you and me and empty space that longs to be touched.


The neighborhood kids played soldiers using real guns. “It’s their right,” people would say, and these people weren’t even coffin salesmen. Funerals occurred so regularly that the mockingbirds would imitate the often-heard dirges. Meanwhile, the retirement home residents needed a sign on the door explaining how to open it. They wanted to go downtown to see the latest art installation: two tons of chopped meat shaped into a pyramid. A few of the old women were taken to the cellar instead. Pressed by the authorities, they admitted to remembering when the goal of youth was a riot in the streets.

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).