Three Poems • Howie Good

First as Tragedy, Then as Farce

The directions said head west on Excelsior,
take the third right onto Maple, and continue to 299.
No mention at all of cows staring out
from behind barbed wire. And such wind!
Like the mistaken zeal of Socrates’ executioners.
You thought but didn’t say, “We’re lost.”
Far-off, a hawk floated – unless it was a crow.
Kindness itself is a kind of love,
wearing only one shoe and a ridiculous party hat.


Party At the End of the World

The man in the moon
was drinking wine
from a plastic cup.
Everyone was.

A girl group sang
during halftime.
Taser me, I said,
or maybe just thought.

Which would you
choose – you know,
if you had to – fire
or ice? I’d choose

something that gives
a reason to ooh in awe,
the involuntary return
of late spring tulips.


The Fork in My Career Path

I was eligible for a full lifetime membership
in the disappearing middle class.
“What’s your mother’s name?”
the man at the computer asked.
The light from overhead seemed to flutter
as I formulated an answer.
Like a looted corpse’s,
my pockets had been turned inside out.
“Beautiful world,” I silently prayed,
“hold me while I’m naked.”


Howie Good, a journalism professor at SUNY New Paltz, is the author of the full-length poetry collections Lovesick (Press Americana, 2009), Heart With a Dirty Windshield (BeWrite Books, 2010), and Everything Reminds Me of Me (Desperanto, 2011), as well as numerous print and digital poetry chapbooks, including most recently Love in a Time of Paranoia from Diamond Point Press, Inspired Remnants from Red Ceilings Press and The Penalty for Trying from Ten Pages Press.