Two Poems

Posted on July 21, 2009

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By Howie Good

STILL LIFE WITH FIREARMS

It would be peaceful here
if it weren’t for the crucified thieves
writhing in the background.
A waiter with the red face of a seraph
sidles up and offers to show me to a table.
I hurry away as if I had somewhere to go.
Others wait at home with their belongings.
The leaves stir, suddenly full of plans.
I walk until I’m lost. Later,
insects will fly gaily around the light
while I undress for bed in weary silence,
like an obscure municipal official
just returned from the famine zone.

THE MACHINERY OF FORGETTING FEARS

In the ghetto of my heart
birds fly backwards
an old rabbi claws at the knots
in his tangled beard and as in
a scratchy black-and-white filmstrip
the boy from the orphanage
seeks the shelter of his parents’ bed
and if you’re awake like him
you can hear the room
being lit by heat lightning
also the murderer half-hidden
behind the pitted stone pillar
swear to passers-by he isn’t there

Howie Good, a journalism professor at the State University
of New York at New Paltz, is the author of eight poetry
chapbooks. He has been nominated three times for a
Pushcart Prize and twice for the Best of the Net
anthology. His first full-length book of poetry, Lovesick,
is forthcoming from The Poetry Press of Press Americana.

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Posted in: July 2009