person Howie Good, one poem

Howie Good is the author of THE DEATH ROW SHUFFLE, a poetry collection forthcoming from Finishing Line Press.


Chili Con Carnage

I wake up in bed alone, with drool and sweat and worse on my pillow. There are crumpled dollar bills and a couple of bucks in change on top of the dresser, enough for cigarettes and scratch-offs, maybe a bottle of Italian Red. History is dead. Scum is all that’s left. The sun keeps showing up regardless.


The train was crowded, dirty, excruciatingly slow. I had boarded with the idea of arriving that night in time to be a character in someone else’s dreams. It doesn’t have to make sense, but, for a while, the train ran parallel to an oily black river in which naked corpses floated. None of the passengers traveling with small children even attempted to shield the children’s eyes. And that was just fine with me. Growing up, I spent many hours watching TV alone in the basement in the dark.


Still sitting fully clothed on the exam table, I said to the doctor, “I’m dying.” He said, “How’s that my fault?” I’d been in agony for at least a month. The doctor said it was my body attacking itself. “It’ll scald you,” he said in the same cold, calm voice, “peel the skin and muscle right off your bones.” I wondered if this was a joke of some sort and decided it must be. When I opened the door to leave, a man with a bloody face, his hands bound behind his back, was just standing there waiting his turn.

person Howie Good, two poems

Howie Good is the author most recently of Stick Figure Opera: 99 100-word Prose Poems from Cajun Mutt Press. He co-edits the online journals Unbroken and UnLost.

Love in Time of . . .

The spring has started off all wrong.
It’s been dark and murky, and I’ve got
no idea why. I’m struggling to keep
the screech of panic out of my voice.
Chinese! The sky is full of them. Maybe
what I need more than isolation or
bleach is the soft, reassuring weight
of your body on mine. The grim faces
on TV advise completely the opposite,
but we’re meant to be held by each other,
amazed by how much we can touch.

Apathy for the Devil

This is the country you heard rumors about, where the sky acquires the greenish sheen of sickness and birds are forced by the diseased air to fly close to the ground, where memory lasts just a very short time, where school hallways are spotted with blood and the cops have a penchant for suicide, where deranged angels hoot all night in the tree outside your window, where thought is folly and endings go spectacularly wrong, where love, invisible until now but always there, spreads like a spider crack.


Maybe if I shorten my name, quit Facebook, lose the gut, I can escape everyone’s notice. I don’t care what the police say; today it’s cold and getting colder. People are acting more than just a little crazy, running around and around and not realizing they’re always running in the same spot. At this distance, I can’t hear all the cries or actually see who that is writhing on the ground. Whoever it is, they’re beating him bloody with baseball bats. It’s like Moses striking the rock and thinking, Be water: blossom everywhere.


We’re always evolving, always about to become something else, always both here and not here. Seen from space, we’ll appear at times to be moving away from something, but at other times to be moving toward it. I have to walk really carefully or there are consequences – dark energy, space-time decay, bubbles of nothing. Wherever we go, however long we stay there, God is a joke nobody gets. Most of us develop our own variant of “oh well.” It’s why the soul weighs just 11 ounces.


{two on title alone}


Please check out former contributor Howie Good’s book I’m Not a Robot now available from Tolsun Books, here:

/ work in {isacoustic*}:



also, former contributor Ace Boggess has a title I Have Lost the Art of Dreaming It So from Unsolicited Press that is available for pre-order, here:

/ work in {isacoustic*}:

person Howie Good, two poems

Howie Good is the author of “The Loser’s Guide to Streetfighting,” winner of 2017 Lorien Prize for Poetry from ThoughtCrime Press.

~ * ~


There was a time
you could hear
the birds everywhere
and you could see
dark clouds of them.

Now, it’s all stone.
It hurts immensely.
The world isn’t ending,
but the emptiness
is the only thing left.

~ * ~


An apparition of the Virgin Mary bubbled up from cracks in the asphalt. Everything was thrown everywhere. It was kind of like living in the midst of a peasant revolt – fire inside, fire outside. I lost two fingers. They are completely gone. Women glance at me and then glance away and shake their heads in pity. The saddest part is the silence. I begin to understand why the octopus has three hearts.

~ * ~