A plainclothes policeman, using a pair of handcuffs as brass knuckles, cut the face of a boy who was wandering the city in a hospital gown. Sometimes I think it’s just not true that teaching a child to not step on a caterpillar will make you a better person. Sometimes I think the plainclothesman is going to walk through the door, but he hasn’t, so I keep waiting. The city streets are deserted – no parade floats, no people. In these slow days of unease, everyone is a biohazard.
Past Is Prologue
Paris, January 6, 1938. Samuel Beckett was returning from the cinema that night when he was accosted by a tramp, who stabbed him in the chest, just missing his heart. He wasn’t quite the same afterwards. Maps needed to be redrawn. I’m beginning to understand something about it. The ocean feels a little sick right now. Two teenage boys beat a homeless man to death in the park with their skateboards. Stop talking and look up. Ladders cross the blue sky in a wheel of fire.
Doe-Re-Me I am writing at the kitchen table, or, rather, struggling to, when my wife excitedly calls me to the window and points down into the yard where a doe with a coat just a shade from golden is browsing on fallen leaves that if it wasn’t for the hours I spend trying to make poems, I would have burned long ago. Post-Election Stress Disorder The emperor’s model army marches on, bringing with them the suffocating smell of smoke, a darkness like mud, while tens of millions of just plain folks artlessly demonstrate their devotion by cheering threats of kidnapping and murder and parading bright new flags that with each wave in the lie-filled air grow duller and more tattered, and when the light dwindles to a final few hours, there will be tweet storms and wild speeches and the military music of boots stamping on faces.
Howie Good is the author of The Death Row Shuffle, forthcoming from Finishing Line Press. He co-edits the online journals Unbroken and UnLost.