top of page

Four Prose Poems
by Howie Good, January 10th 2023

To Those Who Are Perishing

A strange figure that has always been there but never seen appears just then, green bottle flies tangled in her long, witchy hair and patches of brown mold staining her forehead and chin. She knows our names, our secrets, knows our thoughts before we even think them. Those she has invisibly visited have perished miserably from Alzheimer’s and tumors and in shopper stampedes. The science of it can be debated later, when cold black stars pinwheel across the sky and the moon flies up like a clown shot out of a cannon. In the meantime, today’s rain falls on yesterday. We grow old surrounded by clocks.


Perchance to Dream

This may be the place I’ve heard rumors about, a looted city patrolled by soldiers and dogs and strung with barbed wire. Otherwise there isn't a lot going on, just personal disasters of my own making, each at a different stage of development. I keep checking my phone, as if the memory of last checking it endures by product design for only an instant. A man following his heart staggers past. The soldiers hoot at him. And then nothing. Doors that seem to open never actually do. Think about it. People drool while they sleep, but sleep is good for you.


Lost and Found

(1) Do you hear the rain? I love the rain. I love the feeling of it on my face. Love, love, love. This is a beautiful world. Beautiful. But not now. Everything will shortly be turned upside down. And the little children cry in the streets. (2) Goddamn. The flames already? Ah, darling, what blood and murder. Shut the door. Get my swan costume ready. It is time for me to become an apprentice once more. (3) The room is jumping up and down. Am I dying, or is it my birthday? Four o’clock. How strange. So that is time. Strange. It is walking toward me, without hurrying. (4) Can you believe this shit? All compound things are subject to breaking up. Oh, look, see how the cherry blossoms fall mutely.



Last Words


(1) Nothing soothes pain like human touch. Only those tortured by love can understand what I mean. There, do you hear the bell? Do you hear it ringing? Softly, quite softly. (2) Codeine . . . bourbon. God will forgive me. It’s his profession. (3) I believe we should adjourn this meeting to another place. The fog is rising. I’ve got to get to the top of the hill. Oh, do not cry. You can keep the things of bronze and stone. (4) I’ve a lot to say, not just something. Write. . . write. . . pencil. . . paper. Now comes the mystery. The paper burns, but the words fly free.






NB: “Lost and Found” and “Last Words” are composed of the last words of various historical and cultural figures, including Leonard Bernstein, Jean Cocteau, Marco Polo, Richard Halliburton, George Engel, Vincent van Gogh, Theodore Roosevelt, Heinrich Heine, Salvador Dali, James Brown, Cosmo Lang, Babe Ruth, Georg Friedrich Wilhelm Hegel, Siddhartha, Frederic Chopin, Bobby Fischer, Tallulah Bankhead, and Johan Wolfgang von Goethe.

bottom of page