Three Prose Poems


Howie Good








The invisible enemy shouldn’t exist, or if exist, shouldn’t compete in volume with the German opera booming from the kitchen radio, music to invade Poland to. What dust will rise! The flesh is yours, but the bones, the bones are ours. Meanwhile, it’s Miss Plum in the bedroom with the candlestick. “White man got no dreaming,” she tells the detective there to arrest her, paraphrasing Adorno’s much-cited dictum. Then into the picture float clouds like chubby pink cherubs with obnoxious smiles, who are self-anointed experts on most things. Everyone else involved, even peripherally, feels a sudden urge to mount the scaffold.




After Auschwitz



A sudden breeze riles the flames. There’s no place anymore that’s safer than any other. I just want to sit and play guitar to my goldfish. But, of course, that can’t happen. And what about the dog star man in the photograph? I gave up long ago trying to figure crazy stuff out. The degree of cunning required keeps multiplying by a factor of 4. I know that sounds like a rich person’s problem. It isn’t. First the breathing stops, then the brain, then the heart. They always do. That’s culture – children, a lot of children, heaping spent flowers on the fire.




Lost in America



I realized I didn’t know the name of the street I was on. When I asked what it was, people gave me strange looks. Asthma sufferers, especially, couldn’t choke out the address before losing consciousness. I had been sent down there to gather reports on dreams. It’s good to have a record if any of this goes to court later. In one dream a baby with a swastika tattooed on his forehead was crying for a bottle. In another you heard a bang: your husband had just shot your daughter. CPR helps a lot, of course, but still. . .









Howie Good is the author most recently of What It Is and How to Use It from Grey Book Press.  He co-edits the journals Unbroken and UnLost.