blackmail press 29
Howie Good

In Your Enigma - Ilinca Höpfner
In Your Enigma - Ilinca Höpfner
Howie Good is the author of a full-length poetry collection, "Lovesick", and 21 print and digital poetry chapbooks, including most recently, "Hello, Darkness" available from Deadly Chaps.

Just Like Buddy Holly

The he-man lifting the barbell grunts.
Everybody's morning is different.

I start mine with a pill, sometimes two,
then smoke the last cigarette in the pack.

And it's not because I believe
Buddy Holly looked right at me

at the show in Duluth
three days before the plane crash.

A seagull doesn't know that it's a seagull,
only we know that

and that its lidless yellow eyes are empty.

Now The Buffalo Are Gone

We were fighting the Indians in Florida. You said a joke without a punchline isn't a real joke. Why I always carry an arrowhead in my pocket, I said. Children passed over the hill, a coffin covered with wildflowers, but Thoreau only came out when there was a fire downtown. The tall ships of the China trade returned empty. It was a sign of something, like a face shaded by a wide hat.

Remember The Alamo

The farts of a hopped-up Mustang echo down the street. Sam Houston could use a shot of mescal right about now. His hand trembles like a courier with urgent news. He doesn't wish to discuss anymore the dissonant modernism of his early work. Agents in belted raincoats watch the border from nearby doorways. Although the sun is out, the nine-spotted ladybug crosses undetected.

The Yello Pencil

No matter how loud I shout, my voice doesn't carry. Only in old movies do the lovers escape on an ice floe. The night supervisor, his face curiously flushed, whispers something I can't hear to the new girl working the line in the family pencil factory. Later, the worn rubber nub of a no. 2 pencil erases what has just been written.

Still Burning

I pass an hour rearranging chunks of the alphabet. Morning rattles the window. I wave to our mailman. He doesn't wave back. The furniture scuttles sideways in any room the squad enters. They take away the neighbor who mowed his grass at night. Buildings are still burning. I should think about something else - island women, naked to the waist, kneeling down to bathe their wounded eyes in the river.