Sunday, December 7, 2014

Howie Good and a Philosopher's Argument

Snow White Punishment

The poison apple goes a long way, / to a museum of manual labor / rife in truncated limbs & torsos,  /  the seven dwarfs jammed against the wall / & subtly touched all over / by a small piece of fire, / every pure yet lifeless wish / mirroring a handmade loss, /  a shallow, dead-end space, / the insistence on  stillness & quiet, / & later an anthropologist of his own childhood,  /  safe & asleep in bed,  / hanging from a noose / his father installed.

Track 33

The train rocks from side to side as it gathers speed. Something about the small, fidgety woman sitting across the aisle from me recalls my dead mother. Philosophers used to argue that the soul is like a pair of horses, one dark and one light, harnessed to the same heavy wagon, each pulling in its own direction. My mother has been dead a full 10 years now. If you ask me, the soul is more like crushed stained-glass mixed with sleep and kitty litter and loaded on an obscure artist’s horsehair paintbrush.

‘The Heart Is Not a Metaphor’

It’s kind of hovering, like a figure on a cross,
a headless male torso, water sprouting from his nipples, 
with you in front of it, twisted into an X. 
That’s who I want to stand in front, you, not me,
waterfalls versus boxes of rat poison, 
while empty space slants precariously,
an ivory satin bridal gown where there was none.

NB: A collage based on Roberta Smith, “Reality Skewed and Skewered (Gushing, Too),”New York Times, Oct. 2, 2014

Howie Good's latest book of poetry is The Complete Absence of Twilight (2014), from MadHat Press.

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