“Night on Bleak Mountain” by Howie Good

The angle of the sun gives to shadows the sullen appearance of short, squat gunmen in overcoats and derbies. I wish now that I had walked the other way.

Every day 200,000 people (give or take) die. Corpses in the streets, corpses in doorways, corpses everywhere. If there’s a God, He must be a serial killer.

Hell used to be around here somewhere, covered in warning signs. Of course, that isn’t true, but it should be.

I’m partial to stories that begin in the middle: a person turning a familiar corner and never being seen again.

The priest probes Christ’s wounds with his little finger. Shoot me in the chest, Mussolini said, and they did. Everybody knows how the plot to kill the president ends – with all the angels of the universe gradually fading to indistinctness and a rising scream throughout the rest of the day.

HowieHowie Good, a journalism professor at SUNY New Paltz, is the author of five poetry collections, most recently Cryptic Endearments from Knives Forks & Spoons Press. He has had numerous chapbooks, including A Special Gun for Elephant Hunting from Dog on a Chain Press, Strange Roads from Puddles of Sky Press, and Death of Me from Pig Ear Press. His poetry has been nominated multiple times for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net anthology. He blogs at http://apocalypsemambo.blogspot.com.