“Still Life with Grapes” by Howie Good

for Barbara

1
Why wait? We’re like the ships of Ulysses, always being blown off course. Hurry and undress, before the blood dies in our hearts again.

2
In the last little bit of woods where I sometimes walk our dog, stepping over the beer cans and take-home Styrofoam containers, I found today a cluster of wild grapes shining darkly in the dimness. I picked one. It was good. Maybe you’re right, after all, about there being life on other planets.


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.

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“Night on Bleak Mountain” by Howie Good

1
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.

2
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.

3
Hell used to be around here somewhere, covered in warning signs. Of course, that isn’t true, but it should be.

4
I’m partial to stories that begin in the middle: a person turning a familiar corner and never being seen again.

5
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.

“Incurable” by Howie Good

1
The moon is only thirty-seven percent full. Who do I blame? Which of my forefathers wore a long, black cape as if hoping to hide a deformity?

2
Fortresses and hiding places, everything has its shadow, a mysterious, pregnant traveler in Bavarian hotels, dark half-moons under her eyes.

3
The world is so overloaded with ordinary human things that it sometimes leans precariously to one side, and I feel the dead eyes of pawnshops and check cashing stores on me and the dingy sky scattering just about everywhere incurably dingy blossoms.


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.

Issue #6, August 2011

Table of Contents, Issue #6

Editor’s Note

2011 Summer Fiction Contest

Fiction contest winner: “Consider the Gap” by George Sawaya

Fiction contest honorable mention: “Mulciber” by Sean Hogan

Fiction contest honorable mention: “The Smoking  Bun” by Lucinda Dupree

Fiction

“Jackpot” by Lindsey Walker

“Switchback” by Roger Real Drouin

“Meet Me by the River” by Nels Hanson

“All the Right Notes” by T.R. Healy

Flash Fiction

“Tore Up” by Dale Wisely

Poetry

“Monroe County Line” by L. Ward Abel

“District Court as Community Theater” by Al Maginnes

“If I Rise” by Amit Parmessur

“Summer Girls in Pale Chiffon” by William Childress

“The Fabulists” by William Childress

Prose Poetry

“Incurable” by Howie Good

Essays

“Regional ‘Othering’ in Hershell Lewis’ Two Thousand Maniacs!” by William Matthew McCarter

Multimedia

Photography by Molly Hand

Issue #4, March 2011

Table of Contents, Issue #4

Editor’s Note

Fiction

“Treasure” by Murray Dunlap

“Serial Killers” by Melissa Studdard

Poetry

“Recycled” by Kenneth P. Gurney

“Mentality” by Kenneth P. Gurney

“Deeper Shade of Red” by Kenneth P. Gurney

“Writing Life” by Howie Good

“The Butterfly Garden of Absinthe” by Howie Good

“Eternal Recurrence of the Same” by Howie Good

“The Lullaby” by Karla Linn Merrifield

“Gulf Coast Sutra” by Karla Linn Merrifield

“The Last Crummy Poem?” by James Valvis

“Oblivion” by Peycho Kanev

“Purity” by Peycho Kanev

“Pine Trees and Alligators” by Richard Peake

“Hunting Piney Woods” by Richard Peake

“Feeding Gulls” by Richard Peake

“Hookers on Archer Avenue” by Michael Lee Johnson

“Pinocchio, Breaking” by Daniel Romo

“First Snow” by Daniel Romo

Three Poems by Howie Good

Writing Life

Leaves fly
like red kites.

A boy kicks
an apple
across
the street.

I can hear
his voice,
but not
his words.

The wind
thrusts
its beak
into me.


The Butterfly Garden of Absinthe

The first time
I heard April becoming April,

I heard jewels in the mail,
futuristic apparatus, weird haunted frogs,

Bang, bang,
I heard Little Red Riding Hood say,

and above the accidental crimes of birth,
I heard schlock deities moving

to untidy local motels,
telling most roses and wild apples

dot dot dash


Eternal Recurrence of the Same

1
One week it’s an uncle in Jerusalem who shatters. The next week it’s my father who calls. What can cause more harm if misused, love or hate? The question confuses me. Some nights I need to take a pill to fall asleep. A motel sign advertises cable TV and no vacancies. I go to bed still bleeding a little, like a man from a country where no one else lives.

2
He wouldn’t take off his hat. To live well, he said, you must live unseen. He had a rope around his neck and one leg over the railing. A passerby happened to notice the bank clock said 11:11. The most mysterious thing is a fact clearly stated. I inquired at the desk. The sun will shine for another six billion years. At least.

3
I stood there with an umbrella under my arm, a mournful observer. Others ran. It was what machines dream about, but covered in flames and the maps of missing countries.

4
During dinner, the trees dropped leaves in the pond. She said something about guilt and forgiveness. The orange cat that had adopted us was licking itself under the table. I nodded as if I understood. Night frost lit up the fields, a language that has no word for the past.


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.

Issue #2, January 2011

Table of Contents – Issue #2

Editor’s Note

Fiction

“A Good Snow” by Brent Stauffer

“Carolyne Park Elementary” by Louis Bourgeois

Flash Fiction

“Proposal” by Robert Vaughan

Poetry

“Side by Side” by Lori A. May

“Premonitions” by Lori A. May

“In and Outside of Glass” by Lori A. May

“If We Could Just Save One Pure Moment  (or, The Last Thread)” by George Mostoller

“Is Blue More Identical Than Music?” by Grantley Rushing

“Holy” by Curtis Rutherford

“Highway” by Mark Wisniewski

“Fools” by Mark Wisniewski

Prose Poetry

“The Second Hand” by Zachary C. Bush

“Exit Strategy” by Zachary C. Bush

“Fable of the Wolf” by Howie Good

“Triptych” by Howie Good

“The Anniversary of Endless War” by Howie Good

Multimedia

Photography by bl pawelek