11 February 2009

howie good

Submission Guidelines

Send us the bags of blood
you squeezed yourself
from the hole in her stocking

but avoid gratuitous references
to atom smashers
we prefer the historical Jesus

spare parts for fire trucks
a story translated into battered English
about growing up in a double wide

tell us you rinse with beer
before bed even if it isn’t true
include boat people

in tuxedo shirts waiting tables
clouds building off the coast
your Times Roman face

the one you use
when you look out the window
out which it’s always raining

Right-hand Man

I’d pick up a spoon
in my left hand,

and they’d take it
and put it in my right.

I was small, very small,
probably no bigger

than a hobo’s bindle.
They’d look down at me

while I slept
and shake their heads.

Where they came from,
liars and arsonists

were left-handed.
I’d pick up a block

in my left hand,
and they’d take it

and put it in my right.
Now sometimes

when I start to reach
for what I want,

I’ll stop suddenly
and wonder

whose hand this is.

Among the Dead

They don’t ask for a lot,

a pound of nails
to hold the lid in place,

a story to help them
fall back asleep,

and now and then
the loan of a handkerchief,

which they always return,
when they remember to return it,

crumpled and stained.

No comments: