Victor Hugo had his servants hide his clothes so that he couldn’t go out until he had written
his daily quota of words, and Balzac drank upwards of 50 cups of coffee a day to prevent his creativity
from flagging, but just as the blackbird is not a crow, I’m not that kind of desperate – I mean, yet.
Justice in the Time of Covid
A 13-year-old black boy was shot dead only because a white police officer had too small a heart. How is that legal? the prosecutor asked from behind a tall sheet of Plexiglas. The wily old judge pretended to doze off to avoid ruling on the question. Key witnesses in the case exchanged anxious looks. The defense attorney just smirked. It was about this time that a party bus taking the jury for a rare night out ran completely off the road. No one was even hurt in the crash, but transient angels were everywhere, laughing and shouting and firing guns.
No One Here Gets Out Alive
General George S. Patton, a bloodthirsty lunatic who wore ivory-handled revolvers on his hips, found it a great thrill to reduce a city to desperation by means of carpet bombing. That feeling has never ceased to exist, but if you go searching for it, you’ll end up disappointed and confused, and with the darkness of conspiracy theories howling around your head. Everything will seem so hugely complicated that even dairy cows will wonder what the fuck. No one will be safe and little will be sacred, just the broken old farm machinery rusting in an abandoned corner of the heartland.
Man, Woman, Birth, Death, Infinity
The ground is littered with used paper face masks. I want to shake this person and that person and tell them, “You can’t be lost in your own world all the time.” But, of course, I won’t. A purplish darkness creeps over the city. I stream a movie about an international crew of astronauts on a journey to the cosmic womb. Equipment malfunctions. Their sanity frays. They gradually turn against one another. Something out there in space is acting like a hulking bouncer who won’t let them through. If they knew what I know, they would just laugh. A month from now my daughter is having a daughter.
Howie Good is the author of more than a dozen poetry collections, including most recently Gunmetal Sky (Thirty West Publishing).