понеділок, 1 травня 2017 р.

Howie Good - Five cut-up texts

Howie Good is the author of The Loser's Guide to Street Fighting, winner of the 2017 Lorien Prize from ThoughtCrime Press, and Dangerous Acts Starring Unstable Elements, winner of the 2015 Press Americana Prize for Poetry. He co-edits White Knuckle Press with Dale Wisely. 


The Obscenity of Understanding

I heard shouting through the window. Screams. Commotion. Then the sound of gunshots. I know what a gun sounds like. It was bang-bang-bang. I thought, “Get out of here. The person you love will be somewhere, there, standing last in line.”


Goodbye, my children! People are dying. I just couldn’t look the other way. The data have made me worried about the communities directly exposed to robots. Michael told me one time: “Rebels go to church.” The Venezuelan rich kid has certainly never been a suicide bomber. I’m just not sure I can promise that today. What you want is to get back what you’ve lost. It won’t ever be back the same.


Just because I’m older doesn’t mean that I’ve stopped wanting to be with someone. It doesn’t mean that I’m dead. I was just crossing the street and, obviously, her Afro is just amazing. Her scarf, the way it is blowing in the wind, I thought was just so beautiful. You can really feel her walking toward me and past me. And then I was like, wait, what am I doing? It was kind of dark outside. They usually let us know that ahead of time.

Seed texts:
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/25/fashion/seen-on-the-streets-fashion-mavericks-a-stylish-couple-and-fran-lebowitz.html https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/25/fashion/ann-margret-doing-at-75-still-playing-the-girl-next-door-zach-braff.html



The Inner Telescope

Imagine we find ourselves floating.
The experience – maybe even 60

to 70 percent of it – is the sounds.     
These tiny little specks of pepper

in the sky will emerge, and then
they’ll drop down, become cranes,

and they’re here. But by the third
day, you’re going to start asking other

kinds of questions. Behind every
da Vinci, Velázquez, Goya or Picasso,

there are countless dead rabbits.
And we are still killing each other,

so maybe there hasn’t been so much
evolution after all. We point a telescope

to the stars. But this is a telescope that
from the stars we point to ourselves.

Seed texts:
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/24/science/sandhill-cranes-nebraska-platte-river.html https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/26/world/europe/bolzano-italy-iceman-south-tyrol-museum-of-archaeology.html


Endless Wars in Far-off Places

My grandmother’s green 1979 Oldsmobile was going down the street on a cold January night, Linda Blair in the back seat spinning her head to turn around to watch me. Guys in robes were playing one note for an hour with a wall of amplifiers. I wanted to end composing, get rid of it. I wanted it to die out. In 50 years, we might not have those elephants. Looking at the Earth would be amazing.


The doorbell rang. I looked through the peephole and saw two men in hats. They asked for Hugo. I said he wasn't there. Then we were on all fours, putting our heads under Hugo’s desk, smelling his cigar box. Suddenly everything turned white. It was the most hideous thing. I learned how scary a mountain can be.


Once 3 o’clock hits, all the high school kids are running the streets. I wanted to dance with them because once they realize what’s happening, things change. I knew I had to produce some sort of excuse, so I said, on the verge of tears, “I do believe we are moving at full speed and maybe accelerating.” But aside from finding a dead Asian woman in a suitcase, the story didn’t make a lot of sense.


I paint with blood, pigs’ blood.  And it’s only meaningful in a state of weightlessness. The pictures don’t exist. I don’t have them. This summer was kind of insane. Everyone in the neighborhood wanted to blow their heads off. The president promised this. He promised that people will die. It's a gimmick – fun to do once.

Seed texts:


Tornado Zoo

I don’t see myself as crazed or bomb-throwing, though I could be if driven into a corner. We know we’re in the presence of history when things are blowing up. People turning to crime in desperation or out of frustration and anger. Frightened men on the run or vengeful ones on the hunt – when did that ever go out of date?  It’s like, remember who we are, remember what we did.


We need to look for a lost child. She’s 11 years old and wearing a brown coat. People are definitely paying more attention. It’s funny, and it’s beautiful, and it’s outrageous. They’re asking more questions. How does one sleep at night or get through the day? Three years ago, we had to be very quick and loud. No nuns broke into our homes to kidnap our children. We had no idea that people would come at all hours to take them.


We heard faint voices asking for help from nearby houses but then the voices disappeared. I had this dreadful feeling. Something was off with her and something was off with him. It was inevitable that he did it. If he hadn’t done it, somebody else would have. We didn’t understand at first who the skeletons could have belonged to. He let me know that he wanted to fix it, the robberies, the killings. It took too long to happen. I said, “No, thank you.” Criminals are not clever. We hurtle down rain-covered highways. We make sudden stops. We turn without much warning. I call it “tornado zoo.” Spider monkey better win.

Seed texts:



I saw a black mass of smoke.
I felt the fire touching me through my window.
I heard a snap or a crackle.
I saw the flames rising.

A bird gave this to me because I freed her wing
from a tangle of balloons.

Stranded between one act and another,
jump, turn clockwise,
cut with the kitchen knife
through the beer belly of the Republic.

The more a visitor is willing
to play in my nightmare,
the more all of us will receive.

The island sinks now, but it’s still there
just beneath the waves.

They came and knocked on the door.
Why didn't you open the door?
My daughter could have been in there bleeding.
I can't keep doing this.
The bridge is going to collapse.
They're saying I have to walk,
but it's raining and dark.

Whatever happened here,
it was at the wrong time, wrong place.
This place is very dangerous.
I imagined that there might be someone with a gun.

Crowded places, we try to avoid.
Malls, we try to avoid.
So much is coming at us.
It’s like watching your heart outside your body.

Seed texts:
https://hyperallergic.com, 3/31/17

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