Howie Good

Art History 100

Seven 100-Word Story-Poems

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text copyright 2019 by Howie Good

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cover collage by Sam Prickett

 
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And Sometimes Y

A dark cloud of bacteria, that’s the starting point, the mother of all things, lost scarves and umbrellas, motorcycles, large paintings, automatic out-of-office replies, the homicide detective questioning the seagulls, pretending he actually understands the language, but not knowing why the mountains and water seem so angry, only that the world isn’t ending, beauty everywhere you look, thirty-six views of Uma Thurman, the children of workers and peasants playfully wrestling in the grass, a dirt road branching off there, millions more of us waiting at the border tonight, just wanting to go someplace with a pool table and a jukebox.

 

Howie Good

Art History 100

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Gotterdammerung

 

A day comes when the clouds somehow resemble the fingerprint smudges on touch screens; when what people think they see isn’t actually there; when headstones in the ancient Jewish cemetery have been toppled over or spray painted with swastikas; when the provincial city where Nietzsche grew up disappears into a bomb crater; when newly identified stars are given numbers, and not names; when ocean deities, debt-ridden, detested, abandoned by just about everyone, rummage in dumpsters; when sincere prayers fall back to Earth unanswered, and I say, “Oh fuck, oh fuck,” under my breath, and there’s so much so in sorrow.

Howie Good

Art History 100

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Head-First into the Abyss

 

The appearance of a comet with a fox’s bushy tail induces piss-your-pants-type fear. It supposedly foretells an encounter after dark with a woman lying in a vegetative state. Every day or so someone else falls off a roof or ladder and gets impaled on a length of rebar sticking out of the ground. It’s all part of the new gig economy. Just ask some meth cooks what that means. Why, this very minute, while I wait at the doctor’s for my name to be called, a couple of children on the wall-mounted TV are high-fiving beside a mountain of skulls.

Howie Good

Art History 100

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There’s Gonna Be Dust

 

NPR or Prince plays on the radio. There’s bad shit going on in there. If I could find the map, I could go home. Where’s the map? Often you have to make things, in order to have them or see them. I’ve had a long, circuitous road of weirdness. People would sometimes stop on the road, and I’d sit with them, and we’d have a good cry. Then they’d keep going. So I confused people for many years. I was like a meteor that hit New York and said, “Thank you,” and “I love you,” and “There’s gonna be dust.”

Howie Good

Art History 100

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Nota Bene

 

The great German philosopher thinks he sees a rifle aimed at him behind a windowpane. He slices his hand smashing the glass trying to get at it. White hairs begin to sprout on just one side of his moustache. He sings, yodels, and screams through the night. In the morning he says twenty-four whores had been cavorting with him in his room. He doesn’t expect this group will ever be assembled again. People keep moving, people keep slowing down. He would like to embrace and kiss everyone in the street, as there’s nothing to do and a lot of time.

Howie Good

Art History 100

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Stick Figure Opera

 

The warning sirens didn’t work. There were only these people shouting for us to run, leave, go home. Seconds after we left, it got dark. Boulders and trees were traveling at 20, 30 miles per hour down the street. I thought, “My God, not again!” Tanks rolled into the park and launched tear gas. The homeless children camping there underwent uneven and unpredictable aging. I’m older now myself, and it’s hard work. Falling asleep is the hardest part. I’ll hear what sounds like a wave dragging away everything, the house, everything, and then, just as suddenly, not hear it anymore.

Howie Good

Art History 100

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Art History

 

Just how many years had he wasted searching for the magic of blue? He stared out the window of his studio in Paris at the skyline of Fort Wayne, Indiana. It was obvious to him even in his state of shock that the most perfect color had come and gone. The woman he didn’t remember posing maintained her awkward position on the bed. Maybe she reproached herself for having been the cause of several people’s ruin, and this was her penitence. Down in the street, someone who claimed to personally know God held a boombox aloft. The sky barely shook.

Howie Good

Art History 100

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Howie Good

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is on the pavement, thinking about the government.

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