3 POEMS – HOWIE GOOD

Safety Instructions for the Twenty-First Century

You probably won’t look like the real you. Stay calm when you come upon it. Face it and stand upright. Speak firmly to it. Do what you can to appear larger – raise your arms or open your jacket if you’re wearing one. You want to convince it you aren’t prey and may, in fact, be a danger to it. Give it a way to escape, but if it attacks, don’t panic and run. People have fought it with rocks, sticks, caps or jackets, garden tools, and their bare hands. So remain standing or at least try to get back up.

Ashes Have No Memory

The man crossing the street carries a ruler in his pocket to measure the passing of time. He has nice clothes, gold chains. But even so, he may be in trouble, may be on the run, may have no future in Lithuania. All he can see is eyes. He tried to lock up time in the eyes of lovers. “It has to look easy,” he said. “That feeling like it just happened.” He and I lead parallel lives, one a collaborator, the other a resister, two ghosts discussing invisibility in front of a mirror, a pretty crappy way to die.

Alienation Nation

First they’re an animal, then they’re a volcano, then they’re playing with their cat. What if they do have mental disorders? I’m not a fucking therapist. I’ve had two years of absolute violation of my right to peace and quiet. The problem is too many people. I see a lot of them every day. We’re always going to be in this position of losing ourselves in crowds. It’s scary. And it’s messy. After a few Guinnesses, I leave flowers at the latest place where it happened. I can’t keep doing that. People are still at the window screaming for help.

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