She hears the slow thunder of a piano.

She wonders where exactly she is –

a new suburb of disappointment, perhaps.

She follows the red thread of the wind

as it twists inland.

She passes a huddle of secretaries

on their smoking break.

She can describe if they ask

the feeling of floating above thunder

on her belly and then her back.

She sees out the corner of her eye other girls

walking with boys through particles and waves.

She tilts her head as for a kiss.

She sings in Italian though she’s never spoken it.


1 The Real Fun

God bless. . . Goddamn. The flames already?

This is where the real fun starts.

Everything will shortly be turned upside down.

My prisons disappear, the great of earth pass away.

Ah, what a moment. And one I ought to have foreseen.

A slight knock at the window pane, then. . . .

Love, love, love. How grand is the sunlight.

I want to go there. The orchestra is still playing bravely.

And the little children cry in the streets.

2 Beautiful

Are we not children, all of us?

I love the rain. I love the feeling of it on my face.

This is a beautiful world. Whatever the hour

there is always a rendezvous going on.

Pull back the drapes. It is all light.

I love to see the reflection of the sun on the bookcase.


That is my testimony. Write it down.

3 Only Suckers Get Hit With Right Hands

Can you believe this shit?

It is between light and darkness

and everyone must choose his side.

Ah, darling, what blood and murder.

Useless. . . useless.

The only place I feel alive is the high wires.

Goddamn the whole friggin’ world

and everyone in it but you.

Please don’t leave me. Please don’t leave me.

We’ll have our cigarettes together.

Shut the door.

I’ve lots to say, not just something.

But not now.

Note: “Dying Words,” part of a longer series of poems, is based on the last words attributed to James Thurber, Voltaire, Ben Travers, Silvio Pellico, Louis Mandrin, Alexander Humboldt, René de Chateaubriand, Norman Douglas, Bertolt Brecht, Henry W. Grady, Diogenes the Cynic, Charley Goldman, Brian Piccolo, Charles IX, John Wilkes Booth, Konstantin Stanislavsky, G.K. Chesterton, Cato, Edwin Arlington Robinson, Chris Farley, W.C. Fields, Katherine Mansfield, Jane Taylor, Georg Foster, Mme de Fontaine-Martel, Ludwig Borne, George Augustus Selwyn, Marion Crawford, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Lyman Beecher, and Karl Wallenda.

Howie Good, a journalism professor at the State University of New York at New Paltz, is the author of six poetry chapbooks, including the e-book, Police and Questions (Right Hand Pointing, 2008), available free at He has been nominated twice for a Pushcart Prize and twice for the Best of the Net anthology.

Make a Free Website with Yola.