photo of goldfish in bowl

Two Prose Poems by Howie Good


I call a repairman. In fact, I end up calling two, both named Mike. The tip of the first Mike’s nose is red and pitted, as if it’s been gnawed by a small but angry animal. Three hundred dollars later and the fridge still isn’t fixed, just broken in a new way – the postmodern idea of progress.
You point. I look up at the sky, making a visor of my hand to shield my eyes from the furious glare. Far off a hawk is floating. Unless it’s a crow.
The goldfish I won at the carnival and carried around the rest of the night in a clear plastic bag? My mother flushed it down the toilet while I was at school. I’ve been thinking about something else ever since – that kindness is cunning administered with caution. Your small white dog flinches when I shoot out my arm to pet it.

death is love turned inside out

“Oon,” our 2-year-old says. He means “moon.” Glancing up, I don’t see one. The sky is less like sky than it used to be.
As I tumble in the backwash of our weekly lovemaking, death squads of angels prowl bedrooms and bathroom stalls, not despite or because, but with all the energetic aimlessness of dandelion fluff.
At work or just hanging around, it can happen, every breath a suicide bomber in a dynamite vest.

Howie Good, a journalism professor at SUNY New Paltz, is the author of the forthcoming poetry collection The Middle of Nowhere (Olivia Eden Publishing) and the forthcoming poetry chapbooks The Complete Absence of Twilight (Mad Hat Press), Echo’s Bones and Danger Falling Debris (Red Bird Chapbooks), and An Armed Man Lurks in Ambush (unbound CONTENT). His poetry has been nominated multiple times for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net anthology. With Dale Wisely, he co-edits White Knuckle Press, publisher of digital chapbooks. He blogs at

Lead image“Fish In A Tank” (via Flickr user shiju james)