Two Prose Poems | by Howie Good

The Avalanche Effect

The story of the suitcase was true, but the painting wasn’t in it. Oh, well. Things progress when there’s a mistake. The next 48 hours are going to be crucial. Don’t mess with women who are into gore. I haven’t the slightest doubt that my own relatives planned to kill me. It’s too awful here. Yesterday we heard something that sounded like rocks being unloaded from a dump truck. Those were gunshots. I stepped outside to take a look and saw descendants of Marcel Duchamp selling snowballs on the street.


There’s a feeling of: what’s next? Things are falling down. And, just for good measure, a vehicle has hit a deer on Barre Street. I don’t know what that all means, but they’re taking some references to the past away. My neighbors can see something is wrong. It’s one of these twisty turning things that becomes more twisted as it goes along. Now the statue is bleeding. The world is absolutely going there.





If you happen to think of me when I’m gone, think of me as a high-velocity bullet shattering three inches of leg bone, or as a mispronunciation of the word “salacious,” or as the cyanide tablet that an American spy caught crossing the border should have swallowed but didn’t, think of me as a list of the items stolen last night from unlocked vehicles (radar detectors, golf clubs, laptops, sunglasses, CDs), or as the umbrella with broken spokes you tried to open in your dream, and forget about all the rest, the oracular diction, and the blue, blue eyes, and the wisdom we imagined we got from trees.



Howie Good, a journalism professor at SUNY New Paltz, is the author of The Loser’s Guide to Street Fighting, winner of the 2017 Lorien Prize for Poetry from Thoughtcrime Press. He co-edits White Knuckle Press with Dale Wisely.