Charity Case

by Howie Good



Swallowing a handful of pills solves every problem, although I didn’t necessarily want it that way. Nearby is another me that I can’t see but that sees me. It’s impossible when looking around not to imagine some prior tragedy, all the deserted cities the jungle overgrew. Whatever happened to the right to be lazy? I try to tell myself that if less is more, then nothing must be even more. A woman outside the Stop & Shop is collecting money in a can, her eyes like rusted bullet holes.


You look up from what you’re doing, interrupted by a chain of thunderstorms moving through the region, something that might mean something, broken people and animals, and the way they stand, and the trouble they get in. The wallpaper pattern repeats the image of a body hanging from a lamp post. It sounds horrifying, but that’s the idea. You and everyone else have begun to suffer the effects. Often eyes become red. So I press my eyes shut.


A farmer and his wife, after their dependable horse dies, want to carry machine guns so they can intimidate passing motorists. They go immediately to a lawyer. No skin off my ass. Unanchored by horizons, I ride on a cloud beyond the beyond, where simple words look like galaxies.


Some years are bright and funky. But she had a sad little funeral. It was rainy. It was all wrong. And I was thinking, God, she loved life so much, everything in the world, including the air. Like the Sufis say, “Life is a dream, and death is waking up.” Not that anyone will.

*Source for #4: Allison Meier, “The Funeral of Artists” at


©Copyright 2015, Howie Good

HOWIE GOOD - [Read Full Bio] a journalism professor at SUNY at New Paltz, is the author of several poetry collections including: "Beautiful Decay," and "The Cruel Radiance of What Is," offered in a single collection from Another New Calligraphy, as well as[...]

[Featured]Digital Art Image Credit: loving and dying by J.A. Spahr-Summers. ©Copyright 2015, Jeffrey A. Spahr-Summers.


Snapping Twig – Summer – 2015

Vol: May 2015 thru Jul 2015