DEATH LAB by Howie Good

DEATH LAB by Howie Good

Air Like Poison

Hey, did you see those sea turtles down there? I often see them, though not as often or as many as I did before there were boats, the bridge, some buildings, even a small amusement park. Wherever they go, the turtles seem to leave a trail of watery stools behind. The ocean feels a little sick right now. There’s actually too much sunlight. And it all comes from the same place, a place with air like poison, where you can view the millstones that early New Englanders used to crush Giles Corey to death for being a witch.

Grandson (with Apologies to Werner Herzog) 

Now that you’re almost 8 years old, you have to know how to travel on foot. You have to know how to make fire without matches. You have to know how to catch a trout with your bare hands. (It’s fairly easy. You just have to understand how the trout thinks.) You have to know how to forge a document, let’s say a gun permit, in a country under military rule. You have to know how to open a safety lock – surreptitiously, of course, with burglar tools. Most important, you have to know how to tell at a glance night from other darkness.

Lost in Blockbuster

There are places a person can get lost and not even realize he’s lost. I had to cross the creek by tiptoeing over a rotting tree, ignoring as best I could whatever that was I felt grabbing for me with big, meaty hands. Some of you actually believe in fight, fight, fight, the three worst things you can do. So it wasn’t just happenstance that no one but me happened to be there, or that it was night by then, or that everything was also nothing, a lot like when the next to last Blockbuster Video store on Earth closed. 

Howie Good is the author of more than a dozen poetry collections, including most recently Gunmetal Sky (Thirty West Publishing) and The Bad News First (Kung Fu Treachery Press).

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