Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Howie Good's Still Life With Firearms


Right Hand Pointing Press has e-chapbooks and I have provided the link above for quick and easy access to Howie Good’s collection of poems in Still Life With Firearms. You are greeted immediately with pictures of soldiers in uniform in training with firearms provided by Dale Wisely, then taken to the table of contents where the titles of the poems are interesting and enticing to the reader while clicking through. The poems themselves are snapshots of tragedy, the absurd, tender moments, and the luck-of-the-draw in life. I will happily share a sample of the poems with you and hope that you will use the link above to read for yourself:

The Doctrine of Insufficient Adulation

I stop looking up
words I don't know.
You stop sympathizing
with the televised apologies
of disgraced celebrities.
The small white dog
we named for John Dewey
sleeps between us.

I like that this poem brings to light the indifference taking over the couple in the poem in regards to their surroundings. Have you also stopped “sympathizing/with the televised apologies/of disgraced celebrities?”


The evening light always
seems to me peculiarly sad.
My heart holds its hands
out toward the fire.
I visit the doctor,
afraid to upset the silence
following upon the collapse
of the great newspapers.
He decides to give me a shot.
He says it’s to numb me.
It doesn’t. Although spring,
I can see the system of roads
built to carry away the days.

You wonder what sort of ailment or wound requires a shot that doesn’t numb the feelings of the poet. You also feel the sad dreariness of life, particularly in the ending lines: “Although spring,/I can see the system of roads/built to carry away the days.,” as though the concrete of the roads annihilates the ability of natural, green growth to show through to prove the season. The whole poem leaves me with the feeling of being weighed down, which gives light to the title, Heartsick.

That Summer
The roof burned continuously.
I passed long hours learning

the names of various shades of blue –
Air Force Blue, cornflower blue,

Persian blue, periwinkle.
Night came early where I lived

with my mother and three brothers
and no one to read me to sleep,

though the herd of clouds grazing
at the end of the street would always

lift their big, shaggy heads to listen.

I love the imagery in this poem. I think of the roof burning blue in the summer heat, and I especially love the idea of clouds grazing at the end of the street in various animal shapes, lifting their heads to listen to a young boy. Very imaginative and whimsical.

This is just a small sample of the poems in the chapbook by Howie Good.
Be sure to visit Right Hand Pointing to learn more about Mr. Good and to read his entire chapbook of poems available on-line at:

Thanks always for reading, please click in tomorrow for more Poems Found by Poet Hound…

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