Howie Good



Jennie Wade

You were twenty when you were killed while rolling out bread dough in your sister’s kitchen,
the only civilian to die at the Battle of Gettysburg, your death little remembered today,
overshadowed by the towering piles of corpses manufactured at Auschwitz, Hiroshima, a
hundred other places since then. The one surviving photo of you shows a virginal young
woman wearing a lace-collared frock buttoned to the throat and with her lips primly pressed
together and her long braids pinned up, in keeping with the quaint fashions of the time. During
the postmortem, they found the stray mini-ball in your corset.



The Voice

It’s a voice only I understand and then not always. It isn’t the voice that you recognize as mine
over the phone and that you hear say, “Love you,” before hanging up. It’s another kind of voice.
Secretive. It speaks the dialect of ghosts. It speaks continuously but you can’t hear it. Only I can
hear it. It’s of the same joyless substance as my thoughts, inseparable from them, as a night’s
dreams are inseparable from sleep. I have no choice; I must listen. The voice tells me I’m me, I
exist, like the rumble of crowds or the brilliant darkness of blackbirds and crows.



Feed the Poor

It’s just simple sugar water that I mix up myself, but it attracts plenty of hummingbirds to the
feeder. While conspicuously colored ones can be found down South and out West, these
appear brown, almost black, maybe to match the gloom of Northeastern woods. They also have
a kind of frantic energy, their wings a mad blur, beating 53 times per second, 3,180 times per
minute. I could sit for hours and watch them zip about, seemingly impervious to the gravity that
enchains us. And sometimes, not often, if the light falls right, their dull chest feathers assume
for an instant the otherworldly emerald glow of a fool’s idea of heaven.


Howie Good’s latest book, Frowny Face (Redhawk Publishing, 2023), is a mix of his prose poems and handmade collages. He co-edits the online journal UnLost, dedicated to found poetry.