Howie Good

Buddha & Co.

Exposure has eroded the face of the garden Buddha. Perhaps I shouldn’t compare, but Kanye West broke down and cried during a BBC interview. It sounded like treachery, the Dreyfus court martial, Van Gogh getting most of his teeth pulled. And that hadn’t happened before. His message was simply, “Your egg, my semen, we change the world.” Someone else once said that to feel like an underwater jellyfish is to experience a higher mode of being. Let’s cover the walls with soft, plush things, then make people sit on the floor.

Untreatable Strangeness

A sleeping woman has drowned in bed. On the wall is a clock without numbers or hands. The pendulum moves slower and slower, while the mayor rides on a float with Santa Claus. Yeah, every day.

It sounds horrifying, the last tiny creature vanishing into a chemical entropy. Close the airports and schools! Evacuate the downtown! The police rush around, looking for someone to whap on the head with their clubs. Ask yourself, “Who is the bad man?” Ask yourself, “What does he look like?” A surprisingly elderly stockboy I recognize from previous trips to the store is arranging hostages in a pyramid, the natural consequence of long habit.

Twelve failed apostles, vaguely human shapes, like the friends of friends on Facebook, stumble up. Despite broken or missing bulbs, the sign overhead still spells out Exotic Dancers. There is some kind of holiday, too, that starts with shotguns and databases and ends with a feast of dynamite. Not just anyone can go. You need a reason – the flat light, the still wind, the white sky like an empty canvas.

Howie Good is the author of more than a dozen poetry collections, including most recently Beautiful Decay from Another New Calligraphy and Fugitive Pieces from Right Hand Pointing Press.
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