Tuesday, 18 August 2020

Theater of Reality and War Baby by Howie Good


Theater audience wearing 3-d glasses
Burns Library, Boston College

Theater of Reality

Many in the audience shift uneasily in their seats as the sole surviving member of the crew describes in hyper realistic detail the dropping of the A-bomb. “Spare us your life philosophy!” a voice finally yells at the stage. German oompah-pah music starts up somewhere near me. The floor, I now notice, is littered with discarded face masks. This might not be hell, but it definitely isn’t heaven. I smile at my own wry humor. And though the smoke chokes us, and the heat of the fire scorches our eyeballs, we stay to watch victims of police brutality in their last moments.


War Baby

A war ends. But what changes? The magician, after all, doesn’t actually make the card disappear. On the birthing table, the ghastly queen, legs spread apart, mind full of pus, pushes and pants and pushes again. I’m not marching, but I can hear the chants of protesters. When I go out into the street, the sky that burns at dawn bleeds at dusk. I try to seem like just a regular guy. I call it box, snatch, snapper, muff, beaver, pussy, honey pot, cooch, slit, hoo-haw, and never what it is, the rushing buzzing of everything.


Howie Good is the author of THE DEATH ROW SHUFFLE, a poetry collection forthcoming from Finishing Line Press.

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