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The Science of Forgetting and other poems by Howie Good | #thesideshow

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The Science of Forgetting

I found a bloody cap lying in the grass. So I doused it with gasoline and set it on fire. An angel swiftly descended via a system of ropes and pulleys. What is it with angels? They never speak above a whisper. Perhaps that’s why a dog’s ears twitch. “Who would you rescue,” the angel asked in a barely audible voice, “your wife or your child, if you could rescue only one?” I don’t think it’s something I’ve ever fully solved. But, in fact, there are calendars with tear-off squares for each day until you reach the end.

 Details, Details

This isn’t any ordinary day. Slippery is a word that’s everywhere. Coated bullets are slippery. People slip away over the border. The flowers that were supposed to slip back here haven’t. My mother’s side of the family doesn’t exist anymore either. Someone killed them all – had them gassed, shot, hanged, injected. It’s what happens when the synagogue is used as a stable. You find yourself at a wedding on the grounds of the State Lunatic Asylum, Al Jolson dancing the Paved X and Leisurely Looping Z, and so there’s a comic aspect, all those detailed little dots, faces slipping past, going, “Yes, yes, no, yes.”

 

Thanks a Lot, Internet

There’s an old truism, “A lone monkey is a dead monkey.” People walk down the street staring at their phones. Of course, we are lonely. You can be killed any time by someone you don’t know. Today yet another woman said the darkness reached up her skirt. Mah Jong has been my savior. I also have a cat that keeps me company. Ours is not empty. How did that happen? Don’t think I can bring myself to view the YouTube.

 

The Loser’s Guide to Street Fighting

It’s 4 a.m. Your body’s trembling. After you die, it’s not yours anymore, anyway. Die knowing something, a monster, a devil in his giant motor vehicle. That’s not quite what I want. You need to leave. You don’t belong here. Ooh you are going to fuck yourself. You can hear them — you can hear the gas grenades all up and down the streets. The crowd is being pushed back, and the gas is coming.

 

Mood Swings

I’m not usually this angry, six inches of my knee extended to six feet. No one warned me before I stepped inside the room for the first time that things pass by in the night. Who are we anyway? I’m afraid of human beings. We run things in the forest while the wolf isn’t around. Eyes that don’t want to close at all times ruin everything, pretty much every word. The lightning doesn’t go out. The sadness will last forever. I can’t remember now why I ever thought it wouldn’t.

 


Howie Good is the author of Dangerous Acts Starring Unstable Elements, winner of the 2015 Press Americana Prize for Poetry. His other books include A Ghost Sings, a Door Opens from Another New Calligraphy and Robots vs. Kung Fu from AngelHouse Press (both 2016). He co-edits White Knuckle Press with Dale Wisely.