Daily Archives: September 1, 2017

Shark! by Howie Good

I am not a silent poet

All the shops are empty. What’s disappearing in front of our eyes is the history of this terrible war. It’s like a tornado went in and swept everything up. I was shocked. I didn’t think it would happen.

Even birds and animals have nowhere to drink water. I saw blood coming out of the seal. People started yelling “Shark!” They told us to keep inside, to be ready for anything. It’s had me spooked for years. Now we’re also worried about our houses blowing up. You know how they say you hear the train noise? I heard it.


Howie Good, a journalism professor at SUNY New Paltz, is the author of The Loser’s Guide to Street Fighting, winner of the 2017 Lorien Prize for Poetry from Thoughtcrime Press. He co-edits White Knuckle Press with Dale Wisely.

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Eclipse of the Heart by Howie Good

I am not a silent poet

My son would tell me, “Father, you have to pray.” Yeah, yeah. People hang Gandhi’s portrait on their walls, but they do not follow Gandhi’s rules. A man armed with a knife, moving along the central streets of the city, attacked passers-by. Panic killed those people. They were screaming. They didn’t have words. There’s another whole thing going on underneath with the wind, and we have no control over that. Do you see things coming out of the top of the sun? Do you see things coming out of the bottom of the sun? Everybody sees it a little differently. I’ll stand and watch it get dark. What an experience, at one in the afternoon, to be in total darkness.

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Broken Atoms by Howie Good

I am not a silent poet

To make something that will rot is a statement. I visited places to ask their help. Several people just didn’t even want to talk. I thought, ‘Whoa. What are they doing? Why are they doing that?’ You could leave fake voice messages posing as someone’s mom. Or defame someone and post the audio samples online. I put a stick in the ground, and ugly stuff bubbled up from it. People realized that grandma’s jam wasn’t so bad after all.


A person just jumped in front of the train. He looked like what everyone thinks the typical American guy should look like, but maybe not actually is. It started as a kind of tongue-in-cheek thing. He kept saying he was going to kill someone. Yeah, well, we haven’t had a wedding or a baptism for quite some time. We mostly have funerals. No one is outside the system. Even when…

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Not the Whole Story by Howie Good

I am not a silent poet

The king used to live there. It’ll feel a bit weird as your eyes recover from that. The blood stayed in the water a long time. Some people didn’t want to see it. There was this driver all banged up and there was this one girl bleeding out of her face pretty bad. I kind of just shrugged and said, “Well, you’re going to see a bright light.” They didn’t storm into the room, perhaps because I opened the door in my underwear and my wife was still lying in bed. So, wow. It takes at least 12 hours before we can tell if anything has happened. You can’t just go in and plant trees and walk away.

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The Structures Tremble by Howie Good

I am not a silent poet

I was half-kneeling half-standing and that’s when I got hit. Didn’t see it coming, didn’t see it leaving. It was like being on a motorcycle and getting hit by a truck. It was like boom. And then, “Oh.” This was not an act of terrorism. This was not a hate crime. The atmosphere is sad, but a happy sad. I could feel the windows rattling. I could feel the buildings sway. It’s time to bring the statues down. I worked sixty years of my life and it seems the only thing I did was this fucking red machine.

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The Price of Flight by David Urwin

I am not a silent poet

Kasim is nine years old.
The rebel soldiers cut his mother’s throat
in front of him.
They also kill his little sister
and his big brother
while he watches.
He flees his village.
When he is hungry
he asks people for food.
If they give him something, he eats. Otherwise
he stays hungry. He sleeps on the street.

At the peace conference
wine glasses shimmer
on the starched white cloth;
smoked salmon canapes
nestle in neat circles.

Nosiba is sixteen.
She has four sisters and three brothers.
The soldiers kill the brothers
in front of her.
They rape her sisters
and they rape her.
They shoot her father for trying to stop them.
Those who escape have to pay a broker
to cross the border.
She doesn’t have enough money
so sells her body
to the broker.

White limousines gleam
and cruise through the capital’s streets,
the generals’  uniforms creased

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Dialogue by Paul Sutton

I am not a silent poet

A young child on viola, how European! Even if the house is Victorian or Georgian.

Large areas of English cities form unexpected oases of beauty for faces smudged with coal smuts look at the fruit trees of considerable height they blossom in spring as the former basements are bathed in light.

My father claimed beauty in grey from a sea which throttled me.

The key to regeneration is art and culture – and community. We may bustle and bristle but this get things done, which is not to be sneered at – if a pier collapses, artisanal bread floats and forms a life-raft.

Have you tried tea and cakes of pig fat, rides through brickworks to a single room?

Now communal chanting and swift crowd judgements thrill the eager visitor as torch-lit parades enthral an audience even Dali could not dream of.

And thinness, an effect of genocide, it taught…

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I Went Searching for a Hurricane and Found Miley Cyrus by Antony Owen

I am not a silent poet

In the trademarked tragedies, I conducted a search party –
“Hurricane victims Asia” but only found Texas on Google.
on the second page I find a whole continent drowned in text,
an advert pops up for a cruise from Florida and I am marooned.

Every letter is a life raft that takes us to the shore of knowledge.
All I find is a kelp of red tape dragging me back west to lives that matter.
I was born white as masts anchored to the blood of my ancestors
one broke bread with a black man talking of manners covered in oil.

I am looking for Asia on google but it only exists in the margins,
a boy floats on a roof to his new home of strangers hands is this tragic?
A pop up story of the best dressed celebrities appears in his margins
Miley Cyrus is an Angel of…

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