Home > Translation > Spermicidal and other poems

Spermicidal and other poems

February 10, 2011

by Howie Good



I ask if you remember the story headlined FIRE. You slowly circle the parking lot again, searching for a close-in spot. We’re the ghosts of our own thoughts — or no, a character in each other’s stories. At the track your horse stumbles. Potential orphans pass us on the stairs. We’re far from the ocean. I watch a bird that looks like the bird that picks the crocodile’s teeth.

* * *

Cannibals & Missionaries

A man sits alone in a room, staring at the fire like Descartes, broken glass in his beard. There are things for which he doesn’t know the reasons. He throws his arms around a horse’s neck on a street in Turin and bursts into tears. Someone slits someone’s throat. And where did the bullet come from? Death is just like a pink eraser, only more so.

* * *

Uneasy Dreams


Mix a little gunpowder with saliva. Memory is a building, a fountain, a madman who becomes calm on seeing a sheep. In floats an empty word balloon. It shimmers like the ashes of some extinct halo.


You dread the cough of a stranger. Agents sent to investigate force the prisoner to kneel. The hand that stops moving still holds a pen. Your ancestors saw so many witches they ran out of stakes to burn them all. I wipe my eyes; I was once a fan of riddles myself. Tiny flying things with grinning monster faces continue their dance.


Fireworks in my chest, and there’s a fresh dusting of snow, a white hare without fur or bones.

Download the podcast

Howie Good is the author of the full-length poetry collections Lovesick (Press Americana, 2009), Heart With a Dirty Windshield (BeWrite Books, 2010), and Everything Reminds Me of Me (Desperanto, 2011).

Categories: Translation Tags:
  1. Karen Stromberg
    February 11, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    I keep coming back to read these ’cause I like the way my mind tingles. “Shimmers like the ashes of an extinct halo.” Yes!

  1. February 12, 2011 at 12:38 am
  2. May 9, 2011 at 3:30 pm
Comments are closed.
%d bloggers like this: