Howie Good

Life and Nothing But

The police nowadays consider a gathering of three or more people a riot. I try desperately to speak out, shriek like someone warning of an approaching fire, but can’t, because of a sudden terrifying lack of breath. All these events, crises, dramas, convulsions – literature pales by comparison. When I cross any border, there is always an uneasy moment when I feel myself automatically regarded as an enemy. We are surrounded by murderers. Like those jellyfish on the beach. Children stab them with sticks without realizing they are living creatures. Life is nothing but being stabbed, knifed. We are the wound.

After the Bomb

A former beauty queen has been found in her bedroom decapitated, limbless, a chainsaw nearby.  The floor is littered with discarded gloves and face masks. On the wall, a decorative wooden sign says, “Breathe deeply and calmly.” How do you do that? This might not be hell, but it definitely isn’t heaven. We need a plan, an intervention, something. In Hiroshima after the bomb, they piled the bodies in the swimming pool at the college and cremated them with scrap wood. The smell of smoke chokes us; the heat scorches our eyeballs. Sirens scream in the distance. Assume the monster is everywhere.

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