Howie Good

About Some Meaningless Events

The TV news anchor is counting on her fingers the day’s number of meaningless events. You can wait for the darkness to lift on its own or you can try your voice and rattle windows, shake pictures off the walls. Your fate is a matter of indifference to the oligarchs, who only pretend for the cameras that the opposite is the case. You have acquiesced too long in the charade; you might even be okay with living in a cage if it had Wi-Fi. Wake up, wake up. There’s nobody to teach a child to not step on a caterpillar.


Lady Ogre was working out on her Peloton bike when she felt faint and dizzy and puked up a junkie. Downstairs, her sometime boyfriend, alias Captain Dread, stood with one booted foot on an alligator skull, preparing to address his talented but perverted crew of underground cartoonists. “Don’t let the page be gray,” he said in his best pirate growl. “Make it jump! Make it crackle! Blister their irises!” While he spoke, a tree had grown out of the grave of Tom Paine, patron saint of outcasts and rebels, its leaves rippling like lacerated flags bearing the skull and crossbones.

Melancholy Melody

There were weeks of paralysis when I couldn’t make rent. The landlord, who smoked in bed and was always catching fire, had finally seized my belongings – books, furniture, etc. – while I was out at the symphony. I rolled my coat into a ball just to have a place to sit down. The only other option would have involved a gas station stickup. I stared across the room at the empty space on the wall where a poster of Chagall’s cheerfully nihilistic “I and the Village” had been thumbtacked. My blood sang in my ears like a nightingale with a toothache.

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