howie good

Tips for Ambiguous Times

Dress only
in the colors
enshrined
in the Crayola
Hall of Fame –

raw umber,
for instance,
or maize.

Refer
to your bed
as the Sex
-O-Meter.

Look
for something
small
to steal.

Try using
the word
“encyst”
in a sentence.

Wonder
what
the moon
is for.

Baudelaire,

dying
of the so-
called
“French
disease,”

wore rouge
in a
pitiful
attempt
to hide
his decay.

Now
you know
everything
I know
about it,

and when
the sun
streams in,

words
will sob
like the black
mouths
of empty
tip jars

or in leopard
skins
and eagle
headdresses

fall out
of every book
you open.

Howie Good, a journalism professor at SUNY New Paltz, is the author of the new poetry collection, Dreaming in Red, from Right Hand Pointing. All proceeds from the sale of the book go to a crisis center, which you can read about here. He is also the author of numerous chapbooks, including most recently The Devil’s Fuzzy Slippers from Flutter Press. He has two more chapbooks forthcoming, Personal Myths from Writing Knights Press and Fog Area from Dog on a Chain Press.

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