blackmail press 25
Howie Good
United States of America

cast down - mephisto jones
Howie Good, a journalism professor at the State University of New York at New Paltz, is the author of eight poetry chapbooks, including Tomorrowland (2008) from Achilles Chapbooks and Love Is a UFO (2009) from Pudding House. He has been nominated three times for a Pushcart Prize and twice for the Best of the Net anthology. His full-length book of poetry, Lovesick, is due from Press Americana this summer. You can drop in on him at
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When I wake at last from a hundred-year nap,
my wife is still on the phone

attempting to reason
with the Disputes Department,

and our daughter,

the beautiful, black-haired barista
who lives in a distant city,

is finishing up a double shift.
Her back was turned to me

throughout my dream,
her sun-brown shoulders shaking

as if she were crying.
Was it the small table of ghosts

that so upset her,
or had she seen reflected in the metal surfaces

water birds stupidly stumbling about on land?
There's nothing more honest than failure.

The spruce tree may become a cello,
but the heart chokes on its own blood.