The Whole Goddamn Thing

I put things here and I look at them for a long time and if they don’t belong, well, they’ll get up and walk. It’s surprisingly easy to get lost. I regret that in some ways, and in other ways I don’t, and that’s the conundrum of all this. Usually there’s history—a note or message to someone. They don’t want to turn off the information, ever. If you stop at a red light, they will shout at you and say, ‘Do you think you’re in Europe?’ I didn’t believe my friends when they first told me. Now I see flames behaving in ways no one had thought possible. Will there always be a guard box with a soldier with a rifle on his shoulder? You must change your life. At least that’s the advice I got. There’s nowhere in the country you can say this place is better than another. I don’t even know if they’d let people like me in. The scarecrow too has to wear this yellow star.

Howie Good, a journalism professor at SUNY New Paltz, is the author of The Loser’s Guide to Street Fighting, winner of the 2017 Lorien Prize for Poetry from Thoughtcrime Press, and Dangerous Acts Starring Unstable Elements, winner of the 2015 Press Americana Prize for Poetry.