March 17-23, 2014: Howie Good and Daniel Pravda

Howie Good and Daniel Pravda

Send us your poetry for POET OF THE WEEK consideration. Click here for submission guidelines.


Howie Good
goodh@newpaltz.edu

Bio (auto)

Howie Good, a journalism professor at SUNY New Paltz, is the author of the forthcoming poetry collection The Middle of Nowhere (Olivia Eden Publishing). His poetry has been nominated multiple times for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net anthology. He co-edits White Knuckle Press with Dale Wisely.

The following work is Copyright © 2014, and owned by Howie Good and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

A Theory of Vision

The Buddha is portrayed with his eyes closed for a reason, but perhaps not the reason everyone thinks. Seeing is a neglected enterprise. When I happen to look out the kitchen window, I count four deer, or four spirits disguised as deer, crossing the yard. It isn’t snowing, but it should be, an inch per hour, a long, cold sentence without clauses to cause the reader to pause. There’s a theory that the only things you need are the things you already have. By that measure, I don’t need a quote from Simone Weil tattooed in a spidery script on my neck: “Imagination and fiction make up more than three-quarters of our real life.” Some areas of the body must be extra painful to tattoo.


Unfaithful Servant

An old young man in a stained T-shirt, a bruise purpling his chin, lunges out the door of the Church of Holy Shit! “Mister,” he calls, “got 60 cents?” I can’t quite decide the right thing to do. The street is crawling with spies and assassins, and all because of a faulty chemical switch in the brain All any of them want to discuss are the free T-shirts for participants. It’s like a story from the Bible, God betting Abraham which sugar cube a fly would land on.


Daniel Pravda
dannydune@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

I hail from Norfolk, VA, and after finishing my MFA at George Mason, I came home to teach at Norfolk State University, where it is my pleasure to fight state underfunding and school-based disrespect of creative writing. I direct NSU’s student journal, The Norfolk Review, and I also coach our poetry slam team. I have published one book, A Bird In The Hand Is A Dumb Bird, and I also front a rock band called The Dunes.

The following work is Copyright © 2014, and owned by Daniel Pravda and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Herculaneum Bread

"It was a wonderful place to live." archaeologist

79 AD, 80 feet of liquid rock and ash in 3 hours
flash freezes this Roman town on the Med
on a lovely 932-degree August morning.

"left behind a loaf of bread"
and the name of its buyer who never got a bite
with the world on fire never paid or traded

his skill, never climbed the hill home
to break and drink wine and toast the time
they thought they had high above the sea.

200 quakes a year to this day
and still they build and fill her slopes
with houses and hopes, seems like a joke

how dumb we are or will be.
Mother, remind us of Katrina’s levees,
Red River shivers, Japanese tsunamis,

Haitian presidential palace rubble, harder
to build than crumble into the epiphany
that the safest place is the oven.