The Smallest Things and Other Prose Poems

The Smallest Things

Howie Good's Prose Poems; The Smallest Things, The Tremulous Surface of a Sigh, Another Piece of Useless Advice, Press Enter to Continue

I read the old notices on the bulletin board while being forced by security to wait. “Do you love music?” “The Bible has a way of making life clearer.” “Must leave your information with Lisa in the Math Dept. office.” “Free T-shirts for participants.” A bank of floodlights that had been switched on during some emergency still hadn’t been switched off. It began to rain. Or maybe I just imagined it. I used to believe that everything was interesting – why I had always carried so much shit in my pockets. The smallest things had counted. And not only things. A few spots ahead of me on line, a mother was telling her 4-year-old not to be afraid. The rain made a sound somewhere between a heartbeat and a bullet being jacked into the chamber.

The Tremulous Surface of a Sigh

I began emptying my pockets. Why wait until the room was completely dark? I didn’t want them grabbing at me with their big, meaty fingers. If only you’d been there to see them! They never spoke above a whisper. I consoled myself with the thought that someday even the shallow, uneven light of a small candle might travel far. Until then, what wasn’t already lost probably wasn’t worth saving.

Another Piece of Useless Advice

Ignore the passers-by and bystanders, the fill line when you pour, fictionalized accounts of the day Christ died. Ignore the possibility of a hard-on that lasts more than four hours. Ignore questions without obvious answers, the house with dead plants in the window, the impulse to abjectly surrender or confess. Ignore the time showing on the clock, the signs of doubtful sanity. Ignore the doctrine that self-denial of the body permits spiritual enlightenment. Ignore the lonesome whistle, the stones that fall from the sky, the sound of someone sobbing. Ignore the darkness pawing at your leg.

Press Enter to Continue

I finally got laid the other night. The tattoo high on her thigh said, Refreshingly Natural. Some areas of the body must be extra painful to tattoo. You can Google which if your computer ever comes out of sleep mode. When the phone rang, it was about something else, gods that were pockmarked and flabby. She gave a soft laugh, as if all things were curable with tenderness.

-Howie Good-