Amy Lowell bet someone $100 that E. E. Cummings, who had just graduated from Harvard, would fail in his ambition to be a poet. She died before she could collect. The pallbearers were smiling beneath the kind of ski masks that stickup men wear. Then the street became a museum. The sons of Bukowski crawled out of a manhole, drunk faces pitted with old acne scars. Demons in attendance screeched so loud the front window blew out. I learned from them how to sing like a nightingale with a toothache. Now I’m life-size but dead, and infection falls as blood-red rain.
Howie Good is the author most recently of the poetry collection Gunmetal Sky (Thirty West Publishing).