Image: Oskar Kokoschka, Knight Errant – 1915
Howie Good’s latest collections are ‘I’m Not a Robot’ from Tolsun Books and ‘A Room at the Heartbreak Hotel’ from Analog Submissions Press.
Can We Just Get an Algorithm to Do This for Us?
A man walks onto an abandoned railroad bridge and announces, “I’m going to kill myself.” Maybe it’s a joke, a false alarm. People stop every day on snowmobiles to look at him. This goes on long enough for you to lose interest. Then, in the middle of nothing, a crying baby appears on the ground, but can’t be approached or touched. You feel a lot of things falling on you, which is to say, stuff like this is always happening, and there’s no reason to think the spots of blood on your sweater and undershirt have varied much over time.
It’s a cloudy winter day in Minneapolis, what I get for dropping acid and staring into the sun for half an hour. A man following his nose staggers past. Otherwise there isn’t a lot going on out there, just these various disasters of our own making, each at a different stage of development. I keep checking my phone so as to have something to do. The neighbours give me a thumbs up. Sometimes they’re trying to wheedle information. Most of the time they’re just amusing themselves. Think about it. People drool when they sleep, but sleep is good for you.