Junk & Human Beings Against Music

By Howie Good


There’s so much still to suffer that even tediously waiting for a train that’s hours late would be a grateful interruption. People are digging in the burning soil with bare hands. My wife’s there. My mother, too. I was going to join them, but now I can’t. It’s as if I’ve become, without my consent, a junk collector. Strange items keep appearing outside the door: a pamphlet, “Human Beings against Music”; rusted bedsprings; a bundle of pencils with broken points; feathers from random birds. Someday, I suppose, children will ask me, “What was it like, the end of the owls?”

Human Being Against Music

There was a bear and her three cubs outside the door this morning. They followed me to the French Alps and then to Los Angeles. I travel to a lot of places, looking for “trees of significance.” When I find a tree I like, I take its GPS coordinates. That explains being strict about wearing a mask to save my lungs. That explains the piano hidden in a shed nearby. What you don’t see is as important as what you do see. Let even more light evaporate. I can work into the night, piano music drifting muffled through the dark.

Do You Love Me?