Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Only the Poor Have Dirty Hands by Howie Good

I worked after school and over Christmas
and during the summer, all sorts of shitty jobs,

washing dishes, unloading semi-trailers,
alphabetizing files in an office, driving a taxi,

once even clearing a field for an old farmer
who stared skeptically at my shoulder-length hair,

the sun a torturer’s cigarette being ground out
on my back as I hacked at weeds with a sickle

and no bugs or birds sang but all around me
and seemingly forever the very air itself blazed.

Howie Good is author of Dangerous Acts Starring Unstable Elements, winner of the 2015 Press Americana Prize for Poetry.


  1. Yes! As soon as I'd finished reading, I read it again, this time aloud. Yes!

  2. Love how it transforms from prosaic and everyday to transformative itself - nicely done. Moves well and resonates.