Two poems

Mike Good

I Saw You There Dickinson (#1027)

I saw you there Dickinson
Roiling about the Gluten-Free
Organics – tapping on Canteloupan
Hues to waft the Possibility –

and so it seemed you did Stop for Death –
Filling your Cart with Grass-Fed Meat –
Squinting at Steel-Cut Oats, Manager’s Specials
Along the Tip of each End-Capped Aisle – Feet

dashing a Rest – a Breath – a Connexion
Holding Potato-Rough skin – a Loaf
of Bread in the glassy self-checkout line –
Your Narrow Face wrinkled Aloof –

Stretching for a Roof of WonderBread
and then Scampering – with the Wine –
Shrinking from Fear at the Attendant
Who asked you to Self-Identify –

and in your gray Purse –
you held – four Quatrains of Cash
and a Band of unpublished Poems
Writ on unpaid power Bills – Stashed –

and when it came Time
to type – the Item –into the Scanner
I wept there Emily –
as we Poets must Weep and Stammer

to one another –when our
Credit Cards run Out –
and upon the Touch Screen flashes
Regular or Organic – routed

by the Avocado lies we Impress
upon our Screens – offering our Shopper’s Cards –
Wondering at Once – how the Points
We Acquire – Amount in our Bags Beyond –


It comes down to possession. I thought this watching Sidney Crosby score on a breakaway. It was a beautiful thing to see. When I say beautiful, I mean it looked routine: the way he bullied past a defender and snapped the puck backhand behind Anti Niemi. Crosby is famous for his rituals and repetitions. Some players do this weird thing where they lick their stick tape. Goalies are particularly sublime. Glenn Hall, Mr. Goalie, allegedly vomited before each game, crediting this emesis, or lack thereof, for each victory or loss. Patrick Roy would go out of his way to avoid skating on blue lines. Drills offer opportunities to master rudiments. What is it apart from the careful reconstitution of well-learned feats? To force oneself to vomit. To hope for the best.

MIKE GOOD is pursuing an M.F.A. at the Jackson Center for Creative Writing at Hollins University, and serves as Assistant Editor for the Hollins Critic. He is from Pittsburgh, PA, where he helped to found the After Happy Hour Review and Hour After Happy Hour Writing Workshop. His poetry has appeared in Collision, The New Yinzer, Poetry Fix and is forthcoming in Nerve Cowboy.