He painted a landscape without ever once looking up from the canvas to check his work against the actual mountains. Not a week later, he was weighing a trumpet in his hands, curious how to play. He forcefully blew; the trumpet screeched. Right then he realized it probably wouldn’t do for him to toot his own horn. So when he went out on an errand or to just clear his head, he tried his best to appear pathologically normal. This fooled no one. The dimwits and dipshits all knew his name and a three-legged dog always volunteered to chase him.



You shouldn’t stop in the middle of crosswalks to do shit with your phone. You should be picturing the two of us elsewhere – say, approaching a field of sunflowers. I would cut a whole stack for you and you would stick them under your coat. Another half-hour of walking would bring us to a stone bridge over a pond, you pointing out a swan with a head like a big white wedge of wedding cake. Now you’re thinking this will never actually happen, aren’t you? Well, Van Gogh once ate a tube of ultramarine; he loved the color that much.



Given the choice, I would want to be the sort of shrewd, goatish old man it’s said Rodin was, strolling the broad boulevards and ornate arcades of Paris after a productive morning in the studio, a young Russian-born French lady leaning lightly on his arm, and if her eyes were too wide apart for her to be considered a classic beauty, or if she didn’t actually read any of the books he recommended, he hardly cared, because it had just turned fall, and the air was like a crisp white wine, and they always felt at least a little drunk.




Howie Good is the author of three recent collections, I’m Not a Robot from Tolsun Books, The Titanic Sails at Dawn from Alien Buddha Press, and What It Is and How to Use It from Grey Book Press.