The Loser’s Guide to Street Fighting by Howie Good | 2018


Early praise for The Loser’s Guide to Street Fighting:

Howie Good’s luminous prose poems draw our attention to both the hidden malice and overwhelming wonder of the world.  With an unerring eye for the absurd, a unique gift for illuminating the incongruous, and a consummate skill for capturing the heartbreakingly Kafkaesque, Good reveals the marvel and sorrow, the calamity and painful qualia of human experience.  From hotel guests who discover each hotel room is numbered zero, to those who wait for God to explain what he’s really doing, the personae in Good’s The Loser’s Guide to Street Fighting, show us that, in addition to an enhanced vigilance, we must cultivate an ever-finer appreciation for the treachery of phenomenal appearance and a redoubled capacity for existential resistance.

–Brad Rose, author of Pink X-Ray

Howie Good reels you in with offhand promises, shows you the window with all the TVs on, then gives you bullets and bones to take home as souvenirs. Looming sideways and a little dangerous, he bumps your shoulder as a stranger but turns out to be a friend. Layered dreams, ordinary phrases, and overheard words rub together, generating sparks. In Good’s book of prose poems, humor and truth tunnel through trauma and death, and ultimately, life wins.

–Alisa Golden, Editor of *82 Review

Howie Good has a peripheral vision that goes far beyond the rest of us, capturing things we never saw in passing, in spectra that are far beyond anything we can reach. He calls these observations prose poems. A possible misnomer since there’s nothing prosaic about them. These pieces are snapshots of the world that NASA would be proud to claim they’d taken.

–Mark Young,  editor of Otoliths

I have been reading and publishing Howie Good’s poetry for 12 years. I cannot think of another poet writing today whose work I would rather read. I often note how many poets send me pieces influenced by Good. The Loser’s Guide to Street Fighting collects the kind of work Howie Good has offered in recent years: Poems consisting of apparently disconnected sentences which a sensitive reader finds brilliantly knit together in the heart, or the unconscious, or whatever it is that makes us moved by things we cannot explain. When I read his work, I often imagine the writer in flight, glimpsing and noting things he sees below. That flight is over terrain, over cities, over history, over the future, and over the complexities of human beings in interaction with each other.

–Dale Wisely, editor of Right Hand Pointing

Howie Good’s masterful prose poems are startling dream moments that depict, describe and analyse the simultaneously mundane and horrific elements of modern life. His sentences jump almost playfully from image to scene to idea in seemingly random ways, but the logic of the connections is anything but. Good takes the reader on a dizzying journey–don’t blink or you’ll miss something–that rides the surreal edge between hope and despair.

–James Brush, editor of Gnarled Oak