Joanna Howard

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“Trauma keeps us standing in the same place”
—Marilyn Kallet, Sept. 11 2016

Ghosts keep floating from the screen
though the television has been turned off body
after body like laundry in the wind
Protoplasm writhing in suits from Barneys bleeding
through chef jackets outfits bought on sale
at Goodwill– souls blasted out of their
bodies no time to catch a spiritual drop down
mask to lead the way to the other side these ghosts
shot from crumbled and burning legs
torsos ripped away from shoulders
brains smashed to mud
These souls cling to the warm
electrons of last night’s news
and the hand that should have written this poem
hangs over a sheared slice of airplane
somewhere in Arlington

©2017 Joanna Howard

Note:  Kallet’s comment originally appeared on a Facebook thread.

J. Howard teaches creative writing, composition and other courses at Montgomery College. She has been published in various literary magazines and is the coordinator for A Splendid Wake.

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4 Responses to Joanna Howard

  1. Wow, this is a powerful poem!

  2. Barbara Hoberman says:

    I just read this and Madness Upgrade:2017 (several times). The imagery evoked by your poetry is so strong. Your poetry has always spoken to me, and you do not disappoint.

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