Alex Howe


The body’s flush at the first notes of your favorite song
sets the medium apart. It’s your second drink, the blood
rises like the desert’s nothing nothing Vegas. The idea
is the taste of flavored chapstick and the first girl’s face.
Minus nostalgia, this logic is attractive—to me, anyway.
Is being a cat person the same as giving up? Picture a dog

riding shotgun, head out the window, just loving it. Dogs
insist you love them all the time, they’ll sing any song
you’ll like. I can’t sympathize with that in any way
because it is me; I feel no allegiance with the blood
in my veins. My friends actually outlawed a face
of mine, the look that makes too obvious my idea

that everyone around me should agree with my idea,
or, short of that, at least react, as when your dog
kills a squirrel and brings it to you, making that face.
But enough about me. What’s your favorite song?
In every great pop song you can hear the blood
hitting the studio floor—feeling they said, any way

you can get it, realness they say, these kids. Anyway.
Sincerely, I hope rap music isn’t running out of ideas.
Every newcomer needs his own cocaine simile; blood
spills yet redder; how many comparisons between dogs
and women can one forum sustain? But think: songs
of love are the hole you dug at the beach, sandy-faced

child, water welling up fresh with every handful. Face
facts: the blankness of the page is my fault any way
I look at it. Fine. Someone should write a song
about the relief you feel when at last your idea
vacations in the mind of your friend, like a dog
meeting his obsolete instincts for coffee or blood

or like lunch with an ex that doesn’t end in bloodshed
but instead a reminder of that one face her face
makes that your face makes, now. Elsewhere, a dog
with a sparkler in his mouth. In my book, any way
from Point A to Point B is a perfectly fine idea
if you avoid the bigger hazards: lava, people who sing

what should be said, weights, country songs, fresh blood.
My idea is whiskey, Talking Heads, a book, and our faces.
What’s your name, anyway? No babies, but we could get a dog.

Alex Howe co-edits Blunderbuss, lives in Brooklyn and is excited. Email him at
  • blue
    Lauren Michele Jackson