Monday, February 29, 2016

Ace Boggess

Depressive Episodes

She buries herself in murk & lonely earth
like a mole streaking to hide from footsteps.
Mole is also another word for spy,
like Aldrich Ames trading secrets for the lie of money
instead of the competing lies of flags.
Spy serves as synonym for see,
as in: if we could afford it,
we’d travel to see the tulips at Les Tuileries,
an unmanned rocket burning on its pad,
the world’s largest ball of twine,
an execution, though we don’t agree.
But, see as well means prophesy,
a fancy way of saying fear the future,
which she does, which is why
I want to tell her all will be right.
She’s built herself a grave for midnights &
sleeps in it as though the dark she wears
like a casket shell is the sole safe place
on this bastard of a planet where she lives.

* * *

How I Knew Charlie

He threw his crack pipe on my dashboard,
leaned out my window like a dirt-blond cocker spaniel,
howling at the women we passed. This was after
he held a hunter’s knife against my throat

because his mother sold me pills, & he wanted to be the one
to score a few bucks, to run the show.
Chaos business was the biggest brand in any parking lot
behind some hick bar so unknown its name changed twice a year.

How many strangers shook my hand with a baggie in between? &
Charlie? Last time I saw him, we were both in jail:
sober, muted. I read in the paper
how he robbed a woman for thirteen dollars,

threatening her with a broken bottle
That was Charlie: coked up, drunk,
small-time with ambitions, stupid-crazy like a spider

drowning inches from the slippery cyan wall of a swimming pool.

* * *

Ace Boggess is the author of two books of poetry: The Prisoners (Brick Road Poetry Press, 2014) and The Beautiful Girl Whose Wish Was Not Fulfilled (Highwire Press, 2003). His novel, A Song without a Melody, is forthcoming from Hyperborea Publishing. His writing has appeared in Harvard Review, Mid-American Review, RATTLE, River Styx, North Dakota Quarterly, and many other journals. He lives in Charleston, West Virginia.

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