“Do You Hang Out with Any of the Old Bunch?”, Ace Boggess

(question asked by Amy Sturm)

Easy to crave the road leading back,
thumb a lift through our history
toward the last town, faces familiar
if blurred & yellow in old photos.
We should go there sometime,
scouting memories hiding behind shrubs,
holding comfort hands & waists
to protect each other from curses
we laid upon our lives long ago.

I’ve encountered strangers,
stranger like me, but not
the cast of characters from a tragedy
I’ve written. I call it Hamlet:
it’s about a man whose soul is poisoned &
whose friends are dead or living on
in unrelenting narratives of their own.

*

Ace Boggess is author of five books of poetry, most recently Misadventure (Cyberwit, 2020) and I Have Lost the Art of Dreaming It So (Unsolicited Press, 2018), as well as two novels, including States of Mercy (Alien Buddha Press, 2019). His writing appears in Notre Dame Review, The Laurel Review, River Styx, Rhino, North Dakota Quarterly, and other journals. He received a fellowship from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts and spent five years in a West Virginia prison. He lives in Charleston, West Virginia.

Ace Boggess recommends “The Old Tower of the Cemetery in Nuenen/ The Old Tower in the Fields” by Vincent Van Gogh.

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