“What Is the Way to Be Very Quiet but NOT Antisocial About It?”, Ace Boggess

    —Heather Dooley, Facebook post 

we have learned the alien language of self-

erasure. still as if studying a book

though no words fill a page before us

with their sorrow & small talk. who

interrupts our seated dancing,

enjoyment of a song we don’t recognize

over the in-house stereo? strangers

talk to us whether we savor it or don’t,

embrace it or desire to flee

screaming goddamn! at the sky

like rasping fires. we have tried

to be invisible, never touching

eyes or skin. it’s not enough.


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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