Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Two Poems: Ace Boggess

"What Is It That Divides Us?"

[question from jkrishnamurti.org]

I hear silence when you speak.
I promise "nice things," &
you think I said "night sings,"
ask me what it means . . .
to which I mumble
about beautiful moments
that sound ugly in translation.
It is as though no English term
exists to say "I welcome
the rage that makes you smile," or
"I am like you in my originality."
We are torn apart by love
we express in spiteful logic
of ears that have their own agenda
like politicians who give
the people what they want, &
give them nothing.

* * * * *

"How Would You Like Your Death?"

[question from Mahmoud Darwish's poem, "They Would Love To See Me Dead"]

Served with mystery: glance
at constellations unrecorded, unfamiliar sun.
None of the certainties
answermen promise kneeling
by a cancer patient's bed,
squeezing his hand to impose a prayer.
Spontaneity mixed with spectacle:
head in a lion's mouth,
car leaping fat ravine,
politics awakening culture
as the Tiananmen student
standing ground before a tank,
steel belts agrumble
with his possible death, &
for me, then, no sanctuary
in a camera's lens.

~ Ace Boggess is the author of two novels DISPLACED HOURS and BEAUTIFUL AMBIVALENCE, both available from Gatto Publishing; and two books of poetry, THE BEAUTIFUL GIRL WHOSE WISH WAS NOT FULFILLED (Highwire Press (www.circlemagazine.com/beautifulgirl) and, as editor, WILD SWEET NOTES II: MORE GREAT POETRY FROM WEST VIRGINIA (Publishers Place). His writing has appeared in HARVARD REVIEW, NOTRE DAME REVIEW, ATLANTA REVIEW, FLORIDA REVIEW, RATTLE, and many similar journals.

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