Ace Boggess


I want more laughter in terror times:

surplus of dust-suited rodeo clowns

baiting the bulls with their minds on gore.


I want the bloody lips to grin.

I want a sick joke told by some condemned man

to his execution audience.


There should be more slaps with fish,

farting armpits in Circuit Court.

When monsters growl in the grim, gray twilight,


ring them with gags like cackle bags &

rubber doo. Exhume

mirth from its muddy grave.


Let Death come riding its unicycle,

juggling colorful balls that look like skulls.

It’s misery I regret: time wasted when I could’ve felt


as if the world were made of feathers &

carbonation bubbles

tickling from the freshly-poured champagne.




Ace Boggess is author of three books of poetry, most recently Ultra Deep Field (Brick Road Poetry Press, 2017), and the novel A Song Without a Melody (Hyperborea Publishing, 2016). 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.