Ace Boggess



Rocketship X-M
Lippert Pictures, 1950

The more I watch, the less my eyes squeeze with anger
at what has become redundancy: man wipes out man-
(in this case Martian-) -kind with bombs.
Not a great leap, but a starting point:
one of these days, we’ll do it
because we’re bloody monkeys with a chaos finger
pointing at calamity. At least it hasn’t happened yet.
We haven’t gone nuke nuts, although wars blister,
always wars, big goddamned wars in the jungles,
deserts, cities waiting to return to dust.
I’d like to believe we’ve learned our lesson,
but ICBMs still hunker in silos
or pose like pricks on submarines—
not hippie happy yellow subs like the Beatles sang about,
each more of a throat-cutting Nautilus.
Could be we’re waiting for the right moment
to blow ourselves up, fat gods demanding sacrifice
until there’s nothing left to eat but us.



The Lost World
Twentieth Century Fox, et al., 1960

No dragons here, no more inky dark on the grid.
Now, with Amazon mysteries burned away
or clear-cut for cattle grazing,
I might log on to my computer &
see satellite photos of my lover’s mailbox.
Most of the planet is visible with a click, &
Mars, too, from cameras orbiting its pinkish skies,
leaving us little hope it harbors dinosaurs.
If there’s a lost world, it’s possibility.
I wonder if we know too much.
I wonder if there’s wonder left at all.


Ace Boggess is the author of two books of poetry: The Prisoners (Brick Road, 2014) and The Beautiful Girl Whose Wish Was Not Fulfilled (Highwire, 2003). 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.