Note To A Poet Afraid Of Her Own Voice

Sorry I couldn't stay for your reading.
I've already slipped back into the null-focus
of writer gray & waiting. Still, I can
picture it in my head, see you doing well,
see you not believing you're doing well &
see you smiling dormant as everyone
tells you how well you did (stop me if I'm being
redundant). Anyway, we do what we can.

Infinity is an 8 turned on its side; a magic
eight-ball: Signs point to strong, charismatic
presence. No one else noticed, I'm sure
you'll appreciate: a pink scarf, a classic sign,
a crutch (imposing orange roses in the flowers
of voice). & fuck me, I'm exhausted.
That might give you hope. Irony, for some
reason: Appalachian brushing things aside.

As usual, this poem began with three or four
lines but transcended itself. Butterfly or
moth, I can't tell. It's more of the dizziness,
the as-a-matter-of-fact crumbling slowly
from chrysalis into dust. Chuang Tzu might
know, but he's dreaming again. Besides,
the concentric circles of my thoughts have
swallowed themselves. I think I'll rest for a while.

Sartre said you get the nausea when you realize
how close you are to nothingness. I disagree.
I think it comes when you look around &
find yourself there already. But I often argue
with Sartre— for a moment or two, unnerved by
the whole experience. He's like a drinking buddy
who only speaks French & then swears a lot
because no one understands him.

Ace Boggess
Copyright © 2001

Copyright © 2001 Richard Baumgart

Ace Boggess has published in Harvard Review, Notre Dame Review, The Oregon Review, Clackamas Literary Review, Sundog, Borderlands, and many other journals. He recently was awarded a fellowship in fiction from the West Virginia Division of Culture and History. Currently, he is seeking publishers for his first full-length poetry collection, The Essence of Silence, and for eight literary novels.

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