Ace Boggess


American International Pictures,
Aubrey Company, 1976

Ends with a middle finger
fully extended,
stylish fuck-you
to the established order
in a so-so film.

Symbolic, too:
American heroes win
because we’re crude,
outspoken, unwilling
to follow rules.

I guess that’s why
the suits want us replaced
with androids:
to add a little class,
to snuff our cigarettes

before we burn
our house to the ground.
But, remember
good intentions
pave the road

to middle fingers, &
I’d rather be
behind that eagle
than have it stare me
in my cruel eyes. 

The Giant Gila Monster

Hollywood Pictures Corporation, 1959

To be young: hot-rodding, souped-up drag-racers,
speed chasing speed on a Saturday night.
For older folks it’s drunken driving,
car’s hips a broom swishing over barren county roads.
Even a guy parked with his best girl
might get himself in trouble, as the Sheriff says.
Point is, whether you’re running at full,
on empty, or amok, if you glance in your rearview &
see blue lights, you’re lucky. Death
finds your blind spot so at first you think
you’re nifty, then you’re gone. 

Escape from the Planet of the Apes

Twentieth Century Fox, APJAC Productions, 1971

I don’t know maybe yes maybe
the future comes to us
in a spaceship from the past
to start the nonsense over

reminds me of please be kind rewind
a phrase hardly anyone remembers
that used to mock me
when I’d rent movies like this on videocassette

having to wait out sluggardly grinding
churning in the mechanism
as thin film ran backward
so the next person might begin

a rather tedious thing to have to do
for those of us with a world to live in &
not enough patience to keep us
from burning it down 

Ace Boggess is author of two books of poems, The Prisoners (Brick Road Poetry Press, 2014) and The Beautiful Girl Whose Wish Was Not Fulfilled (Highwire Press: 2003). His writing has appeared in Harvard Review, Notre Dame Review, North Dakota Quarterly, Rattle, River Styx, and many other journals. He lives in Charleston, West Virginia.