A guy from DNR tracked the neighborhood bear, a yearling who’s been causing quite a stir on Facebook & in rubbish bins along Gordon Drive. Scraps, all it wanted, wandering in excessive Summer heat. Families can’t live with a bear on the street making a mess, marking its territory by scatterings of meat-scented plastic & a few violent markings on the trees. At first, the DNR rep swore the bear would be put down, its black/brown coat blooming lips & roses. But everyone has a camera. Photos posted in the Facebook group once reserved for neighborly complaints about fireworks or people speeding were like those of someone’s happy child at play in a brutal world. So, the bear will be relocated to a wildlife preserve. Plenty of space. Lots of caves & streams. There’s enough emptiness in West Virginia for any reclusive animal—a myth, a memory—escaping the limelight in which it never wanted to be like a murderer’s wife.
Ace Boggess: “I’ve lived in West Virginia all my life. All over the state. I’ve done time here. I’ve traveled the winding mountain roads in fog and snow. To experience a place is to be defined by it. For good or bad, who’s to say? I just write and let the rest sort itself out.” (web)
Ace Boggess: “However tragic or romantic, however chaotic or routine, life is absurd. I’m fascinated by the absurdity. I want to collect it in mason jars and give those out as gifts. That’s why I write poems, also an absurd thing to do. Well, that and I have few other useful skills. I mean, who would hire me? My current motto: ‘Will Post Poems to Facebook for Food.’” (webpage)
Ace Boggess: “Looking back at my years in prison, I often realize how absurd things seem compared to what the average person might expect. If I were watching a reality show like Lock-up or a TV series like, coincidentally, Oz, how likely is it that I would see a bunch of cons sitting around watching an old fantasy like The Wizard of Oz. Nonetheless, it happened. So, I put that down on paper. I love to write about the absurd in my life probably more than anything else. It allows me to make a serious point while laughing all the way.” (website)
Ace Boggess: “I have long believed in a journalism of poetry. I try to show the news of the day (which means that if it’s a slow news day, there are lots of pictures of squirrels in trees). I also have a special love for special love poems. It might be said I started digging up the corpse of Neruda many years before a Chilean judge decided to do the same.” (website)
Ace Boggess: “With both a law degree and a rap sheet, I of course am fascinated with the interplay between both sides of the law. This poem comes from such a crossover. It was inspired by a shakedown at the prison during which all inmate property was inventoried and itemized. Sigh. Inmates always wonder what it means to have so little of practical value in this world.” (web)
Ace Boggess: “Despite my last shrink telling me I had ‘nothing textbook wrong with me,’ a lifelong battle with social anxiety led me both to writing and opiate addiction. The latter brought a short life of crime and a much longer prison term in West Virginia, where I serve as inmate legal rep. (Motto: ‘You’re probably screwed, but we’ll see what we can do.’) As such, I often get asked questions like the one that inspired ‘Can They Do That?’.” (web)