“What Is Your Idle Job?” by Ace Boggess

Ace Boggess


—question (with typo) in a mass email’s subject line

I wait for lunchtime at my desk, spinning
like a boy in a barber’s chair. Come noon, a walk
past pretty girls in flowered clothing, faces blooming
from sunlight’s brownish blush. I sit awhile,
lotus-like beneath a shadowy willow, breathe smells
of cut grass, melting chocolate.
I feed squirrels, sing love songs to pigeons,
watching as they bob their heads in rhythm.
Then it’s back to the office for coffee
tasting like gasoline, maybe a doughnut on the sly.
If my boss pops over, checking my progress,
I greet him with a good-natured pat on the back
to wipe the sticky glaze from my fingertips. After,
it’s time for all the important tasks: I shuffle
blank pages, transfer calls to disconnected numbers.
I wink at my window-reflection. I liaise. Mostly,
I deal with people come looking for me.
I give directions, always surprised if they reappear,
winded & flushed, to ask me where I am.

from Rattle #23, Summer 2005
Tribute to Lawyer Poets


Ace Boggess: “I just like watching things, from at a distance at first and eventually from the center of the scene. I started writing as a way to take photographs of the things I was watching and, later, living. I began with songs as a fun way to take those photos, then moved on to my real love, novels. I picked up the bad habit of writing poems when I finally realized writing novels takes so long that too many important photos never get taken along the way.” (web)

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