I Met Him Once

by Ace Boggess

He seemed reserved, inward,
too calm for the cloak
of frenzy his reputation wore.

He drank little, said less—
no harsh words for poets
we were there to judge.

His best friend Kinder
downed a fifth of Jack &
never made an appearance.

That’s more what I expected
from a celebrated author,
a reviled one—

because his novel Crum
tore at the carcass
of a place, chewed its guts,

then spit them on the ground.
I remember him milder—
beard sculpted, hair precise—

although his eyes kept pistols
loaded & quill already
caked with ink.

He swore he could handle
either, take you down
one way or the other.

(in memory of Lee Maynard)


Ace Boggess is author of four books of poetry, most recently I Have Lost the Art of Dreaming It So (Unsolicited Press, 2018) and Ultra Deep Field (Brick Road Poetry Press, 2017), and the novel A Song Without a Melody (Hyperborea Publishing, 2016). 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.


Filed under Poetry

2 responses to “I Met Him Once

  1. Jeff Tigchelaar

    What a writer, what a book! Well put, Ace!

  2. growingamericanstyle

    What an intriguing poem about an enigmatic man and writer.

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