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Ace Boggess


Ace Boggess is author of five books of poetry—Misadventure, I Have Lost the Art of Dreaming It So, Ultra Deep Field, The Prisoners, and The Beautiful Girl Whose Wish Was Not Fulfilled—and the novels States of Mercy and A Song Without a Melody. His writing has appeared in Harvard Review, Notre Dame Review, Mid-American Review, Rattle, River Styx, and many other journals. He received a fellowship from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts and spent five years in a West Virginia prison. He lives in Charleston, West Virginia. His sixth collection, Escape Envy, is forthcoming from Brick Road Poetry Press in 2021.

Hair Metal

We didn’t call it that
until after we put aside
guitars & dreams
of a colorful existence.

A kind of music broke inside us,
silenced by the 90s,
loss of hope of happiness.

We had fun pretending
before Cobain stopped,
before the President
said, “I feel your pain,”

& like him, we wanted to scream
we were still relevant.

Joyful, wasn’t it? Its gospel
didn’t require we care
about anything.

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