Ace Boggess “Rock Garden”



Rock Garden

Stacked in awkward symmetry, 
fenced to keep the lot in place
like cattle. Grays, browns, 
opalescent pearls—monolith to pebble, 
they ride backs of one another
like children at play in the schoolyard mud.
Not even faded orange of a cigarette butt
has landed on this isle to blight it.
Old earth reclaimed by eminent domain:
what the city loses, we regain.


About the Author: Ace Boggess is author of five books of poetry—MisadventureI Have Lost the Art of Dreaming It SoUltra 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.


More By Ace Boggess:

“And Why Am I a Free Man?”

“Why Did You Try to Sober Up?”

“Are Your Emotions More Or Less Intense?”


Image Credit: William Henry Jackson “Balanced Rock, Garden of the Gods” (1880) Digital image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program.

John Macker: “Abundance “



                 – For Stewart Warren

An 80 year old woman in New Mexico
does tai chi in the dog park
in an abundance of presence
shares the rhythms of her age
gathers in and then releases the
shiftless summer air.     
In Iceland activists hold a funeral for a famous
glacier, on the permanent plaque they 
placed, in English and Icelandic, 
is written to the children:

Only you know if we did it.

In Auden’s memorial poem to Yeats
he wrote: Mad Ireland hurt you into poetry.
Out the window a police car siren’s
pulsating shriek cleaves the morning
into two organic halves, one an act of faith
the other, not so much. We were instructed
by the nuns to say a prayer or cross
ourselves every time we heard one 
until the danger became
innocent whispered echo.

As if nobody had been hurt.

Ireland will plant 400 million trees in the
next 20 years to combat climate change.
So many more will recognize El Degűello
when they hear it than those who’ve
memorized “The Second Coming”. 
A poet friend in New Mexico 
in his last days of hospice
always traveled his own rivers
now they change course, fill him
with their own abundance, tell him
we have all the time in the world.

The purple morning uplifted cosmos petals
a day after rain and the land which has withstood
the emancipation of all these latest hells

never stops singing.


About the Author: John Macker’s latest books are Atlas of Wolves (Stubborn Mule Press, 2019) and The Blues Drink Your Dreams Away: Selected Poems 1983-2018 (Stubborn Mule Press, 2018 and a finalist for a New Mexico/Arizona Book Award.) Macker has lived in Northern New Mexico for 24 years.


More By John Macker:

Last Riff For Chet


Image Credit: William Henry Jackson “Embudo, New Mexico” (1882) Digital image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program.

“When I Was a Child” by Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozábal


When I Was a Child

When I was a child
I had no need for tennis shoes.
I walked the unpaved 
roads of Zacatepec in sandals
sometimes barefoot and shirtless.

We ate small green mangos
from the neighbor’s trees
plucked sugarcane 
from passing trucks.
We had no need for money
to entertain ourselves.

Video games were not yet invented.
Shooting marbles was our game.
We played futbol in dusty fields
pretended to ride horses
on broomsticks.

Our black and white television
only had two channels.
I watched the Lone Ranger;
he spoke Spanish like me.


About the Author: Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozábal, born in Mexico, lives in California and works in the mental health field in Los Angeles. His first book of poems, Raw Materials, was published by Pygmy Forest Press. His poetry has been published by Alternating Current Press, Blue Collar Review, Counterpunch, Deadbeat Press, New Polish Beat, Poet’s Democracy, and Ten Pages Press. His latest chapbook, Make the Light Mine, was published by Kendra Steiner Editions.


Image Credit: “Calle de Guadeloupe, Mexico” by William Henry Jackson Digital image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program