Brick Road Poetry Press

poetry made to entertain, amuse, and edify

The mission of Brick Road Poetry Press is to publish and promote poetry that entertains, amuses, edifies, and surprises a wide audience of appreciative readers.  We are not qualified to judge who deserves to be published, so we concentrate on publishing what we enjoy. Our preference is for poetry geared toward dramatizing the human experience in language rich with sensory image and metaphor, recognizing that poetry can be, at one and the same time, both familiar as the perspiration of daily labor and as outrageous as a carnival sideshow.

Poetry by Ace Boggess from ULTRA DEEP FIELD

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Potato Chip Sandwich


the beauty of poverty

is its compulsion to invention


lighting cigarettes off the stove

extending the life of toilet tissue


the potato chip sandwich

Lord the potato chip sandwich


riffled valleys crunching on a bun

unity of firm & soft


salty & muted as a chaste kiss

twigs snapping once twice


casting off hunger

like Neruda’s sad nets


into that fulfilling sea

of his lover’s eyes


The Times


earbuds plugged into their aural sheaths

I’m listening again to classic Dylan


his indiscreet protests his cries of contempt

for bloodshed & also indifference


his day’s culture clung to like a rock deep in the flood

until he came along until he enchanted them with outrage


left them amped & pissed & fighting back

I try to understand this to take it in


as I’m bobbing bird-like to the strum &

there he goes once more soloing on his harmonica


each tone trilled hits my broken molar’s nerve

like ice cream or an errant dentist’s drill


I wince grunt hold my breath

bite my lip to suffer back the ache


hoping the guns along the front will silence

hoping the bone saw will cease to carve the dead


this is how you relate to the horror the horror

the angst & misery of that distant time


you close your eyes & grit your teeth &

come to it not with empathy but with pain


The Frozen Breath


in weeks

after the Towers fell


I often read how attendance

at religious services went up


as with promiscuous sex

drug & alcohol abuse


& aggregate sales

of ice cream


God is always good for a catastrophe

one understands the impulse


to orgasm & oblivion

but how do people convert


a metropolitan nightmare

into Neapolitan delight?


why are there no country songs

about drowning sorrows


in a Creamsicle shake?

maybe we needed the frozen breath


the icy inhale off a chocolate sundae

to quench fires


we still saw raging from that day

the demon face of smoke & flame


newspapers flaunted

as the internet scripted it into legend


maybe we wanted to feel the innocence

of childhood


when what we knew of war

was a ballgame


followed by a slice of pizza

dripping off its plate


maybe God’s phone lines were busy

while our bodies


rejected their secret pleasures

& escapes


maybe we just hoped to forget

life was ever anything but sweet


The Test


into a cup I pour my admission of innocence

temporal evidence in the body’s court


another day passes a month a year &

suddenly half a decade devoted to the Grail


how it tests one’s purity

despite the bloody errantry of past crusades


the heat strip lights up like Mars in transit

as black bars in pairs appear like a prison made from night


all because I gave myself release

expressed my nature in line art to the critic cup


it tells me not that I can do no wrong

but that wrongs I’ve done are done with


for at least this pause this sighing hallelujah

I walk without daggers in my eyes


without regrets without new ones anyhow

this golden mead this liquor of sobriety




I’m listening to Mozart’s Flute Concerto No. 2

on my Sony Walkman & what stands out


is not the melody the speed the passion of the soloist

but her breathing—it must be a her with dark hair tied back


one lonely strand straying dangling sticking

to her damp forehead like grass to the mower’s blade—


when she takes in the wind she recycles into riffs wildly dancing

as if from the electric guitars of Whitesnake or Van Halen


each inhale so sudden in its execution

adds its own sound to the songbird assembly line


a new fluttering for a showroom at the whistle factory

so perfectly placed like jazz notes blue as a drunken melancholy


it is as though the master himself in his genius his wisdom

wrote each gasp onto the clef as though a chord & also rest


yet he could not have anticipated the compact disc

headphones & proximity to sounds or orchestrations


so this is not his music but hers as she leans back

forgotten amidst the forest of the stage


her lips clawing hungrily for air &

mocking the fury of some first maddening kiss


while she gives back & she gives back

a translator adding flourishes to these forgotten words




I always take time to read poems titled “Apology”

I crave the plot the narrative arc of the noir


in otherwise blissful sometimes centered hearts

all that anecdotal evil or at least


bad things briefly ventured like oaths

fighting words a finger extended upward


practical jokes gone beyond their parameters

who tenderly kissed his lover’s sister?


who picked a pocket?  filched a note?

intended tearing the heirloom velvet portrait of a horse?


I want this:  all the guilt & suffering

some so freely give away


I love the violence the madness the blood-hunger &

especially the passion lust desire


all the unnatural acts men commit

to practice the wholly natural ones


so I delve again & always into these artful confessions

seeking the pin on which ugliness & beauty have their dance


hoping too that I will see you there

asking for forgiveness showing remorse


as you admit how you hid the constellations &

how you should have given me the sun


Something Important


my mother says “don’t write about me

write about something important”


which could mean torn limbs of children

after a bomb attack in Syria


or nature’s stormtroopers battering coasts &

attacking through faulty tectonic plates


yet more likely invites some fiction

about the mysteries of blood


that will sell a million copies

like a hardback bible of these escapes from other torments


I once told her I was reading a Michael Connelly book

about a baby-raping cop killer &


she said “good maybe you’ll learn something”

which she didn’t mean the way it sounded


but as a comment on the economics of popular prose

what is something important enough to write about?


just fantasy sticking its tongue in the ear of finance? 

what of wars?  or desires?


maybe it’s the ensorcelling perfection of a sunrise

tranquility from fields of unblemished snow


she in silhouette between these things

walks outside to collect the daily paper


her breath crafts concrete poems in the air

for now I find this image is enough


The English Language


I love it because as I it is not true

neither precise nor consistent in its public face


a hodgepodge of mimicry

it lacks the illusion of permanence kept by glass


how it twists shifts undulates

splatters like a paint can smashed against a concrete wall


sometimes it stops to pick corn from its teeth

finding behind each kernel daffodils


a language of the dead who cross all borders

the jazz vocabulary & the silent prayer before a beggar’s feast


with its constant weeping

it might seem less poetic than the French


after years of diets & cursing

it has learned a sort of comfort with itself


The Eye


disappearing from the eye is death in the opinion of the eye

which does not understand the distinction soon but merely never


a stranger stepping behind the house has fallen from a precipice

the neighbor’s collie runs off following a straight line to infinity


I must at no time leave my lover by herself

she would make a ridiculous corpse


ever hateful & forgetful is the eye a brutal despoiler of reminiscence

although at least discreet in its genocide


I cannot sleep tonight I cannot sleep for fear

my eye in the long dark destroys the world




do not feel guilty though you are first to slow &

see that delicate form facedown by the stone barrier


a carpeted cadaver its lilac skin

not grayed by fall defeat & passing


no murder of crows will come to eat its guts

no overlord of highways hurries to remove its soggy meat


yet somewhere there is mourning for tenderness

those ears half-cocked as if tucked low for Mass


though no unction however extreme

will part the candied gates


now as you accelerate away from sorrow

you contemplate the land-bound dead man’s float


the lack of tire tracks & torn limbs

was it suicide by open window?


was there a push into the path of an oncoming ice-

cream truck boldly ringing its funereal bells?


tonight comes silence as black as beads for eyes

strange & unforgiving calm


a lime-green bunny on the bed

leans into absence surrendering tears of dust


A Woman’s Apartment


entering a new one that first time

penetration of the doorway’s defenses


seeing the private inch by inch

like peeling away a sweater or long flowered skirt


step in & bring the tension with you

how it rubs against anticipation in your chest


each footfall is a conquering

each a plea for unshackling from business hours


why do you hesitate staring

at rows of books that define a shelf & a life


when your eyes wish to seek out ends

of dark hallways & all that stays hidden?


of course you sniff the air for traces

where a candle burned its berries & cinnamon


what now?  do you sit with palms on knees?

or wait to be directed through the mysteries?


this is what you love not the lips or skin

but the strangeness after the invitation


how you would scrub dishes stacked in her sink

to steal a glimpse of floral patterns on her plates


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