Allyson Boggess


You’re wondering if I’m lonely:
OK then, yes, I’m lonely
as a plane rides lonely and level
on its radio beam, aiming
across the Rockies
for the blue-strung aisles
of an airfield on the ocean

You want to ask, am I lonely?
Well, of course, lonely
as a woman driving across country
day after day, leaving behind
mile after mile
little towns she might have stopped
and lived and died in, lonely

If I’m lonely
it must be the loneliness
of waking first, of breathing
dawn’s first cold breath on the city
of being the one awake
in a house wrapped in sleep

If I’m lonely
it’s with the rowboat ice-fast on the shore
in the last red light of the year
that knows what it is, that knows it’s neither
ice nor mud nor winter light
but wood, with a gift of burning

(from Diving into the Wreck by Adrienne Rich – I read this in the garden this morning. At the exact moment I needed it.)


The Collagist just published my Ms. Pac-Man poem in Issue 35. I couldn’t be happier or more grateful it has found its home, finally. Acceptances are so energizing, in a way I don’t think I can accurately describe. When I read the acceptance email from Matthew Olzmann on my phone, the hairs on my arms stood up, so much so that someone commented on it. Also, I apparently have hairy arms. Thank you, Matthew Olzmann and Matt Bell, for giving my work a great venue.

*I’m horribly aware this blog has been neglected. Will be returning soon!

national poetry month reading on thursday, 4/5

Phoenix-area poetry lovers, take note: I’m one of the readers at the Chander-Gilbert Community College National Poetry Month reading on Thursday. It’s free and open to the public. I’ll be reading with Trish Murphy and Matthew Jolly. I might even read some new work! Things are gonna get crazy. You should probably come.


in the hurry

It will perhaps be somewhat difficult for the men and women of a later day to understand Jesse Bentley. In the last fifty years a vast change has taken place in the lives of our people. A revolution has in fact taken place. The coming of industrialism, attended by all the roar and rattle of affairs, the shrill cries of millions of new voices that have come among us from overseas, the going and coming of trains, the growth of cities, the building of the interurban car lines that weave in and out of towns and past farmhouses, and now in these later days the coming of the automobiles has worked a tremendous change in the lives and in the habits of thought of our people in Mid-America. Books, badly imagined and written though they may be in the hurry of our times, are in every household, magazines circulate by the millions of copies, newspapers are everywhere. In our day a farmer standing by the stove in the sore in his village has his mind filled to overflowing with the words of other men. The newspapers and the magazines have pumped him full. Much of the old brutal ignorance that had in it also a kind of beautiful childlike innocence is gone forever. The farmer by the stove is brother to the men of the cities, and if you listen you will find him talking as glibly and as senselessly as the best city man of us all.

—Sherwood Anderson, Winesburg, Ohio

the latest catch

What am I going to do with all of this eggplant & squash? Suggestions welcome. Want some?

the month of desert gardening

The last two weeks (2 months?) have been filled to the brim with stress. So much so that I let everything slip: the writing, the blogging, the reading. I haven’t gone for a run in over a week (though you have to admit, moving boxes and boxes of books is a good substitute). Today is the first of the month and it also feels like the first day I’ve been able to wake up with peace in my head.

I’ve moved out of the apartment I lived in for two years and put my things in storage. Despite my efforts to pare down The Stuff I am still swimming in it. Ridding the self of things takes some time. My struggles to let go of belongings overwhelm me sometimes and then I think of those who have lost everything in the south due to the tornadoes: my struggles, they are small, so very.

I am tending the garden of dear friends in exchange for a place to sleep. Dear Trudes is visiting Uncle Nando for the month on the other side of town. She has taken to sitting in her hunker-down pose under his bed. All of this moving and change must be stressful on her, but she is resilient. My girl.

In a phone conversation I had a few days ago, F. mentioned we are all taking care of each other. I felt the full weight of this statement last night, sitting in the garden with a book, using the last of the daylight while I could. I had been distracted by the sky, that Arizona sunset pink-sherbet blush at 7:30 pm. It was quiet and I began to cry. We are all taking care of each other, in our own ways. We are taking care.

& the book—Sharon Olds’ Satan Says, her first book—goodness. I have so much more reading to do. So many opportunities to be stunned in the pink light.

There is so much to tell you. I am teaching an online poetry class this month, too. My mind is already filled with ideas, ways to use the technology to our advantage. Online is not ideal; it will never take the place of face-to-face workshop. But we will make it work.

I have an interview for adjunct teaching work tomorrow. I’m glad I set aside a pair of heels when I packed. It will be fun to hit the road, drive to a different town, and talk about something I love doing.

Look at these garden vegetables. This morning’s bounty: 4 crookneck squash, 3 eggplant, 13 string beans. I get to eat them. Already I am thinking this is what I want in my life. I want to teach creative writing and I want to come home to a garden.

it’s time to start RUNNING

Up early to finish Week 6 of the Couch-to-5k program.
This song makes me miss 90.5 WBER.
Good morning.


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