the museum of americana

a literary review

Two Poems by Ace Boggess

 

Earth vs. the Flying Saucers
            Clover Productions, 1956

To defeat them, our hero builds a cannon firing sound-
waves, somehow disrupting the magnetism
from their stop-motion discs of ships—

a little noise, a lot of wobble—
this new American death ray invisible,
(inexpensive special effects whenever there’s nothing

but a buzz). Smart in principle,
it reminds me of U.S. Marines in Panama,
massive speakers on their tanks & convoys,

blasting Twisted Sister toward the Vatican Embassy
where Noriega hid, breaking down his will to live,
so he would surrender. But that was heavy metal, &

this a shrill whine more like Robert Plant
shrieking each chorus to “The Immigrant Song.”
Vikings, spacemen, Panamanians—

always seems there’s a war coming, at least
until Dee Snider sings “We’re Not Gonna Take It,” &
we don’t (although, secretly, we do).

 

Creature from the Black Lagoon
            Universal International Pictures, 1954

Past midnight watching Chiller Theater,
I waited for the Gill Man,
so vividly green in black & white:
his wide eyes, webbed hands
like bat wings glued to a Louisville Slugger.

Back then, I didn’t understand the plot,
why he lived in the Black Lagoon,
why scientists brought rifles.
I knew they were chasing him,
as he them, & Julia Adams—

sex goddess in paste-white
bathing suit—became his plaything
for a while. Yet why did they spear him?
Why poison the water with chemical bombs?
He was a possible outcome

for survival of the fittest if the fish had won.
Besides, who doesn’t seek out
the most beautiful girl at the party,
grunting, making a beast of himself, &
what cruel heart won’t forgive a monster in love?

 

~  ~  ~
acepicAce Boggess is the author of two books of poetry: The Prisoners (Brick Road Poetry Press, 2014) and The Beautiful Girl Whose Wish Was Not Fulfilled (Highwire Press, 2003). His writing has appeared in Harvard Review, Mid-American Review, RATTLE, River Styx, and many other journals. He lives in Charleston, West Virginia.