Poet Spotlight: Todd Boss

I love poetry to sound different than prose.  I am drawn to sound play and patterns, unique phrasing, wonderful words.  When a poem is a kind of elevated prose with line breaks, I find myself losing interest.  But careful creative word craft draws me in and elevates my attention. I think this is why I am such a fan of Todd Boss's poetry.  Todd hails from Minnesota and is the author of two brilliant (in my humble opinion) volumes of poetry: Yellowrocket and Pitch (both from W.W. Norton).

The first Todd Boss poem I ever read was  Were I to Wring a Rag.  Here is how it begins:

Were I to wring a rag

--no matter how much

muscle I might have 

mustered--my mother

was like to come along

behind me, reach around

me to take it up again

from where I had left it...


And it goes on from there.  The sound of title was magnetic.  The play of muscle--mustered--mother captured my ear. He turns squeezing a dishrag into a sublime moment.  Not easy to do!

Here are some other short excerpts to give you a taste of Todd Boss' artistry:

The day is gray and the lake

shifts, mercurial,

like modeling clay,

the million thumbs

of wind at work upon it,

the artist unable to come

to a single conclusion.


Ere We Are Aware

we err. We err

                             in open air, dare-

devil as a swallow's

                            swerve. We err

with verve. Our errors serve

                            as bearings

as we flare and dive

                            and flounder...


Visit Todd's website at http://toddbosspoet.com/.  In addition to his poetry you will see that he creates public artwork and he started a venture called MotionPoems, an enterprise that combines video (usually animation) and poetry (see www.motionpoems.org).