Minnesota Poetry: Todd Boss’ “Ere We Are Aware”

It's been fun to watch Todd Boss' first book of poetry Yellowrocket take off like, well, a rocket (better that than to compare it to yellowrocket itself, which is a weed!). I've known Boss for years through his job as PR Director for the Playwrights' Center, but never would have suspected the man with the high energy, smiling eyes and great story pitch was also the source of beautiful poetry springing from deep introspection and more than a few dark days.

You can find out more about Todd Boss in this story by Euan Kerr, or at Boss' website. Meanwhile, here's a poem from Yellowrocket:

Ere We Are Aware

we err. We err

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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.

We scare away our lovers

and declare

a territory where before

there wasn't any.

Later we share our feelings.

Say we're

sorry. Swear to be

more careful.

Oh, we show our showy words

like colors

and then, in a flurry of ever

rarer, ever

braver aerials, there

we are again,

famished birds wheeling

over burials.

- "Ere We Are Aware" by Todd Boss, as it appears in his collection Yellowrocket, published by W. W. Norton. Reprinted here with permission from the author.