by Todd Boss

—not pen. It’s got

that same silken
dust about it, doesn’t it,

that same sense of
having been roughed

onto paper even
as it was planned.

It had to be a labor
of love. It must’ve

taken its author some
time, some shove.

I’ll bet it felt good
in the hand—the o
of the ocean, and
the and and the and

of the land.

IMAGE: Landscape drawing by Leonardo da Vinci (1473)


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Todd Boss grew up on a cattle farm in Wisconsin, and was educated at St. Olaf College and the University of Alaska Anchorage, where he received an MFA. His first poetry collection, Yellowrocket (2008), was named one of the 10 best poetry books of 2008 by Virginia Quarterly Review and was a finalist for the Minnesota Book Award. His second book, Pitch (2012) won the Midwest Booksellers’ Choice Award for Poetry. His honors include the Emily Clark Balch Prize for Poetry from Virginia Quarterly Review and the Glenna Luschei Prairie Schooner Award. He has also received several Pushcart Prize nominations, a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, and a residency with the Ragdale Foundation. His poetry has been featured on National Public Radio and in former U.S. poet laureate Ted Kooser’s newspaper column, “American Life in Poetry.” 

Boss is the founding editor of Flurry, an online poetry journal, co-founder of Motionpoems, a non-profit poetry film initiative, and a founding member of the book marketing think-team Squad 365. He lives in Saint Paul with his family.