The Take

The Take: Ace Boggess

Ever wonder how journal editors make decisions about work to feature? The Take gives you a glimpse behind the scenes at Mud Season Review. Here, we feature one single poem or flash fiction piece that caught the attention of the editorial team, apart from the signature poetry portfolio or fiction piece in our bi-monthly issues. We hear from the author about the inspiration for his or her work, and we hear from a co-editor about why the poem or flash fiction story stood out.


Ace Boggess


Sex toys, chickens,
& a Spanish guitar
I said I’d send you.
Why? you ask.
There is no logic
in the universe.
What physics claims
or any televangelist
promises, I assure you,
it’s a joke told by
a quantum god of fools
to the cosmic
audience, which
includes you,
includes me.
That’s how my god
works: he gives you
the punchline
after you’ve missed
the setup, so
you’re left musing
on philosophies
& incoherence:
something about
happiness, maybe,
& how the key
involves finding
a proper balance
of pleasure, food,
& music; or,
could be happenstance
as how mud smells
like a dead fish
after rain.

From the Author

Awhile back, I took on a pen pal who was incarcerated (an experience I recommend, from the point of view of someone who both writes and has been locked up). This piece stemmed from that correspondence. It began as a meditation on the absurdity of prison, then quickly branched into thoughts on the absurdity of life and belief. It was a strange journey, but an enjoyable one.


From the Editors

In using long sentences with short lines, Boggess builds a skeptical momentum. If god is indeed telling jokes to fools, this poem has me believe it’s not necessarily a bad thing and to keep looking for a balance point. Although “Sermon” makes a case for a random universe, a reader is “left musing on philosophies” and “something about happiness.”

-Malisa Garlieb


By Malisa Garlieb

Malisa Garlieb is poetry editor of Mud Season Review. Often employing myth, art, and nature, she writes personal histories while simultaneously unfolding archetypes. Her poems have appeared in Painted Bride Quarterly, Calyx, Tar River Poetry, RHINO Poetry, Rust + Moth, Blue Unicorn, Fourteen Hills, Sugar House Review, and elsewhere. Handing Out Apples in Eden is her first poetry collection, and there’s a second manuscript in the works. She’s also a mother, energy healer, and artist. Find her at