Ace Boggess: “Advice for Attending a Whitesnake Concert”

Advice for Attending a Whitesnake Concert

It’s been thirty years, but I assure you
you’ll require an energy center
to control wizened muscles of your neck,
shoulders, back. There’s no loud music
without movement, no power chords
that won’t leave you feeling powerless
from aging. Your ears—they’ll hum
in quiet after, playing dull, familiar songs
that buzz as though from feedback,
amplifiers. Know, too,
your experience will be prurient—
lyrics not discreet, stage patter not polite
in the modern sense
of respecting one for more than urges.
Expect the guitarist to thrust with his instrument.
Plan on lust. Your body will try its best to get away.
We won’t call that dancing; it’s more a fervor,
as if religious, that has you atremble, at its mercy
from old bones out. Try to enjoy it,
even if its day has passed,
the band, society in its 1980s phase.
Try, too, not to pay attention to the hair,
remember it. Focus on not falling
after you stand on the seat
of a folding metal chair—
weary fists warring with empty space,
wide hips swaying. It’s okay
to feel relieved you’re still alive.


Ace Boggess is author of four books of poetry, most recently I Have Lost the Art of Dreaming It So (Unsolicited Press, 2018). His writing appears in Notre Dame Review, Rhino, Rattle, and other journals.

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