Todd Boss's new book of poems, 'Pitch,' serves up subtle music from a young master.
Readers and critics who have eagerly awaited Todd Boss’s second book of poems will not be disappointed. Pitch is a fabulous follow-up to “Yellowrocket,” Boss’s acclaimed 2008 debut.
The keys to success in “Pitch” can be seen in the wonderful poem “Overtures on an Overturned Piano” which opens beautifully, with lines that are precise and engaging:
From farm to farm
and one more
midnight mile to go
my father took
too fast the last turn
– on black ice –
over the side of our half-
ton Ford and into
the drainway went my
father’s father’s brother’s
Boss describes his mother’s scream as the truck “careened around” and the piano lay “moaning chaotically/ in every key....”
As the poem progresses, two men unexpectedly arrive in a Chevy Chevette, and Boss also raises questions about his father’s reaction to the mishap and possible subconscious motives. Throughout “Overtures” – and the collection – the reader shifts from admiration to chuckles and back. Boss flawlessly employs subtle music, and he portrays events and people without overplaying his hand, leaving readers feeling that they, like the piano, have suffered only minor damage.