Two by


Joel Chace





A Once







If only a just







                                      once, just an even









hunch, ounce for the







nonce.  Despite her self and







                                       singsong, mercy’s long









reach leads her past







geese on her lawn, ripples in







                                   the sand and in the beyond









water that lifts and pulls her







farther into a current of







                                 words, language.  Not singsong, but song.











    Where America’s





tin, and they skip

the previews.  Union

members leave for





                                                    space, after saying,

                                       You’ve done for me, what?

                                        Where her blues are wider







than his, and there’s much more

room underground.

America’s tin with a





hard right cross.  High wire doesn’t

              work today:  rolling abyss,

           frozen pipes.  Conference of





                                      ailments:  breakfast clowns,

                                                 evangelicals, several

                                       dissonant strangers, a rural







            red monstrosity, and

     a profligate crooner, neat

           as a suntan.  Low sky





and light bones.  They all

prefer the unruled, so

they make irony zones, liquid





                                      rosaries, black pebble-circles,

                                                         impertinent woes,

                                        seduction contracts, unlikely







proteins, and stairways to

the stars, of course.  Nonetheless,

the march always ends their





        featured gambit, though the

             staunchest citizens, with

          fistfuls of disclosures, still





                                         flee to lawns in the wee

                                        small hours.  They clear

                                           the way for fountains,







      spread plausible nets under

the gargoyle’s scales, and keep

             the tome fires burning.





Curious how their gazes

turn upward into

uncontested night, into an





                                                     inaudible rush.

                                             O, iota of home.  O,

                                                      flickering exit







lights.  O, kindling on

the chair, rifle on the

knee.  O, one way





  left.  O, hard time dusk.  O,

          great adagio, bruised

            rubato, snow falling





                                        against pines, underrated

                                     province, headlong reverie,

                                      firmament of all their eyes.









Joel Chace has published work in print and electronic magazines such as Tip of the Knife, E·ratio, Otoliths, Word For/Word and Golden Handcuffs Review.  Most recent collections include Humors from Paloma Press, Threnodies from Moria Books, and fata morgana from Unlikely Books. 



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