Two Poems by


Joel Chace








…shouting in the streets sometimes works… Nobody


at the forge.  Attendance not noted…a filthy,


unkempt peasant; a royal baker… These others walk


past children playing in snow on a lawn……obeying




the divine command to save his enemies’


city… What’s important happens under


the gorge…out on Rt. 1, a farmer who sees so many


armies come and go…Attending is…then




pleading that it be destroyed anyway… minute


later, they hear laughter that turns out to be


geese invisible in the high, driving flakes…all


overflowing with prophecy...  






Delving into Dots



That waitress’s resting face…pantomime,


then doom songs…They unwittingly


insult the pilgrim, asking her for


a translation…exclusively concerned




with the content of their message, not


its form…Those thirteen scarf as if there indeed


is no tomorrow…for once, deceived instead of


deceiving…In quick succession, they all




realize they’re not prepared.  The moment has


arrived, but none of them have any lift


remaining.  They’re absolutely fixed,


grounded, longing for the sky…expecting




all to rejoice at his death, he orders


executions of those who will truly be


mourned at that time…The final end,


one way or the other, unless not.









Joel Chace has published work in print and electronic magazines such as Tip of the Knife, E·ratio, Otoliths, Word For/Word, Golden Handcuffs Review, New American Writing, and The Brooklyn Rail.  His full-length collections include matter no matter, from Paper Kite Press, Humors, from Paloma Press, Threnodies, from Moria Books, fata morgana, from Unlikely Books, and Maths, from Chax Press.  Underrated Provinces is due out from Mad Hat Press in 2024.  Chace was a working jazz pianist for more than 40 years.  He is an NEH Fellow. 



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