неділя, 12 березня 2017 р.

Joel Chace - Two poems

Joel Chace has published work in print and electronic magazines such as, The Tip of the Knife, Counterexample Poetics, OR, Country Music, Infinity's Kitchen, and Jacket.  Most recent collections include Sharpsburg, from Cy Gist Press, Blake's Tree, from Blue & Yellow Dog Press, Whole Cloth, from Avantacular Press, Red Power, from Quarter After Press, Kansoz, from Knives, Forks, and Spoons Press, Web Too, from Tonerworks, War, and After, from BlazeVOX [books], and Scorpions, from Unlikely Books.



he’d stepped out of a dream    the other


                                                                           sitting alone in the empty

classroom   its high windows sun-flooded   the boy sees the other  suddenly  quietly

there   and thinks  “he’s stepped out of a dream   or out of the light


                 you know who I am?

                                                          “yes   the poet”

                                                                                           and you wish

to ask me   what?

                                       “about your lines   their vowels   and numbers   about

their vengeances”

room upon room

  dream upon dream

                                                                light upon light

                                                                poem upon poetry

what do you see   hear?

                                                “attention   lucidity   wrath in light”

                                                                                                                    let’s walk


                      so they did       out  onto the institution’s grounds       and met there

hulkers  calling the boy faggot       asking him who was his faggot friend


the poet studied them   to know the darkness each would come to   and commit

                                                                darkness upon darkness


there was the girl with crow-black hair     walking     now     with one of them

                                                                darkness upon the dark


it was dark    and fog

                                                         the boy                                              moved off

wishing he carried a tight bundle of sticks       burning       to light his way


but the poet had remained       elsewhere in the fog-dark

                                                                                                           he stood beside

a young tree     in which    trussed up with ropes       legs   arms          pulled up

nearly vertical       he’d suspended     another man       whom he burned       here

now there       with a flaming bundle of sticks       before he gutted him       this

other       who had turned the poet’s wife into grain       and then consumed her

                                                                poems upon poetry

                                                                upon vengeance

                                                                upon darkness

                                                                upon fire


swimmers of the air

large flock       fifty or more       though barely visible

in mist       those Great Clackers       their honk-song piercing hearts

their form a flight-shuttle       never without instruction       their

high weft leaving ravens behind

                                                                         yet       there were those

her heart’s ease

on Ithaca       at the feet of the queen     weaving       unweaving


without instructions       putting up the borrowed six-man tent

honeymoon       night coming on       obscenities


our rented Spanish car       driving through       and in

Toledo       thin streets hemmed by walls       high       dark

though the swimmers of the air       pass over


housed within       his works

though not his View…       reversing alcazar and cathedral spire

the city shone like a

                                                              precious stone     like

                                                              a jasper       clear

                                                              as crystal

he challenged       perhaps even violated      this:


or       a didactic model       improving society via

classical ideals       geometry’s harmony

                                                                his angels




we two  on the bank of the Delaware River       looking

up     you asked   “do you feel that you’re somehow thinning?”  I said   “yes”


                                                                         Geb       Keb        old

                                                                          god of the dead       in

                                                                          the earth       with a

                                                                          goose on his head


body knows first       then informs the soul-mind

                                                                                        goose       best

interpreter of human scents       tells       those evil       from those good


                                                                           mentis alineatio 

                                                                            his thinned       torqued

                                                                            figures       rising       to

                                                                            lumen gloria

                                                                            angels and

                                                                             human aspirants


he cackled       being the Great Cackler       in the place where he

was created       he alone     

                                               he began to speak in the midst

of silence

                        he opened all eyes and made them see

                                                                                              his cry

spread about when there was no one else

                                                                        he brought forth all things

                                                                                                                          he caused

them to live

                           he made all men understand the way

to go       and their hearts came alive when they saw him

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