Two Poems by Joel Chace

These two poems by Joel Chace are an endorsement of the notion that all times are simultaneous. As XJ Kennedy put it, “Rhyme is coming at the same time.”

by: Joel Chace


The computation necessary to verify
that Alice and Bob are entangled could take longer than
the age of the universe and the black hole would
evaporate in the meantime, making it impossible
ever to go inside and experience the
contradiction. Night, an old, starved crow, memory
and instant death. There is nothing worse than a brilliant
image of a fuzzy concept. Your parents are the firm
but delicate membrane holding back a sea that hangs,
domed far above your heads. Back in the day, as a kid,
she’d hold the phone-arm out in her hand and wish hard that
the person caught inside could wriggle free from the sound cone’s
wire-web, squeeze like spaghetti out the earpiece holes,
then stand there in front of her. Pegasus quivers in his
fixed place, jetting at some ridiculous speed, to pull
beyond the sextant and the charts.  Who will pegase
to Pegasus?  Ringlets to serpents, men to stone, the winged
steed rises from the Gorgon’s blood. Anything to anything;
anything from anything. There have been greater days.



Forsythia-blooms crowd and crown our discontent. When the
general character is preserved, even if some
of the proper letters are wanting, still the thing is
signified;  —  well, if all the letters are given; not well,
when only a few of them are given. I think that we
had better admit this, lest we be punished like travellers
in Aegina who wander about the street late at night:
and be likewise told by truth herself that we have arrived
too late. Myth is broken by the age that is sprawling and
daedalian, that has outgrown its application.
Forgiveness soaked up by a field once bright and green. Each of
the six flavors of quarks can have three different colors. The quark
forces are attractive only in colorless
combinations of three quarks (baryons), quark-antiquark
pairs (mesons), and possibly larger combinations
such as the pentaquark that could also meet the colorless
condition. Whop, whop of racquet strings against
yellow balls: too dark to really see. The gong
on the hook and ladder. The most musical town
in Connecticut. O, how be heartsick, still?


Joel Chace has published work in print and electronic magazines such as The Tip of the Knife, Unlikely Stories, Eratio, Otoliths, Word For Word, and Jacket. Most recent collections include Kansoz from Knives, Forks, and Spoons Press, War, and After from BlazeVOX [books], Scorpions from Unlikely Books, Humors from Paloma Press, and Threnodies from Moria Books.
One reply on “Two Poems by Joel Chace”
  1. says: Arthur Rosch

    There’s a urinal in Barcelona where flamingos tumble above the landscape; blazing skies pink with their skirts of vegetal embrocation.

    No. There’s really beautiful imagery here and I’m not sure it’s meant to be understood. It’s like letting someone squirt me in the face with a garden hose full of carrot juice. I don’t need to understand that event. I need to drink as much as possible and let the rest soak into my clothes. I don’t really know what’s going on in these poems. The first is arresting, especially when someone comes out of the telephone’s pinhole coverings. (Surrealism lives!) I might have imagined that when I was a kid, but I don’t think I ever did. These pieces are so ripe with content that they nearly overwhelm me. I’ve read them several times and if I’m to get more I must read yet again. My gut tells me that they’re worth it. Overall, I’m reminded of the cover of an old Larry Niven novel.

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