Joel Chace - Two Poems

Joel Chace

Autopsy:  The Plague Year

Blubberous waist of shame

cloven, so that those silly

legs teeter on his golden

swimming raft, and tip, dragging

their appendages into

the lake.  __________________________________________...suddenly looked at each

                                                                                                   other with mutual


                                                                                                   that they were eating the person

                                                                                                   who had been drowned and had been pulled

                                                                                                    out of the water by a fork.

                    Monstrous upper

body, a squadron of

kindly angels  _______________________________________________________...and do not hide

                                                                                                                                    yourself when he

                                                                                                                                    has become a corpse…


snatches, mid-air,  ___________________________________________________Be certain that

                                                                                                                                   none of his words are

                                                                                                                                   covered by the waters.

                                   and freights

to shore.  There, arms macheted,

also head, which  --  oddly

light  -- the continual

                                                                                                                               service of cleansing the

                                                                                                                               language of all fixations

                                                                                                                               upon dead, stinking dead,

                                                                                                                               usages of the past.

                   rolls down into oozy

mud.  Torso, Y’d open;

ribcage, pried and snapped

apart.  At last, cut

free, the still cooling,

meant-to-be sacred

muscle.    Now, anatomizing,

pondering  _______________________________________TO POOR TOM

                                                                                                Thou robed man of justice, take thy place;

                                                                                                TO THE FOOL

                                                                                               Bench by his side:

                                                                                               TO KENT

                                                                                              sit you too.

                     can begin:  what

breeds, what makes, this hard heart?

Motions:  The Plague Year

About to step  ___________________________________________________...fidgeting as if the ground

                                                                                                                             beneath had suddenly

                                                                                                                             become unbearably hot… 


and down.  Peripheral  ___________________________________________...untethered, its

                                                                                                                           primary concern…


flash.  Swirl of

white and red. 

Vision-tapestry.  _______________________________________________...and. above, is the

                                                                                                                        Pentecostal wind…presence   

                                                                                                                        of the Holy Spirit… 


Red.  The dead, reckoning  ______________________________________________What do they have

                                                                                                                                        to do, turn inside

                                                                                                                                       out to make you see?


well out of it.  A

snowflake capping each

holly  ______________________________________________________________...ruler of the white

                                                                                                                                     realm, king of the

                                                                                                                                     darker half of the year.

           berry, each prick

of blood.

                   Now  --  forward,

down  --  the step.

copyright © Joel Chace, 2020