"Flattened," "December," and "February, 2017"


He’s come to hate the academy, its sterile rigors.

Steel rails, parallel; long ribbon of wooden ties:

all night, all day, trains rattle that whole apparatus.

He lays his poem anthology on the track.




Holly bushes buried by two feet of snow.

On the sidewalk, shoveling, he uncovers a child’s

mitten.  In half-light, he holds it up—red, green, tiny.

He pockets it, shovels and thinks.  Maybe the lost one

is safe, at home.  Or the child is one-armed, maimed.

Or, under all this whiteness, is lying cold, alone.



February, 2017

Always she goes, carrying her album:  Photos

of the Future.

                        But back at home, uneasy,

he wanders room to room.

                                          She tells him, “Stop

looking, but not searching.  Wait for Time to

return, and for the wave to break at our door.”



Joel Chace

Joel Chace has published work in print and electronic magazines such as Lana Turner, Survision,  Eratio, OtolithsWord 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.  For more than forty years, Chace was a working jazz pianist.  He is an NEH Fellow.  Joel recommends supporting locofo chapbooks.


Edited for Unlikely by Jonathan Penton, Editor-in-Chief
Last revised on Wednesday, January 18, 2017 - 01:23