Joel Chace


fire-dream again       of the old home       everyone still

there     alive       voices     o all their voices

living              gathered on the back lawn

                                                                             though     inside     the boy

and his brother

                                                 they’ve torn open walls to get at

that burning wooden network

                                                                     as usual

they’re the only ones who’ve discovered the danger       those

clunky cross-beams       old railroad ties   riven by pockets

of deep flaming                       furnace-mouths feeding dragon-maws


                                as the two boys know       as they use

whatever’s at hand                       plastic buckets       coffee

mugs       measuring cups       on and on       until     having recovered

walls                       they welcome back those voices from outside


                                                              I will now turn

                                                              aside    and see this 

                                                              great sight     why the bush

                                                              is not burnt



                                                              hides     o it loves


                                                                                  but it

                                                              does leave



                                                             this one doesn’t  


                                                                               or he reads with

                                                             a barbaric soul


as if Newman’s Voice of Fire had tipped sideways       and kept

replicating itself       onward

                                                                once more the walls are

opened       and the brothers       urgent with hopelessness

gaze into that fire-stream       visible because they

expected it       visible as a string of deep-set

glowing mouths       or notes along wooden staves       aria running

through its passionate stations       song from a raving mouth

mirthless     unadorned     unsweetened       reaching over

thousands of years       because a god lives within it



                                                             16       red

                                                             brown     and 



 the simple expression of the complex thought       

                                                                                  the large

shape    because it has the impact of the 


                               to reassert the picture plane


forms     because they destroy illusion and reveal truth 


turns out one can step into the same river


                        though not into the same     flowing     passing

water       without which the river is not


                                                             out of fire      language that

                                                             births soul       and



                                                             breathing fire in

                                                             the crowded theater


attracted by some irresistible magnet        across 


                                   entering into mysterious recesses


                                                               logos is 

                                                               the fire that is the

                                                               final sentence


so that       fire   running through those beams   advancing along

a line replicating itself

                                                    so that     on Horeb

the bush       placed on its side       and replicating


                         so that     one of the brothers     gazing at

flames behind walls       lays down his head     and exhales

a breath     advancing along a line       which replicates itself

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.
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