Matador Review

A Quarterly Missive of Alternative Concern

Joseph Spece

"Cat on the Wall"


Zookeeper, listen: invisibility

     is a strange success

                                 & not mine.


de profundis

it sings

                                         de profundis

                                         de profundis


The whet of galling &

        a fell

a gruesome & harrowing comport

                       is it not

           mine, it might be—


& of matins in moorland

& spike bent through the sluice


                                  Is it mine

                                  this body

     though the worm will have it



"Exhibit: Gay"


             Me, caught etiolating celery.

Never enough was it to wrap in blue paper

and shut the icebox drawer No


                       but I must turn over my sack of rice

                       let the grains pour out with a hiss


lay the unthinkable beets in deep bags.


Some renter sends a query note: A rather sad cache has dug in

                                since you've gone away.


I’m in receipt. I lift face from your empty flannel and read.




                            The maquette

                            was first


Wire clipped and worked


out of ovoid


      to the rough shape


                    of a canoe


laid in oak


forty-three inches in height


Set on the heaths


     to seal


     and how


                     the rain poured over it





Joseph Spece is editor at Fathom Books and the SHARKPACK imprints. His first volume of poems, Roads, appeared in 2013; a shortbook, my centigrade is like a captive star, is forthcoming from Pyramid in 2017.