Marc Vincenz



(England – Swiss)






Imagine then, if you will, that river-flowing free form,

that dapple and glint of light as a blinking

of galactic constellations surfacing in water

then vanishing again and that feline purr

of solar systems running towards the edges

of the known universe – imagine all of this

cursing through your veins and your bloodwork.

Imagine the iridescence of unblinking

compound eyes and that wild flounder and bounce,

long, swift legs in high-spring kicks

hopping for sheer delight or for their life

and that Cossack dance, the Hopak, hup hup hup.

Somewhere the strum of a balalaika

or the zither pling of congregating invertebrates,

the sitar-hum of bird formations, those swirling

geometric patterns like sky runes, imagine.

And imagine, if you will, that wind-driven

equine gallop, shoulder to shoulder herding

across wet grasslands and that regal mane stirring

among the tall grasses, that sway and roll,

the tell-tale ear-flapping of gentle giants,

under heavy tread the earth turning to packed mud,

and, over there, undulous necks outstretched

kissing the tips of treetop leaves like lost lovers.

And listen for the giggling gambol

and the bounding leaps through the trees and their echoes

all along the valley right down to the lakeshore,

where the whisper of feathers and the whir of wings

breathe life into the air – listen.  Here’s the chirp

of dusk followed by the koo koo of night

and there the soft cawing, the rattle of brush

and somewhere near, that satisfied grin,

as stars cluster in concentric rings

and sun pushes down over a far flung horizon.




To Watch a Flower Bloom


Can the known world be mapped
across the knotted surface of the brain
with nothing more than a compass and a plumb line?

He knows toe movements are restricted to the confines of a shoe.

Are we simply to multiply
clues as on an abacus or a slide rule?

In the fine-toothed comb of perception, the judgment
invariably cascades into ambiguity
as the axis mundi shifts

into its next reincarnation.

To watch a flower bloom
or a cloud fatten may be nearly impossible

but how do you distinguish movement away from or toward the growth of billowing form?

not just that slice of buttered toast or the definition of light in shadow, in broccoli,

in the sinuous threads
of musculature beneath those layers of fat,

but the association of other cognitive or ruddy stimulators

color-numbering the ever-present electro- magnetism and those sonic vibrations outside

that snow-globe of volition
and that goddamnit goddamnit

vile fear
of the tart tang of social recognition.

Even in a million years, he’ll never master that foxtrot,

it smells far too much
like he doesn’t own himself.






and the sun fingering

crowns of trees as if, as if,

they were the unkempt mops

of adolescent boys, but when

that bundled blanket burst, well—

and the nuanced mangoes and

those crab-apples of misfortune,

not the golden ones of the sun

as W. B. saw them, you know,

but those below, tumbling like pitted rocks,

crackling with their pips and frothing

from the horse’s well-chewed bit—

O Calcutta of the glass mind,

misfortune hit the water like skipping stones

and this large, dour four-eyed fish

(two spying above, two search-and-destroying below),

sprung up with its quivering gonopodium, straight

from its own ocean wishing well and snapped,

snapped straight through that corded rope

binding it all together— even you, you who drew

Tutankhamen’s billowing breath, even you,

who drew his tomb upon my chest

from mole to mole, from truss to trestle,

and treasured me up in your ancient womb

of unspoken words, but it didn’t matter at all.

—“Says who?” He’s about to spout again

like a hot-nozzled Szechuan teapot

into his seven-wondered world—

Oh no, holy shit. Here he comes with all that holy milk.

“One lump or two?” Light it up, will you.

Caruso sings for us all. Yes, I know you do.

The scorpion on her shoulder blade,

the worm lodged under her impeccable arched sole.

Where was my temple of restraint? For now I flex my rose,

and the flies, those ankle-pestering flies—

for now, a peach-and-velvet-petal road.











Marc Vincenz is British-Swiss, was born in Hong Kong, and has published six collections of poetry: The Propaganda Factory, or Speaking of Trees; Gods of a Ransacked Century; Mao’s Mole; Behind the Wall at the Sugar Works (a verse novel); Additional Breathing Exercises andBeautiful Rush. He is also the translator of numerous German-language poets, including Erika Burkart, Ernst Halter, Klaus Merz, Andreas Neeser, and Alexander Xaver Gwerder. Marc is the publisher and executive editor of MadHat Press, MadHat Annual (formerly Mad Hatters’ Review) and MadHat Lit. He is Co-editor-in-Chief of Fulcrum: An Anthology of Poetry and Aesthetics, and serves on the editorial board of Open Letters Monthly. He is the founder of Evolution Arts, Inc., a non-profit organization that promotes independent presses and journals.



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