Marc Vincenz

 

 

(Iceland)

 

 

 

Last Rites

 

Today he builds a cairn. Yesterday he draped an elm

in scraps of cloth, enumerated each piece;

& on each, a message of faith or salvation.

 

Even in his feeble condition, he managed to climb.

From the top he said he could see the spires of a city.

I knew he was lying, but played along.

 

When shall we head out? I asked.

He didn’t answer.

Now, here in the dunes at the coast,

 

he balances an almost symmetrical pyramid of rocks

with one small pebble the shape of a kidney,

symbol of his surviving organs, his electric eye

 

upon the sea. When he feels she’s ready

he wipes his hands of dirt & sand & dust &

circles anti-clockwise, to counter external

 

influences he says, & now he’s murmuring,

a weak attempt at a tune. It’s too far for me

to hear under his breath & the wind has

 

picked up. Besides, a scrap from the elm tree

has landed in my hand, as if to warn me.

Number 134: Do not disturb the sleeping, it says.

 

 

 

A Burning Question

 

So this is how it begins:

with candlelight and hope,

 

furrowed foreheads, a nervous tick,

tongue pushing back teeth

 

and the clock

turning backward, turning backward ten.

 

She’s moving as if she had seen

the pyramids being built,

 

the slow rise of China’s Great Wall,

man being shot

 

straight into the mouth

of a moon.

 

What is bone? She asks,

clasping her grandfather’s pocket watch,

 

waving her finger

as if it had a clue.

 

Frederick strains, wipes

his eyes and soon the tables turn.

 

Hold hands, he says, and they do,

gripping each other

 

for dear life as they tread by magic

not back, not ahead,

 

but straight

through the great wall of time.

 

We are all, she says,

without exception,

 

descendants of the same,

rather unoriginal crime.

 

 

 

Fissure

 

 

Five fathoms

below the crust

water seeps

into a rutwork

of wormholes.

 

Even in winter

ice doesn’t sit right,

but stone-stitched

beneath a shifting

skin, stretches

into a gaping maw

of green algae.

 

*

 

Across the dead

volcanic rock

we stumble,

we—first to colonize

to plant

that flag our ancestors

once pricked

upon the face

of a new world

where

marsupial mothers

wove infants

into baskets

of ripening moons

and reared

those silver

sea monsters.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

____________________________________________

 

Author’s Bio

 

Marc Vincenz is Swiss-British, was born in Hong Kong, and currently divides his time between Zurich, Reykjavik and New York. His recent collections include: The Propaganda Factory, or Speaking of Trees (2011); Gods of a Ransacked Century (Unlikely Books, 2013); Mao’s Mole (Neopoiesis Press, 2013), Beautiful Rush (Unlikely Books, 2014) and a meta-novel, Behind the Wall at the Sugar Works (Spuyten Duyvil, 2014). A new English-German bi-lingual collection, Additional Breathing Exercises is forthcoming from Wolfbach Verlag, Zurich (2014). Marc is Executive Editor of Mad Hatters’ Review and MadHat Press and Coeditor-in-Chief at Fulcrum: an annual of poetry and aesthetics.

 

Publications and Prizes

 

Books:

Beautiful Rush (Unlikely Books, 2014), Behind the Wall at the Sugar Works (Spuyten Duyvil Press, 2014), Out of the Dust (Spuyten Duyvil Press, 2014), This Wasted Land and its Chymical Illuminations (with Tom Bradley) (Lavender Ink, 2014), Andreas Neeser, Grass Grows Inward (translations from the German) (Spuyten Duyvil , 2013), Erika Burkart, Secret Letter (Translations from the German) (Cervena Barva Press, 2013), Gods of a Ransacked Century (Unlikely Books, 2013), Human Country (Spuyten Duyvil Press, 2013), Mao’s Mole (NeoPoiesis Press, 2013), Nightshift / An Area of Shadows (Spuyten Duyvil , 2013), Werner Lutz, Kissing Nests (Translations from the German) (Spuyten Duyvil Press, 2013)

Chapbooks:

Pull of the Gravitons (Right Hand Pointing, 2012), The Propaganda Factory, or Speaking of Trees (Argotist Ebooks, 2011), Upholding Half the Sky (GOSS183::CASA MENENDEZ, 2011)

Anthologies:

Best of Pirene’s Fountain (Glass Lyre Press, 2013), For Rhino in a Shrinking World (The Poets Printery, 2013), Poets for Living Waters (BlazeVOX, 2013), Shadows of the Future (Argotist Ebooks, 2012)

Journals:

3AM Magazine, Altered Scale, Antique Children, apt: an online literary journal, Asheville Poetry Review, Asymptote, Atticus Review, Blue Fifth Review, Brink Magazine, Canary, Caper Literary Journal, Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, Connotation Press, Crab Creek Review, Danse Macabre, Ducts Magazine, Elimae, Exquisite Corpse, Fjords Review, Fourteen Hills, Frigg Magazine, Frostwriting, Full of Crow, Guernica, Heavy Feather Review, Inertia Magazine, Lantern Review, Mad Hatters’ Review, Manhattan Review, Matter, Metazen, MiPOesias, Mobius The Poetry Magazine, Mobius: The Journal of Social Change, Monongahela Review, Nibble, nth position, Pif Magazine, Pirene’s Fountain, Poetry Salzburg Review, Poets and Artists, Poets Corner, Poor Mojo’s Almanac(k), Prick of the Spindle, Prime Number Magazine, Revolution House, right hand pointing, rufous city review, Rumble, Sein und Werden, Spillway Review, Star*Line, Stirring Literary Journal, Superstition Review, Tears in the Fence, The Bitter Oleander, The Literary Bohemian, The Nervous Breakdown, The Potomac, The St. Petersburg Review, THIS Literary Magazine, Truck, Unlikely 2.0, Up the Staircase, Washington Square

 

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