Marc Vincenz is Swiss-British, was born in Hong Kong, and divides his time between Zurich, Reykjavik and New York. His work has appeared in many journals, including Washington Square Review, Fourteen Hills, The Bitter Oleander, and Guernica. Recent collections include: The Propaganda Factory, or Speaking of Trees (2011); Gods of a Ransacked Century (2013), Mao's Mole (Neopoiesis, 2013) and Behind the Wall at the Sugar Works (Spuyten Duyvil, 2013). 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.
She, at Heart, a Blue Whale,
not only in our blood, but in theirs—
ocean trenches fathoms deep, where no hand
ancient bone music,
and marrowed incantations.
Radiation, of course,
is a speck in the eye.
And what is the particle’s
Isn’t it one within another,
blood and skin and cartilage and bone?
More then than water lessons, then?
Perhaps something to do with the birthing of suns?
awaken, dear monster and take us in,
for on that day over a thousand dolls arrived, porcelain-
perfect-blue-eyed dolls yet cracked and chipped
and stressed like any icon under pressure;
1000 serpents followed, figures weighing in
success and ambition, shedding outer layers in ribbons;
and we men, we men, belly up in the sand, staring
dreamlessly at a blue sky but then seeing fortuitous signals
like fruiting trees and swallows arrowing in pairs—
but it still all ended in the dolls’ eyes.
Isn’t that where you read the soul?
and not a single elegiac tone,
but the centrifugal force was a man on a lake
swallowing demons. He smoked a pipe stuffed with cinnamon
and Indian tobacco. We, in need of air, lived on breathing.
And the sky, in its shimmering gold was taunting us to fly
and those bicycles wheeled to their end—which again
was a numbered thing—enumerated and tired.
“We had long forgotten the last revolution
and the bees, their legs pollen-less,
were scrounging dregs of sugared paper wrappers
making honeycomb in glowing red and green and neon blue.”
He spoke of an emperor’s trundling wheel, and then said:
“And thus, the world expands again—
O those lungs breathing in the primitive force of future
are hallowed in the word of a distant past.”
Isn’t there another word for belonging?
And now climb into the view:
the window shimmers,
nothing is bright.
I’m swollen from a night
and time has slowed down
to a thump
in the root
of my neck.
Is this the world I’ve come to know
on the back of my hand?
Cassandra’s Levelheaded Company
Knowing the stars
gave her a sense
than what she knew
others had, gave her
a sense of place.
She needed means
and to doubt.
And through a riddle
when in doubt,
when standing alone
wisdom had to go.
To be one
of the lingering
to be sealed
in an icy fate.
What is it really
to be honest?
within this level-headed
Rembrandt’s Last Fruit
Course you’d like to ask God how long
it took him to build an apple, and
if the first was red or green, if it fit
in the heart of the palm between
the lifeline and the mind
and if there were snapshots
of that first crunch—perhaps he’d say
each was a masterpiece, each perfect
and spectacularly flawed and every single seed
conveniently inserted with children’s fingers.
Course you’d like to know what the devil said:
something about the seed being more than a metaphor—
we all know it’s easier to build
an empire with many little fingers.
God may be the eye of geometry,
but isn’t it still boggling how apples
have spread across the globe, lending
power and meaning to what is yet to come?
Surely the soul of a woman
is the sum of all her walks,
so I ask you, what can enlighten a life
any more than a pair of sturdy shoes?
Stanzas in Love with Themselves
in this image—
now just a word—
of church bells
and those Catholics
to and fro
in supplicant-heavy hands,
the throbbing, a yearning
for damned epiphany;
and that ephemeral
as lover to lover,
nose upon broken nose,
but staring staring
into vast distances
and smoking out
the origin of stars.
a Wailing Wall
a love-pure mechitza,
a trembling match-making,
core within core
the hand, a heart pulsing
that deep dark,