And Seven More Poems.
By MARC VINCENZ
Species of Light
Intuition shaping as
a physical act, then
(moving into the future of itself)
and shuffling into
the space before language
(the muscular structure of emotion)
that is reflected, refracted—
(being seen by the future
in the reflection).
letting go/setting free
(Deep time in millions of years)
capitalizing on those
momentary capillaries of light.
Wading through Piles of Garbage
Oh, that thrill underneath your feet of an artificial ski slope
Built on yesterday’s refuse—it gives away, but not too much,
Like walking on a sponge or a thick rubberized yoga mat,
Barefoot—it’s the polymers that give it that bounce.
Thousands of creatures have found their way in here:
Salamanders, snakes, newts, crickets, ants and weevils.
Wait, here’s a broken body wheezing, a slightly
Hunchbacked TV screen, a radio that once had
The privilege of speaking to the unemployed.
To think that a god made this out of her left-
Over dreams and desires; and that longing for
Four rooms and a balcony, or built in air-conditioning;
The thousand drawers once filled, the old
Armchairs sprung here—a small antique
Table carved with a fleur-de-lis, and this beautiful
Square of yellow plastic curving toward sunlight.
Right now a sparrow flits between the peaks,
And overhead, the seagulls dive-bomb the troughs.
Every once in a while there’s a squawking frenzy.
“What a treasure,” they’re singing, “what a treasure!”
Wheels of Industry
Light turns blue, turns old.
The gears and cogs roar.
Nailed to clouds,
the dying float above.
Drained, we emerge
from stained glass
among the trees
raising arms, singing.
As the dust rises
the sky falls and the grain
nestles in our pockets.
Forlorn until Noon
Briefly sad, the grasses
at their roots, bowed
under the current;
as if in wishing to say
what they would have liked to,
the tears have gathered at
the tips of their questioning heads.
—for Thomas Seach
As battered as a proverb, he trudges his way
Down the mountain. A word falls into his head,
Something like scruple, or was it purple? Last
Night he saw zigzags in the darkness above his bed,
Then there was that shooting star that earned him
The name Cosmic Tom. He’s run out of water, so
He’s still sucking cough drops. At two thousand feet
He feels analgesic, but then, unfurling from
The eaves of the forest, a peacock appears.
“My wife,” he says to the bird, “my wife whose eyes
Are the equal of water.” Down below, beneath those
Vertical chalk cliffs, the manta rays are gathering
In the turquoise ocean; up here, the birds and the trees
Are playing their swansong. Breath regained, he
Edges his way toward the seabreeze. Salt hits
The back of his throat. The peacock makes him sneeze.
Third month in these gorges; the bamboo rats,
The thatch huts and their occupants estranged to me;
Mother with two children and a dog; lone fisherman
With an extremely long fishing pole and a tin bucket;
Starfish in unexpected places: between the soles
Of your shoes, crawling across your chest in the dead
Of night; and that water canister undeniably
Low. Now dusk burns yellow and a line appears
In his mind, as if the Buddha himself, or God,
Had come to him: “See your original nature!”
Someone says, “All those grand human affairs weigh
The same and leave foul memories.” Outside
Limestone and chalk and granite are gathering
To conspire the world he made of stone.
Now the Moon Sinks Too
Behind the light
there is a strong
smell of evening.
against the dark
the sea’s will.
Love should be born
out of this gloss
and yet we want to
to see a sky
the color of water
and trees, trees
They say the autumn
Will come with white sails.
My mouth is always wide
Open to praise.
Eternal youth is a gift
From all that brings joy,
The clouds or the gods.
With a sweet tension,
They lighten the load.
“How can there be
Bad love?” you say.
“It all vanishes
In dust and smoke,” you say.
“Even those pressure pads
Leave something in doubt;
In no uncertain words,
The olive trees have seen
Most of your eras, your
Changing of the guard,
Your wax seals and notary
Publics, with your digital
Signatures and a fannypack
Of tricks, with your theatres
And organic bistros.
I wish I had a daughter
Whose name was Esmeralda
Or Josephina, a landscape
Of diversity to survey;
A pledge, a ledge
To lean upon,
Or a mantel, or a lintel;
And that Friday
Night when pines turn
Into palm trees,
Honestly, I’d prefer
To circle the earth,
And consider which
One of these galaxies
Will soon be singing.”
In their manner of address,
by a radiant moon, long
before daybreak, shortly
before the clouds
begin their vespers,
the ghosts of old comedy
forget their former lives,
in their surrendered wake
they forget to set the traps
for those drifting into sleep—
instead they ply their solitaires
and their spangled
and their garbled opinions.
MARC VINCENZ is a poet, fiction writer, artist and musician. He has written 18 collections of poetry, including more recently, Einstein Fledermaus, The Little Book of Earthly Delights and A Brief Conversation with Consciousness. He is publisher and editor of MadHat Press and publisher of New American Writing. He lives on a farm in rural Western Massachusetts with his wife, Miriam, and their Australian Cobberdog, Emily Dickinson.