Three poems by Marc Vincenz

The Pearl Diver of Irunmani by Marc Vincenz

White Pine Press, 2023, 120 pp.

Dreaming the Beautiful

and once again thoughtful
winter rumbles toward us

as we walk home

under the signs that praise
the stark skyline,

the garbage cans littering

driveways, the swarms
of passing cars—

weightless we descend

the incline into the future,
the souls beneath the grass

giving little thought

to our ongoing intrusions.
How ripe the air smells,

condensed in silent promises.

Is there something else
we can trust, something

other than the air?

To stand still in the
twilight, the moisture

sticking to our palms,

to feel the city becoming
its heavy breathing

and those figures

deep into the dark
allure of Friday night.

Beneath the Heat

This earthly paradise
instinctively hides
in the shadows and sleeps.

               Does the dream
               that consumes forests
               and grassland, lays

               waste to insects and birds
               or leaps across fishless oceans
               only to build

               towering cities of glass
               and steel keep everything
               frozen in a single thought?

In the Amphitheatre

Where no rest delights
the wave of applause,
nutshells rattling, quilled,
half-awake, polyglots
cheer, their pangs and potencies
assumed—what a beautiful
harness that rides the curtain
                              So much for that.

That span of force
where the self-possessed
yowl across the balustrades,
flame flickering, the
quivering of voices,
of words unwritten.

Evasion eviscerates.
Indulgence and insolence
escape like plasma.

Outside, harmonious cats
tread the pathway.

Each meeting facile,
each voice
intact and interred,
a delicacy stirring between
new and old,
sunrise and disdain,
broken, shattered, discarded
as the Risen rise again
far from the soil, its intelligence:

research shows
the Eastern voyage begins
where the ocean ends.


Marc Vincenz is a poet, fiction writer, translator, editor, musician and artist. He has published over thirty books of poetry, fiction and translation. His work has been published in The Nation, Ploughshares, Raritan, Colorado ReviewWorld Literature Today, and The Los Angeles Review of Books. He is publisher and editor of MadHat Press and publisher of New American Writing. His newest books are There Might Be a Moon or a Dog (Gazebo, Australia, 2022), 39 Wonders and Other Management Issues (Spuyten Duyvil, 2022) and The Pearl Diver of Irunmani (White Pine Press, 2023).

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