Marc Vincenz

A Demitasse of Extinction
September 23, 2023 Vincenz Marc

A Demitasse of Extinction


So funny how that uncanny, unfunny man sought you out on a rainy day in Istanbul—you were in earshot of the bazaar and smoking a hookah, and, of course, it was Ramadan.


And do you remember that old fellow in a kaftan who gave you his profiterole? Or the stray pup who curled yin-yang between your soles?


And do you recall the vapors of salt and seagulls and peppercorns that swirled about in their sticky humors? Or, indeed, the dozens of little green lizards that scrambled up and down your arms late into the night placing bets when the moths had already found their perches?



So whom do you summon magnanimously when things get unruly, unjust, undercut?


A god carved from mammoth tusk harvested from the glasnost of Siberian plains? Or, perchance, one reimagined from the leftover remains of an Arctic goat? Or, even like us, yours will be chiseled from rose quartz or green jade, all the forms of religion crystalizing in the compressed digital swirls of eons of finger music?


It seems to me all that praying is starting to pay off.


I’ve been told what they are looking for mainly, was—and here comes the exoskeleton—sheer unadulterated intrepidness, a journeyer’s fiery spirit, an adventurer’s lost soul; someone who was prepared to cross the Gobi desert with nothing more than a camel and a compass.


Secrets bounced off all the corners and sharp edges, and flew straight into the mammoth’s mouthy clam or clammy mouth.



They concocted encoded messages only decipherable with the authority of some enviable dictator or despot and his crew of machinators and fabricators. The subliminal blossomed and was tended by a team of transnational killer bees who wrote a heavily-metaphorical rule book.


But into the mammoth’s mouth we flew shuttered behind the louvered doors of a system.


So funny how the queen bee might grant a civilization their sweetness, and an endive, its bitterness; how a cat might leap the fence to stare down a bull; or an owl, in all her discreteness might be the eyes of a woman or a tribe, but then still follow the curve of the horizon down to its lowest most uneven point where the goddess in all her glorious hair steps into her clam and closes the shell.

Marc Vincenz a poet, fiction writer, translator, editor and artist. He has published over 30 books of poetry, fiction and translation. His work has been published in many journals, including The Nation, Ploughshares, Colorado Review, Willow Springs, Raritan, and The Los Angeles Review of Books. He is publisher and editor of MadHat Press and publisher of New American Writing. His most recent books are The Pearl DIver of Irunmani (White Pine, 2023), A Splash of Cave Paint (Spuyten Duyvil, 2023) and An Alphabet of Last Rites (Cervena Barva, 2023). He is publisher and editor of MadHat Press and publisher of New American Writing.