Marc Vincenz

After the Invention of Polystyrene a Ligurian Goat Crosses the Equator
December 14, 2014 Vincenz Marc

After the Invention of Polystyrene a Ligurian Goat Crosses the Equator

 

Abut in a tailspin, mad spark

of horn, keratin scratching hard-

wood—and that buck-

toothed back-bite, a double-

chew driving through

everything that if-you-pleases:

 

shoes, hats, buttons, ties—

that crumpled trilby Giuseppe wore

with his 30s Valentino, and

in the buttonhole, an off-

white carnation, and in another incarnation,

carrying the fleas of late middle age—;

 

an idler, a swiller of leftover

orange pop, a guzzler

of misconstrued trash, gunk and grease—

‘sono malcontento e raccattaticcio,’

as was parlayed

by Great Uncle Fabrizzio

 

before his last hand of blackjack

on an ocean liner

from Jakarta to Genoa via Dar es Salam

as he observed an empty

can of mystery meat circle

a lone polystyrene container,

 

then hover and dive gullishly

into a shoal of mackerel

in a calm whaleless Indian Ocean

crossing the equatorial

with a borderline heart attack

—and finally, that Bornean warrior,

 

not raised by Cain, but a clan

of cannibals, a bird’s delicate leg bone

through his flared nostrils, adjusting

his penis sheath on the crux

of an equinox while dreaming

of a creature he’d never seen

 

but knew from a lifetime of belly-

aches and breathy sighs, curried

in Bombay on a street stall

in sinews and gristle, fat-

dripping to the chuffed-

up floor, dusted in finest particles

 

of the most ancient Macedonian gold

collected mote by mote on fingertips

by a team of orphaned ragamuffins

known as the ‘All That Glitters’—and

that mad pan-flute-playing

Ligurian passione that carried

 

Uncle Fabrizzio from the silver

platter of bright colonial Indonesia

to the shredded and shaded

terraced alleys of serpentine Genoa

in pursuit of an idle dream of old wives’ tales

more than anything he might have foretold.

Marc Vincenz is a poet, translator and novelist. He is the author of eleven books of poetry; his latest are The Syndicate of Water & Light, Leaning into the Infinite, and Here Comes the Nightdust. His latest work of translation is Unexpected Development (White Pine Press, 2018), by prize-winning Swiss novelist, poet and playwright Klaus Merz. His work has received fellowships and grants from the Swiss Arts Council, the Literary Colloquium Berlin, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Witter Bynner Foundation for Poetry