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 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 The Nation, Ploughshares, Raritan, and The Los Angeles Review of Books. He is publisher and editor of MadHat Press and publisher of New American Writing.