Marc Vincenz

Cabinet of curiosities; Far Planet: Marc Vincenz

Cabinet of Curiosities

Tidy creatures, suspicious of chaos,
expecting the immutable
order of Earth. As it is in heaven …

Meticulous gods, librarians
of knowledge, keepers of fine-
tuned natural laws, each thing

filed in compartments, classified,
labeled, dividing space into place
and edible time into minutes,

seconds—which furnish contents
a coherence and definition,
a meaning for everything.

What of a cosmogony that holds
up the heavens, the phoenix feather
and the nodules of a dragon,

the tail of the lynx or the shell
of the scarab—that organized realm
of predetermined sequences,

a museum where all can be seen
with thyn own eyes. The setting
required for any narrative, the scene

of the crime. What a Wunderkammer
on stage for the performance of fear
and desire, an archive of passion

and vision! An enlightened structure
of intention. But what when
the audience has departed?

And what of the endless streams
of water that run through rock carrying
with them the memory of time,

the topography of spirit, under
the borrowed names of ancient sages
who devoured the text in order

to apprehend it? That the continuum
of ingrained immortality in the ashes
which are the soil of existence …

A syllogism on which we rely
weary in our loaded information,
weary in our self-inflicted exile.

Far Planet

A sky tilted toward the world
blooming in phosphorescence,

but where to begin
once moving.

To shuffle toward
those odd angles

where the membranes
of space bend & curve

& the snow
that once was,

is imagined
in a room

with the ashes
& the silence by the fire.

How young
we seem

in that old weight
of inexorable hours.

Marc Vincenz is a poet, fiction writer, translator, editor, musician and artist. He has published over 30 books of poetry, fiction and translation. His work has been published in The Nation, Ploughshares, Raritan, Colorado Review 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) and The Pearl Diver of Irunmani (White Pine Press, forthcoming 2023).