Marc Vincenz

The Volcanologist, Split Your Skull, Monster, Even Better Than That: Marc Vincenz

The Volcanologist

Descended from heaven but rarely aware of the ill omens or the lethal brand on the screen, the smoke bombs in the corners. Credibility is only the fire that forged us. Unpronounceable for those who wish to say it, then slough through it, for those leaving and arriving, like the woodworm, we were born in a chest, we lit them up, we would slip them into the grassy yard, take deep breaths, then quietly ask,

“From which star?”

Split your Skull, Monster

Keep to the road, dear soul. The sidewalks are
splattered with dead letters.

I learned where you should wind up — the door was
clearly unlocked.  Still, I kicked it open.

You have a monstrous way about you but you wear it
well.  You have patches of tar and pitch; wires are
popping out here and there.

Still, no tune is new, summer has forgotten us with
her brown cows on the hill, all those green slopes up
there, the warmed bats in their evening formations.

And in the race ahead, do you think you can still
match his stride?

I know you enjoyed it all night long.

Many rarer rivers meet by their own hand.

Even Better Than That

Less than a century of tragedies, and of course we
fumble, we’ve learned to fly and feel safe 20,000 miles
up in the sky—

O, sunbeam, sling us a shot of a million butterflies—

and we shall thaw, we shall lift in doubt, in
fever, when that very moment of life-death is in
doubt, a billion times.


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).