A Metaphysical Cookbook

             The song I walk here
                          —Brian Swann
             I. Word magic:

shot through with scrawls,
traces and tracks, with broken twigs,
lost feathers, scat, trailing off
into the print of deer, of hare;
invoking the throb and the pulse
of the unseen, bear hunts with meaning.
             II. Binding the spell

to recite a story, and then,
to objectify a separable entity—
subtle shift of the senses
in the shapes and forms of intercourse.
             III. Metaphysics

invented the world, in the very least
an actuality of it, just as our collective
hallucination invented metaphysics,
separating out the divine. Now,
remove everything added
in the process of knowing.
When you find you only talk
to yourself. What then is left?
             IV. Something behind

that thing appearing on the horizon?
Surging thoughts about facts?
Surely there is an infinite number
of small worlds found within
this world, and the task of life
is to start over and over, watching
the sky repeat in blue and
white and blue, then fade
into the perennial memory
of snow.
             V. How preposterous

the way those golden proportions
lift the figures of masculine beauty,
how a stone colossus raises his spear
in defiance of the weather
and how the brushstrokes
of all these years are the dream
in the far-seeing eye at the dinner table;
and yet, how, in one effortless flourish
the sun paints shadows at our feet,
and how the ghosts of a thousand
generations are whispering:
Please let me.
Please let me live.



Marc Vincenz

Marc Vincenz is a poet, fiction writer, translator, editor, musician and artist. He has published over thirty books of poetry, fiction and translation. His work has been published in The Nation, Ploughshares, Raritan, Colorado Review, World Literature Today, Notre Dame 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 A Brief Conversation with Consciousness (Unlikely Books, 2021), There Might Be a Moon or a Dog (Gazebo, Australia, 2022), 39 Wonders and Other Management Issues (Spuyten Duyvil, 2022) and The Pearl Diver of Irunmani (White Pine Press, forthcoming 2023).


Edited for Unlikely by Jonathan Penton, Editor-in-Chief
Last revised on Thursday, June 11, 2020 - 22:43