August 3-9, 2014: Marc Vincenz and J. K. Durick

Marc Vincenz and J. K. Durick

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Marc Vincenz

Bio (auto)

Marc Vincenz is Swiss-British, was born in Hong Kong, and currently lives in Zurich, Switzerland. His poetry collections are: Gods of a Ransacked Century, Mao’s Mole, Behind the Wall at the Sugar Works, Additional Breathing Exercises, Beautiful Rush and This Wasted Land and its Chymical Illuminations (with Tom Bradley), forthcoming from Lavender Ink. Marc is Executive Editor of MadHat Annual (Mad Hatters’ Review), MadHat Press, Coeditor-in-Chief of Fulcrum: An Anthology of Poetry and Aesthetics, and a director of Evolution Arts, Inc.

The following work is Copyright © 2014, and owned by Marc Vincenz and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

She Thinks I Look Like Lenin

My secret girlfriend asked me in a Beijing KFC:
Do you think that Marx would have liked Coca-Cola?

I imagined his face in place of Colonel Saunders.
And laughed, thinking of P F C: Proletariat Fried Chicken.

Do you know why Mao loved Marx so much? she asked.
Why, it was the beard, of course. He couldn’t grow one.

And she went on nibbling her wing.

Happy Hour at the Surrogate Bar & Grill

Shanghai, Saturday, 6:00 p.m., January 13, 1989

Mitsue tells me everywhere there are powerful vortices,
traps, pitfalls, invisible to the human eye,

perceptible to only the most intuitive souls.
These rifts have the ability to transform

Hitlers into Einsteins,
de Sades into Wittgensteins.

But she possesses a device she calls her VFP,
the Vortex Field Paralyzer, which, she says, helps her

sense ley lines, that she may tread
a single-minded path to a sensible end-goal.

She tells me it’s no coincidence she was born an heiress
and that her natural curiosity for the unexpected

is a gift from a long line of ancient Okinawan ancestors.
After many years of scouring hidden places,

the jungles of Brazil, tin traps of Africa,
great mountain ranges of unknown lands,

over the great plains of Siberia,
she finally found the man, who by virtue

of his third eye and his fifth and eighteenth life,
gave her the key to build her VFP.

And with her millions and her legacy of intuition,
she has thrived well into middle age.

Mitsue flags down the bartender, orders another
round, then tells me under no uncertain circumstances

should I walk home alone tonight.
In Japanese, she says, Mitsue means Branch of Light.


J. K. Durick

Bio (auto)

J. K. Durick is a writing teacher at the Community College of Vermont and an online writing tutor. His recent poems have appeared in Thrush Poetry Journal, Black Mirror, Third Wednesday, Shot Glass Journal, and Orange Room.

The following work is Copyright © 2014, and owned by J. K. Durick and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

In the Late Innings

As time wore on all our things began to blur:
The ball, that wasn’t all that white in early innings
Became a shadow rushing at us; swinging a bat
Was almost defensive, a hit became a sound to
To track; a fly ball, a grounder, or a simple throw
To a baseman needed shouted words, names to
Sort them out of the dimming light. As the sun
Set, the game became a mystery as mysterious as
Our motivation for going on playing as the day
Was closing around us, but sometimes as it set
The light would make us glow, put a spotlight
On a play, a hit, a throw; for the briefest moment
We were the stars moving through our small
Heaven, the dimming light made us seem to shine;
The late innings were the reason for the game.


How did it happen? I was there – the place,
The time were, of course, wrong for me and
Everyone else involved, and, as I’ve plainly said
Over and over, I had little to no control over
Circumstances or perceptions of those circumstances,
And little, if anything, to do with the outcome.

We live, as I said, where things just happen
And we are, at most, minor players with bit parts
And some of us are only, curious spectators,
Like a matinee crowd in balcony seats, present
But passive, so responsibility would be hard
To assign in most cases.

So I am saying that if I was there, and I’m not
Saying that I was, I didn’t do anything
To cause things to happen, and the witnesses, at best,
Are mistaken, or at worse have it in for me for reasons
That aren’t worth mentioning right now or ever.

So this will be all I have to say. Any more questions
Will have to be addressed to my lawyer, who will be
Out of town for the foreseeable future.



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