Becoming the Sound of Bees


This book starts out listening for bees, and hears none, the listener being something of a pupa in a cocoon on the early pages. Honeycombs begin not as sources of Swiftian sweetness and light, but sloughs of despond. Honeybees themselves, initially silent, burn like fire at the stake.  The planet and its atmosphere, thus un-beed, become a single organism whose surface swarms with flotsam, jetsam and scabs reincarnating as silverfish. This book hums louder and more beautifully than any of our world’s collapsing colonies.
-Tom Bradley

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About the Author

Marc_TurbanMarc Vincenz is British-Swiss, was born in Hong Kong, and has published seven previous collections of poetry: The Propaganda Factory, or Speaking of Trees; Gods of a Ransacked Century, Mao’s Mole, Behind the Wall at the Sugar Works (a verse novel), Additional Breathing Exercises (bilingual German- English), Beautiful Rush and This Wasted Land and its Chymical Illuminations (with Tom Bradley). His chapbooks are Benny and the Scottish Blues, Genetic Fires, Upholding Half the Sky and Pull of the Gravitons. He has been published extensively in many journals and anthologies, including: The Manhattan Review, Washington Square Review, Guernica, The Bitter Oleander, St. Petersburg Review, Fourteen Hills, Exquisite Corpse, Spillway and The Canary

He is also the translator of numerous German-language poets, including: Erika Burkart, Ernst Halter, Klaus Merz, Andreas Neeser, Markus Bundi and Alexander Xaver Gwerder. His translation of Alexander Xaver Gwerder’s selected poems, Casting a Spell in Spring, is to be released by Coeur Publishing. He has edited various anthologies and selected works of other poets, including Hugh Fox’s last and posthumous collection, Primate Fox. He has received grants from the Swiss Arts Council, ProHelvetia, for his translations, and a fellowship and residency from the Literary Colloquium Berlin (LCB). His own work has been translated into German, Chinese, Russian, Romanian and French.

Marc is the publisher and executive editor of MadHat Press, MadHat Annual (formerly Mad Hatters’ Review),MadHat Lit and MadHat Drive-By Book Reviews. He is Coeditor-in- Chief of Fulcrum: A Journal of Poetry and Aesthetics, International Editor of Plume, and serves on the editorial board of Open Letters Monthly. He is also Director of Evolution Arts, Inc, a non-profit organization that promotes independent presses and journals. He currently lives in Cambridge, MA.


112 pages
ISBN: 978-09861370-0-6
June 4, 2015


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After the Invention of Polystyrene a Ligurian Goat Crosses the Equator

Abut in a tailspin, mad spark

of keratin scratching hard-

wood—and that buck-


toothed back-bite, double-

chew driving through

everything if-you-pleases:


shoes, hats, buttons, ties—

that crumpled trilby Giuseppe wore

with his ’30s Valentino, and


in the buttonhole, an off-

white carnation—in another incarnation,

carrying the fleas of late middle age—;


an idler, a swiller of leftover

orange pop, a guzzler

of misconstrued rubbish, 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 a chuffed-

up floor, dusted in fine particles


of a 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

Italian passione that carried


Uncle Fabrizzio from the silver

platter of bright colonial Indonesia

to the shredded and shaded


alleys of serpentine Genoa

in pursuit of a dream of old wives’ tales

more than anything he could have foreseen.