Survision Logo

SurVision Magazine

An international online magazine that publishes Surrealist poetry in English.

Issue Nine



Ecosystem of an Anonymous Machine

For the machinery of the world
is much too complex
for the simplicity of men.

What is the interface
of the natural world?

Mind caught in the act.

Regret turned into disgrace.

The pity of deceit when light
breaks in indifference.

Or the magnitude of a mind
bending at will. To what though?

The stuff of theater?

Confusion when the breath
snuffs out.

What is wickedly divine?

and then, awakened again
by some fear that the old way,

the nameless paths cross restlessly
where gods recite short poems

behind this space, suspended
and boundless, the doors shut.

Then, the ball begins, and we
dance, we dance in earnest.

Are my eyes the same blue
they once were?

The loose cobbles are shifting:
some secret everywhere.

I pause, take in the air—
sensing what it once was,

pause again at the roots
of a building planted

with firm reason; the sky blurs,
the source of the thing

drained away in the ruts and gutters
of the city. Heaven be assuaged.

The hectic has gone.
The urban longing,

the pitiful trees along
the boardwalk, the full beginning,

the dirt under nails, the kissing
strangers, the drinkers

and their fine wine imported
from distant shores. Still,

the stone glistens, even
as my lips grow numb.

King Rat in Little City

Shuffling the chips, he says: "The lamp of reason does not illuminate these children. Of all those who have come before—Chairman of the Royal Society, indeed." At a lecture on the role of the neo-primate in agrarian civilization, he says: "This one time, an unfamiliar glow erupted. It's all about the critical mass, the raisins in the porridge. But I assure you, this is no Russian roulette. Whatever emerges spontaneously shall be considered the true undertaking."

I wrote you a letter, Doctor King Rat, perfectly formed in the shape of a rotten cabbage. You say the lamp of reason does not illuminate, and I hear you say that in God's name. A sword is a sword is a sword, I say.

Sleepless Night

Dark storms brooding, bats fly out in the night; they circle the moon briefly before veering off. You sit here on my chest looming. Are you Fuseli's ghost? Or perhaps you are part of a dream that never surfaces? Or Sisyphus rolling his boulder uphill again and again? Or the dark tirades of Mongolian warlords? Certainly you are part of the vast sphere of the universe. Cooling down, words become atoms, become whole worlds circling suns, become ether or dark matter, become the transmutation of thought. Someone once said, "It is in the experience that the thing lives itself." Observe the chrysanthemum, they weave our true selves into the sky.  Ah, these chasers of ellipses, I say. The probability exists even more than mountains.


Marc Vincenz is an Anglo-Swiss-American poet, a fiction writer, translator, editor, publisher,
designer, multi-genre artist and musician currently living on a farm in rural Western Massachusetts.
His poems have been published in many journals, including The Nation, Ploughshares, The Los Angeles Review, World Literature Today, Raritan, Asymptote and Plume. He has published fourteen books of poetry, including Becoming the Sound of Bees, Leaning into the Infinite, The Syndicate of Water & Light, and Here Comes the Nightdust. His newest collection, The Little Book of Earthly Delights, and a novella set in ancient China, Three Taos of Tao, or How to Catch a Fortuitous Elephant, are both forthcoming in 2021 from Spuyten Duyvil. An album of music, ambients and verse, Left Hand Clapping, is also forthcoming from TreeTorn Records. He has published ten books of translations, most recently Unexpected Development by award-winning Swiss poet and novelist Klaus Merz (White Pine, 2018; a finalist for the 2016 Cliff Becker Book Prize in Translation). His translation of Klaus Merz's selected poems, An Audible Blue, is forthcoming from White Pine Press.  He is editor and publisher of MadHat Press, and publisher of New American Writing.

Copyright © 2021 SurVision Magazine