Two Poems by Vincent Katz


Lapping City

I walked across an endless square
and saw myself walking

The people in morning come
and by evening walk back
across bridges

The water, everywhere lapping
at souls, no cars’ machinery

Sounds, winch turning,
a motor, voices

Memo Oar Lisp

Ostrich above punched equilibrium accosted fabric tithe emit
sequence register launching hunch thimble reason pressure
assist demitasse regress shock pulverize simple descent pro
gnosis entity shelved separates ringed island angle filth amp
sadness of the grid
sharpness of line
curved around but not
forgetting boxes
piombo e palla di mercurio
softness and hardness
paintedness and
you see yourself in it
sperm gunned
against a wall:
a hanging sack or
pendulous ball
in your purview
hugging affect
do you believe in the numbers?
do you run your life by them?
see a fortune-teller? do you?
in the dark of night? make
a telephone call when no
one’s listening? do you
believe you live again?

3 x 6



panels vertical
magic seven
mystic nines
you’re in the lurch again, in the dark, while someone
lies waiting, lights out, on a hot bed, awaiting you
even if you don’t come, don’t even know about it
still it enters your mind like an elixir, a poison
you go about your business on street, in sunlight
but at night those spots resonate, repeated particulars
essences of thought irregular panic, a dream you
don’t see the need for, nothing to tell ultimately
elusive coupling
mineral lapse
transigent term
peel orient
synapse recoil
turbulent hum
murmur fluidity
wetness later
the huge decadent frame of it: descending
and intimations that something’s behind
surface gone over and over but not thought
nice crack of alternation: brown white grey
the reflective globe
from alchemy
from determining ends
from reaching
from above
from sides to limit
from genius in bushes
water’s gone out
like a slope, like a graph, curve tells you
but splatter like chicken like neck
blur attending and all that blank lead so militaristic
vertical horizons
islands on end

Vincent Katz is a poet and translator. He is the author of ten books of poetry, including Alcuni Telefonini, a collaboration with painter Francesco Clemente published by Granary Books. He is the publisher of the poetry and arts journal VANITAS and of Libellum books. He co-curates (with Yasmil Raymond) the Readings in Contemporary Poetry series at Dia Chelsea.

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