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When Your Head Went Through the Windshield...

Two poems by Vincent Trimboli

Vincent Trimboli is a native of West Virginia and a proud Appalachian
Vincent Trimboli is a native of West Virginia and a proud Appalachian

When Your Head Went Through the Windshield It Reminded Me That Grief Sounds Like Whip-Poor-Wills

  • We bury you a little more each Tuesday. The sky
  • today is carnival-glass. The way the wind blows.
  • Your destruction was of your own design. Because I ate
  • finger sandwiches to revive you. My stomach is still
  • churning. Churned. They said the impact was enough
  • to make us wonder. Were you strapped down like patients?
  • The radio was saying something
  • about the worth of the Chinese yen and it was wet.
  • You were wet too. The way that the porch-dog shakes off the storm.
  • A house that’s shaken by ghosts or the way things seep in:
  • mourning, September, slick. Has it been weeks
  • since you have been here?  Forgetting how to
  • is one thing. A hollow mouth is quite another.
  • Laura said projected. I thought backlit—
  • your body just a character climbing the screen.
  • In the cavity of you I drew a nest
  • on cellophane. I found four corners
  • with my fingers. Carefully, carefully
  • I lined you up with yourself. 
  • Anna listens for the sound you make now. She takes
  • to calling a wave a crash. To your Mother
  • you sound like crushing. Your father can’t even speak
  • his own name. In the yard,
  • the Buick’s corpse collects rain water. Two birds bathe
  • in what’s left of you. I throw rocks
  • just to see if they can still fly.

Glossolalia: Greenbank WV 1987

  • For S.E. Kenneth Hinkle
  • “Psammetichus then himself heard them say the word, upon which he proceeded to make inquiry what people there was who called anything “becos,” and hereupon he learnt that “becos” was the Phrygian name for bread.” — Herodotus translated by George Rawlinson
  • Quiet now, little starling
  • Have they told you that
  •     there is only one way 
  •     to speak to heaven
  • That they have forgotten 
  • these mountains stacked 
  • with prayers
  • Like great bowls 
  • of fine-china filled 
  • with the heaviest of cream
  •                rippling with an electric language
  • of its own 
  • That God is there,
  • slithering amongst snakes 
  • that shy away from handling 
  • against the breast
  • That they may hide 
  • freely at the feet 
  •                            of warmer beasts
  • This is the key to true liturgy 
  • Lest we not forget 
  • that hymns are songs
  • of freedom
  • And that, my little prince,
  • in your kingdom of Andromeda 
  •                           and paper stars
  • may your voice crease night 
  • and pull the richest gold
  • from the throats
  • of celestial swans
  • Like shimmer, like static,
  • like glisten or drum 
  • And the body we share
  • is language 
  • and for the rest
  •                     is silent  

Vincent Trimboli is a native of Elkins, West Virginia, and a proud Appalachian. In addition to poetry, his interests include visual art and performance art. He holds a B.A. in theater and an MFA in creative writing from West Virginia Wesleyan College. His poetry can be found at Connotation Press, Still: The Journal, Entropy, and West Virginia University Press’s anthology of Appalachian writing, Eyes Burning at the Edge of the Woods. His essays can be found in Clemson University’s Upstart Journal, among other publications.

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Vincent Trimboli is a native of West Virginia and a proud Appalachian
Vincent Trimboli is a native of West Virginia and a proud Appalachian

When Your Head Went Through the Windshield It Reminded Me That Grief Sounds Like Whip-Poor-Wills

  • We bury you a little more each Tuesday. The sky
  • today is carnival-glass. The way the wind blows.
  • Your destruction was of your own design. Because I ate
  • finger sandwiches to revive you. My stomach is still
  • churning. Churned. They said the impact was enough
  • to make us wonder. Were you strapped down like patients?
  • The radio was saying something
  • about the worth of the Chinese yen and it was wet.
  • You were wet too. The way that the porch-dog shakes off the storm.
  • A house that’s shaken by ghosts or the way things seep in:
  • mourning, September, slick. Has it been weeks
  • since you have been here?  Forgetting how to
  • is one thing. A hollow mouth is quite another.
  • Laura said projected. I thought backlit—
  • your body just a character climbing the screen.
  • In the cavity of you I drew a nest
  • on cellophane. I found four corners
  • with my fingers. Carefully, carefully
  • I lined you up with yourself. 
  • Anna listens for the sound you make now. She takes
  • to calling a wave a crash. To your Mother
  • you sound like crushing. Your father can’t even speak
  • his own name. In the yard,
  • the Buick’s corpse collects rain water. Two birds bathe
  • in what’s left of you. I throw rocks
  • just to see if they can still fly.

Glossolalia: Greenbank WV 1987

  • For S.E. Kenneth Hinkle
  • “Psammetichus then himself heard them say the word, upon which he proceeded to make inquiry what people there was who called anything “becos,” and hereupon he learnt that “becos” was the Phrygian name for bread.” — Herodotus translated by George Rawlinson
  • Quiet now, little starling
  • Have they told you that
  •     there is only one way 
  •     to speak to heaven
  • That they have forgotten 
  • these mountains stacked 
  • with prayers
  • Like great bowls 
  • of fine-china filled 
  • with the heaviest of cream
  •                rippling with an electric language
  • of its own 
  • That God is there,
  • slithering amongst snakes 
  • that shy away from handling 
  • against the breast
  • That they may hide 
  • freely at the feet 
  •                            of warmer beasts
  • This is the key to true liturgy 
  • Lest we not forget 
  • that hymns are songs
  • of freedom
  • And that, my little prince,
  • in your kingdom of Andromeda 
  •                           and paper stars
  • may your voice crease night 
  • and pull the richest gold
  • from the throats
  • of celestial swans
  • Like shimmer, like static,
  • like glisten or drum 
  • And the body we share
  • is language 
  • and for the rest
  •                     is silent  

Vincent Trimboli is a native of Elkins, West Virginia, and a proud Appalachian. In addition to poetry, his interests include visual art and performance art. He holds a B.A. in theater and an MFA in creative writing from West Virginia Wesleyan College. His poetry can be found at Connotation Press, Still: The Journal, Entropy, and West Virginia University Press’s anthology of Appalachian writing, Eyes Burning at the Edge of the Woods. His essays can be found in Clemson University’s Upstart Journal, among other publications.

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