Vincent Trimboli: Three Poems

Hymn For My father with Tammy Wynette Song 

I notice how easy it is to sing the word lord || No matter what you believe || My father’s name is Jerry || In Hebrew Jerry means may Jehovah exult || Jerry sings Tammy Wynette to himself in his truck || This is the same truck that we drove-round in when my mother went missing || Also missing was a pistol that was unmarked, so the story goes || True faith costs more than acres || The word acre is the name of a coastal city in Israel || All things can be holy || It is safe to say that we can measure all things || Therefor it is safe to say that we can measure how close we are to god || The word god means to watch from the balcony || This is much closer than we are lead to believe || The other name for balcony is nose bleed || At an altitude of 50,000 feet a man needs a pressurized suit to survive || At 65,000 feet a person’s blood will appear to boil || The last two are facts || The word lord never appears in Tammy Wynette’s hit, Stand By Your Man || Stand By Your Man is mostly about forgiveness ||  Most of this poem is about the same thing || I have never heard my father sing the word lord || I am afraid || My father might never forgive me


A Poem For 90s Nostalgia

That I am afraid that the world is leaving me behind.

That over half of the earth’s species are gone.

To say endangered.

In the light of his bathroom I could count the grays of my hair.

That witches are reduced to faculty
and dirges are simply recipes for dirt.

For all of this:

I cannot hear tambourines,
the bottles exploding

Fires built by boys whose armpits are calls of wild


I cannot smell them

singed and raw. The rash of sweat.

I cannot find them anymore. Extinct as sweat.

I feed the cat that showed up at my door just days ago.

For their bodies, I put out bowls of milk.

I cannot find them.
For the smell of earth,

when the ice thaws.
I cannot find them there.

Their bodies. I cannot find them.


Where to Find Queer Love in Appalachia

—kiss each one of them
& hope one sticks.
Hope that one of their girlfriends
has already overdosed, leaving
an empty hole in the heart,
bigger than the holes in their arms.
Learn to ignore the smell,
to taste the soot on their skin.
Be something that their fathers could never be.
Let them cry in front of you.
Let then shiver when the streets are dry.
Clean then up when they are sick.
Let them withdraw—
without withdrawing.
Learn that with each tooth that falls into your mouth
when you kiss them,
that they love you a little more.
Don’t let their fascination with your age
be anything other than a projection
of their disbelief that they could ever live
past twenty-seven.
If they hit you,
when they hit you,
know that it isn’t you that they are hitting.
Boys have to lash out occasionally.
Be glad you don’t have dogs.
Ask them what their babies are named.
If they are pumping gas next to you,
find a point in the distance and focus on it.
Find the tallest mountain.
Let them hold your throat until you cant breath,
never wake up their sleeping children.
Watch their lungs fill with dust,
their arms with junk.
Learn to love their hands:
even their knuckles,
even the bruises.

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