Two Poems
Catherine Imbriglio

Château Noir Intimacy

For Bradford Robinson

The trope of a tree, the trope of the land that looks out at the tree. The trope that could be sawed off into lumber, the trope with which to build a house on the land. Beyond or through the trope there is always the turning toward it, as even here when I pause to strip a real birch of its bark.

If the turn is silly bussed, then what to make of it. Does it assemble lip-smacking good will for the contested subject. A discarded curl from the torn-off bark. Let me pause to name vehicles with formative, i.e., nursery clown, intentions. Would I want to turn the trope of your fingers into fingers. Would I want to turn the smiling dark into dark.

A form of a pill bug turning the big ships in and out of the harbor. A form of a rhinoceros turning to the wrong kind of mud model. A form of a form sending all forms into reversal. In their reversals, will all forms echo and mrof.

A son kills his father and nearly his mother. Turning or not turning what is your liability, come figure how it on the diagonal, come figure what’s up down then across.

If I go out today, if I go out tomorrow, if I take with me a piece of chalk. Floppy, extra wide, dinner plate hibiscus. Called out, what by, and what for. Posture, change of posture, what you are amplifying. What’s left when you subtract a real person from the chalked.

Man possibly bitten by bat, treated for rabies. Man arrested for a series of East Side robberies. Some changing of the guard in girls’ ice hockey. Long drawn-out application for sunshades appealed to zoning. Altering pensions puts city in uncharted territory. Some who lost family members become peace activists. Job worries escalate with recession costs.

Is it transgressive to try on the trope of another life, viz., what is its size, how does it fit, when do I wear it, do I feel foolish, yes and then some, in August the rose of Sharon is out, the chicory is out, tell me again the laws of attention grabbing, why one thought comes and not another thought. If I turn to look at the tree, will the tree still be there, can I sit under it, or is it crossing over, if it is crossing over, what is confluence, what is a low contrast, what do you get if you cross a blue washcloth, a honeybee and a summer squash.

Notes: Château Noir is the name of a painting by Paul Cézanne. “Mrof” is a reversal of the word “form.”

Laws of Motion Intimacy

after Anja Utler

Leg asleep: shake out: how far it to: etch: calibrate
line stave: line industry
then shoo then gasp
whose: overbearing: who’d:
here mordants here fiddleheads: you etch you calibrate: there woundtights : there: tree
           scavengers: how come: you spool you thread: you go come too: as when: where
           underneath: you would what comes: you would what goes: and now: linecocked:
           now enterturned: what if: in so
short a romp: you tramp: skip: leg along: for: in if : would’s amplitude: here’s touched:
           now go:

Then horns: unhinged: miles: stake out: vinecracked:
full: throttle: full throttle through: windsoaked: throat: glottis:
horn away: as with the skullcaps: marshed: stalked: and shear-
cropped blue: blow on: and air-exceed the limits of: as when: mad-dogged: besotted:
I let clowned fields set heels-a-light set heels-a-lieu: spoked: blare-
fed: which would you through: and then: why-installed: you: addleculled: addlesowed:
           for then: once
there: and leaning-to: what then from hence: from addled hew: to whet: how come the
           mindthrusts herded oversong: how come: in wouldstock: added rue: added
           woodranks: added rue

Of course: I fell: root-tripped then splat: clown at bottom: with
tadpoles laughed enough to scare the daylights out: if line off-track is line on-track: at
           whom went wild: went aiming at: then
almost: how come: almost went black:
instead: as if in sun-net: song kept on: and reached the bank:
for: how much: how far: would mind made up of
line ablame: untimed: unbuttoned: cracked: care
less: for whom: at bottom: celldecides: then seeps up: through: unawareness level second
           first: above whose value spliced

and spliced: breeds miles: for whence: how come: cellconstrained: nests: thickets: reeds:
           so undesigned: co-
here: enough to-get-her: worried wild: for so conjoined with that:
and in that mood went on: so addlehewed: so addlewed: until:: marshstopped::
I watched nighthawks learn to clown contend:
though not enough to quiet: marsh unrest: from where
at bottom: line: re-goes the urge: to re-dis-tribute: cell: re-dis-tribute: hike: as though
you would redo: line’s turn: to horn away and air-exceed the limits of: clown made your
           bed: clown lies in it

Catherine Imbriglio is the author of Parts of the Mass (Burning Deck), which received the 2008 Norma Farber First Book Award from the Poetry Society of America. More poems from her new manuscript Intimacy are forthcoming from Aufgabe and New American Writing.