Contours of Thinking Skin: Two Poems from Impeccable Regret by Judith Fitzgerald

Almost two decades since her last book of poetry, Judith Fitzgerald returns with the publication of Impeccable Regret, a collection that jostles the truth of experience, shaping intimate loss into a lucent beauty that expiates sorrow. In Impeccable Regret, language hurtles into itself, embodying a negative capability that revives the coupling of amor and mort. Below, enjoy two poems from this collection.

Deceptive Cadence

Let’s break out the world’s tiniest violin, play the universe’s saddest song,
and discover what you learned about freedom’s glory. Shake and wake me
from this frozen slumber with technique to burn. Look at you, Fleeting Star.

The world ain’t a ghetto. The Lady’s Burning Man-Issuant name? Sublimity,
after the minim twinim mountain unto the flesh-singed chill of wise-ass byplay,
following catgut ecstasies scorched against her, short-circuited (maybe).

A blazing building, bodies trapped inside. She saw the clean, the sun flashing open clasps on command for the last revolution, for the final conflagration,
Saint Stone. Hellions toss more fuel on the rock face of it, the rip-chase lit-hit.

“These corpses represent nought but molecular carbon fraught with sparkglint
needles down-dark raining.” You hear those explosions on this darkling night
unvarnished? Then, you must search for orchidectural clarity in the tonehall.

Or find that cottage on the moor, locate those singular melodious spurscores
where they smoulder, slashsigh, earthtrample, breakdamage, or downdapple
abalone string-fingering, wavelength clashing, clear cutting through your head.

Que Besa Sus Pies, Que Besa Sus Manos

The delicate gorgeosity of your vital words,
each shimmering with irresistible possibility,
barely containing the truth catching in one’s throat,
such exquisite intensity, the blackness each repudiates,
porous with damage and longing, indelibly sorrow-
streaked in one transparent universe where knives
of knowledge carve wide swaths through history,
luminous among moon’s slow-dawning curves, now
arcing to pull you towards the radiance of darkness
serrated, swallowing pain, gasping for clear sheer air
in those shadowed chambers of the heart yielding
to the contours of thinking skin in the perfect syntax
of stone and aether, grasping the universal finality
language’s liquid purity salvages almost anything
but that, solvers all conundra but that, that which
you cannot overcome, that cacophony of time wound up,
ground down, astounding in its irrefutable injury;
the circus of our love, its amusement-park attentions
spanning a millennium of, ultimately, swift midnights
(where the hands on the doomsway clock stand still
an instant, stand at attention, stand ready to embrace
whatever remains of a human face gone missing
without a trace). Hear that? It is cold; it is lethal;
and, it is threatening to break into itself in the name
of answers materializing on the horizon when the sun
rises to reveal dysphoria in all its splendorous glory.
That? Think crux. Think matter. Think father,
son, and wholly ghost-trace host. Think shatter.

Impeccable Regret is now available for $16.95.