William Cordeiro


Flurries whiplash daylong.  Sky the color of a flawed pearl.  The sidewalks sediment into ice, ooze to slush, accrete to ice.  Moonscape half grime, half glitter.  Solitary astronauts bouncing through the craters.  A muffled mimic undermusic, like the background the background hears nothing in.  Wind—a sluttish, gaptooth’d laugh—fingers down the sutures between a neckline and a scarf, or pant-cuffs and boots.  A riddled shroud.  The radiance and gloom of 4 pm.
Up the streets, sporadic little boxes filled with hydrocarbon light.  Hours and hours without hearing voices.  Sudden voices.  Mental static.
Snow plows, buses with one passenger rumble by.  Scribble-fits, lethargy, numb hunger, inability to eat, longueurs, masturbatory rages, quick-clipped lonely exultant walks, absentmindedness, erotic visions, ecstatic touchpoints for a page or two.  Sullen glamours, entertaining myself with self-delusions and rubbishy counter-logic.  Hangnails, chapped skin.  Riding out a chance thought til it chances to slide sideways and away, back wherever thoughts come from.  Or go to.  Moments lost in meditation on how little I’m doing.  Match-struck, struck-out.  Then, halo-lit, vast peace and beatific gratitude. 
Vague aches in the arms and quads from atrophic muscles.  Dull-eyed, heavy-lidded, spooning instant soup, scanning headlines.  Tiny chirrups, mistaken for a squeaking floorboard or fizzles from the lizard.  Glassed-in, jerky cricket twitches.  Eyeless squirming mealworms I have fed him. 
Columns of ice—organ-pipes, prison bars—gild the rockface, cliff interred with void.  Journalism du jour.  Papering over the time.  Getting on and putting off.  Putting on, getting off.  Some momentary meaning to this something-something, which abuts the about of a bout.  A scab-picking mind.  Showers taken for their warmth alone. 
Talking with a cold old friend.  There’s nothing worth having, said to cheer him up.  Thinking of Euripides in his cave, that ranting craggy farceur.  Writing invented to keep a mercantile inventory (Phoenician, Sumerian): calculations and sucking-stones.  The Bellerophon letter—shaving off the excremental, tattooing subtle methods of revenge.
So much writing lost; lost laments.  Empedocles, a fire-wizard: his spells now earth-besmirched, sea-torn, wind-ravished…  Socrates with his paltry myth of reason.  Too noble to take money, would barter his philosophy with a whore.  Afraid writing would hasten forgetting.  Spit on by flea-bitten Diogenes: eh, give me a reason I shouldn’t piss right here in the marketplace.  Naked in his tub: a legend’s leg end.  Petty vanities hem us in on every side.  We hug to some hermeticism, some inscrutability.
Trundling home again.  Stiffness in the joints.  Then, spliff-fed.  Fizzle-brained.  Bumfuzzled.  Waiting for the next instant’s waiting to begin.  And the small quiet floating above it all that walls me in.


Another dusk slips its guillotine.  Mummy-shriveled, I have lost
myself down narrow, cobblestone streets in the Jewish quarter
that wend as corkscrewily as crotch-hairs; cloud-sludged sky-
lights perma-grey within defunct Soviet apartment complexes.

Expect continued snowfall.  Prepare for fresh-cleaned, starched
infirmary sheets.  A star-needle skips on the soft tissue of a voice
box.  Tourists traipse through guessing games; guilt trip on gelt
in a city of pinchbeck disco and swirly-doo onion domes, a Frank

Zappa statue, and a basketball team best remembered for their tie-
dyed warm-ups.  Chug Pixy Stix and stagger back to hail a gypsy
cab.  Drop a dimebag in a busker’s hurdy-gurdy case.  Professional  
mourners resume protocol.  But nobody offers them the time of day.
This is a dry run.  Or has the gentle reader turned to leave the room?


All year we gave and gave, and then gave up
As if made woozy with our oozy applications,

Waiting for more development funds to arrive
While regret hung about like a tacky key-chain.

What Method actor said that he’s prepared to die?
All roads may lead to Rome but I’m not in roaming.

False teeth bubble in a glass of denture cleanser.

Corporate takeovers overtake the body politic;
Judges overturn the systemic employee turnover.

We tumbled at the laundromat ‘til our breeches were
Broken; we danced with the skeletons in our closets.

The air show sure went out with a bang!  Yes siree,
I watched bi-planes loop allusions through the sky.