William Cordeiro

I’d driven the golf-cart down some dark hallways. I’d forgotten my watershed. I answered brain-fog plus all that I laundered. Small claims, raw stains—all diddled away into quantum decoherence. More radio jive. I’m sorry we’re breaking up. I broke out in hives. My phone’s a flippin’ piece of shit. Disremembering drum solo, orgy. Plumb tuckered out, I straddled the overpass. Passed out. Trace fire, eating lead paint, I’ve been doctored. I’ve been forged. Incorrigibly, I’ve yielded to the flower girl—a whiplash of pigtails. I shotgunned my ride and slobbered home Keystones. I elbowed each careerist and bellowed my body, my god, an electric meter using up its own volts. My scribbled to-do list, cribbed from some bucket-heads, echoes stuffed dodo-birds, no—scratch that, Dada bards. After you fill out more paperwork, please see the phrenologist on staff. In the topiary mazes, flummering and riots were once all the rage. Now paleo diets with accessories, snowballed and gagged. Then, ditto the whams from cave men or cads. I weaned my dead lizard off worms. He’s a kissing booth for crickets. A maggot once referred to whimsical music. A dalliance, my lad. A gossip like baby teeth, like three-day old canned tuna salad, yet impossibly beautiful as a blue chip portfolio. An olio is a kind of mixed soup. What’s more uppity than the rare, noble gasses? So sure, I still read my future in lines at discount big boxes, in lines that are in store for me on other’s sad faces. One sigh soon twigs into innumerable thoughts. I just held my Orange Crush and watched the marquis sled away with his belovéd squirrel, the kind of pet one kept in the 19th century. After thirty, the bartender confided, desperation is no longer seen as seductive, which retrospectively it dawns on me was given as unsolicited advice. You cross the embankment, the local economy floats on rent parties and cash-checking joints. Our brainwork bruises like an avocado, so keep your seed in. Oh, sunlit cascades of snarled hair—whispers through underfeathers, blitzkriegs in china shops: bull sessions rocking where tourists watched terrorists occupy blocks. Go bicker with trolls whose truisms soon tucker out. How I could bottle and market your drool! High rises from which rose petals settle down to a zero are proving grounds for belated building booms which prove nothing. Congratulations: you’ve filled out on-line surveys about your culture’s ritual humiliation tactics. Doddering nubes repealing Dodd-Frank. Snake oil greasing the cogs; false teeth at each ticklish point. And I bet you’re a nudist under those clothes. The doorman excuses me, both coming and going, with each revolution, hoping I’ll get smashed in the jamb; but I’m smashed all the time. I’ve soiled the jacuzzi room. National pride for sticking to my land. My landing, I mean: yours and mine. Landmine. Walk/don’t walk, dingdong and blink, another dinky sing-a-long in this sensory deprivation chamber. We’re on the qui vive in the toxic dreamscape of Hoboken-lush skies. Let’s ditch this place for the thrust stage, masquerade in get-rich-quick fur-lined tax breaks. The oppression baked in, as history’s a bridge held together by rust and noosed ropes. People like plastic on an urban planners’ grey chip board. I wasn’t a bear so much as a beard. Woo-ha, grab your bayonets and six-packs for another war reenactment! Why that—that’s my Arvo Pärt ringtone. Are you gonna eat the gristle, cowpoke, cause if you’re not. . . Soon, whole years blacked out, as if magic-markered, declassified. The posthumous nothing that’s never enough comes into focus, but slowly, but slowly. Whizz of interference from magnetic resonators, satellite playback, snapshot close-ups from fly-bys over flyover states, an unrelenting buzz, a nonstop ringing in your head like a drone.


WILL CORDEIRO has work appearing or forthcoming in Best New Poets, Copper Nickel, DIAGRAM, Nashville Review, Poetry Northwest, Zone 3, and elsewhere. He lives in Flagstaff, where he teaches in the Honors College at Northern Arizona University.