Will Cordeiro

            after a painting by Maria Helena Vieira da Silva

Look down into the reading room—
a telescoping trapezoid you’ll soon
zoom out, crosswise and off to steps
of further stacks. Bone up: your book
has buckled down to pulp. Its spine 
cracks open and every sign’s aligned
like spiderwork, a gulf across which warp
-zones checkerboard… Ah, queen me!
you might say, I’ve reached the other side, 
beside myself—a penetralium for nothing
palpable, echt ecstasy and alpenglow.
Each lector deferring to a lettered rift:
flickers, fetters, feathers, or festschrifts.
A rabbithole inside your head, a psycho-
tropic leakage of addlepated typos and

hide-and-seek realia. You are a vortex
where plotlines decohere as arguments
unmap the ex-post-facto self you thought 
you knew. A nest of fragile light. Just try
to read yourself out of such figurations,
hornswoggled by a finger-trick. Archives
thrive despite the dark and dust. Feelings
not tractable through junk drawers, loan
words, or overblown anachronyms: god,     
all points are sucked into a sphere which
bends backwards on itself with hijinks of
both rhyme and Riemann space. Meanings
veer away into the claptrap of a cataleptic
nexus, giving English english. Elliptical
as leptons’ spin or flavor. Billiards, cheat-

codes, facsimiles, and flux. Dapple from
an aleph. Far down one dictionary’s hop
-scotched series of trapdoors, a window is
unlatched. Clouds collapse surface-ward
with wind. Still center of this cosmopolis,
no top from bottom, just more lurching
oddments. You ruminate on babble, red-
shifting into vertigo. Fleet bursting bubbles
in our quantum foam. The ongoing goings
-on are gone in no time flat; pat mock-ups
catch-can’d by almanacs, zodiacs piled high
as ziggurats. Wormholes, apples, errors—
each multiplies, auriferous. More raptured
pages murmur rumored worlds, a mirrored
portal into ages. A word worth looking up.
Will Cordeiro has work published or forthcoming in 32 Poems, AGNI, Bennington Review, Penn Review, and Pleiades. Will won the 2019 Able Muse Book Award for Trap Street. Will is also coauthor of Experimental Writing: A Writer’s Guide and Anthology (Bloomsbury, 2024). Will coedits Eggtooth Editions and lives in Guadalajara, Mexico.


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