Lorraine Capparell  © 2007 All Rights Reserved


What should I make of this dissected lamp,
this rorschach on the carpet, this cat,
this octopus alone in a fish tank?

In the bedroom close the door. A crime scene:
call the cleaners, but where are the names that
go with the balled-up shirt and stained dress?

It could be nothing—a car turns into
another car, and both are redesigned;
the drivers climb out, and exchange numbers;

the shock: they desire to have dinner
together, and the carpet is ruined;
the door should be locked; there should be a note;

I am thinking of the things we covet—
just absence. Just this. And this could be good
because it is open; she might come home.



One Day in the Life of an Unnamed Subject

The car autopsy: it could have been worse,
your contours busted near trapezoidal,
the dissection of ten-thousand miles.
You fill the trash bags slowly in the rain
with old tissues, a forgotten garment.
Hospice of steel; dead leaves, under shards
like toenails on the nightstand.


The alarm: one who is thirsty may sleep,
but they will dream of water, the need,
the fresh divorce: a nocturne’s bored drowning.
Ashen morning; wind claps window to sill.
A track accelerated the wristwatch;
tic in the script explaining your leaving. Light:
all at once we enter/exit the scene.


Harvard Ave.: in the daylight populous
—boarding with clutched thermos mugs—
the first stop—the third—hand over this chair
to a limping woman—your eyes like mine
empty—in the glass the platforms mirror
the streets—we climb—sight is occluded by
the grind—the living barter over space


Hephaestus: I’ve not thought of you in years,
your microcosms, your fight with Scamander,
your net for Aphrodite. Sing to me
at my desk—grammar this inventory,
—for every price is a small submission.
I ask you god of this hour, give to this dust,
this molecular world, a pregnant now.


An impression on the train: survivors
culled from a frozen street after a pile-up.
Words as eyes—spin round sleep and evening
ice in Lindens. Disembark with tar-dark coughs.
Near lost in the asphalt’s improbable resurrection,
the wonder we bridled with the refrain
“Hold please.” “Hold please.” “Hold please.”


The slurry: such normality cannot—
like the quark’s existence—be quantified.
The old particle narrative, concussed
fidelity and glass; busted sedan—
the accident, your reasons for leaving—
static by the tow-yard fence—the changing
hands—: physical things wait for the body.


Skinned away: near the root, a thought contracts
until the old ego is dead tired;
shiver on the porch in the gold-band dusk.
Errors wait for their big-breaks, their spotlights;
Desire bites away at the workweek’s
edge. Before six p.m. these were stray thoughts;
turn the key on the memory, the knob.

William Delman
Copyright © 2007


William Delman's poetry has previously appeared in the Literary Review, Salamander, Chelsea, Softblow, SHAMPOO, and other publications. He received the 2006 Academy of American Poets Prize at Boston University, and he is currently a fiction editor for Agni Magazine. He is also the founding director of the Bay State Underground, a cross-genre reading series based in Boston, Massachusetts.

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