Steven Cordova, “An Invisible Man Cruises A Vampire”

Today, two new poems by Steven Cordova.


The aphorist does not tell the truth so much as decide
which part of which truth to tell.

The aphorist may behave himself. He may not. Just
remember: the aphorist is watching; the aphorist is taking

It takes a liar to tell the truth, and the truth never lies.

The aphorist is a fat, cigar-smoking contra. He deals in
drugs, deals in contradictions.

Don’t let the good aphorist fool you–he is just as stupid as
he is clever.

The aphorist will complain of Aphorismia, the compulsion
to mark off one thing off from another, one after

And when he laughs at his own joke, you can be sure the
aphorist is not joking.

For if he is to shed a tear at his own funeral, how could the
aphorist laugh so hard he cries at yours?

If he insists you understand because you’re understanding,
our aphorist doesn’t have a leg to stand on, does he?

Bologna is Bologna; baloney baloney.

The aphorist occasionally gets too big for his britches. He
never gets too big for his bitches.


“Thank God, you’re here,” the older man says. “I wouldn’t
want to see a vampire movie by myself, not on a weekday
in New York City.”

“Yeah, well,” the younger man yawns, “I’m glad I could
be here for you.”

Not to be dissuaded from his flirting, the older man asks
the younger man if he—the younger man—has his—the
older man’s—back.

“Yeah,” the younger man responds. “I’ve got your back.
But how do you know I’m not a vampire?”

The older man hears the sudden smile in the younger man’s
voice, so he takes the situation a step further, asking,
“Would it be a problem, really, if you were?”

The younger man’s laugh comes quickly—and it is a laugh
as stiff, as uncomfortable as the older man’s.


“Would you please shut the fuck up?”

Minutes later it is the younger man who sends the room
reeling, snapping viciously at a group of teenagers who
arrive late.

The group of teenagers responds in no way, except to shut
the fuck up.


The older man wants to wink, maybe even roll his eyes at
the movie, as he walks up the aisle past the younger man.

But the younger man just stares ahead, his V-shaped face
slightly downturned, distant as a star.


STEVEN CORDOVAs collection, Long Distance, was published early in 2010 by Bilingual Review Press, and his poems have appeared in many journals and anthologies. Steven also has a story story forthcoming in Ambientes: New Queer Latino Fiction (University of Wisconsin Press) and an essay in The Other Latino (University of Arizona Press). He lives in Brooklyn, New York.