Ghazal of the Polar Vortex

Brian Brodeur

On my new iPhone, the Weather app defaults to Cupertino—
Upper 60s in the Santa Clara Valley. “Cupertino,”I mutter, hacking snow-crust from the windshield, my khakis
spattered with slush. I dream another life in Cupertino:In bed with the Times, its pages ironed flat by a servant,
I’m propped on my pillow, savoring another cup of tea—no,a carafe of zinfandel from my own vineyards, eggs Benedict
spewing béarnaise on a plate embossed with Cupertino:Where Breathing Is More Natural than Death. No crime or poverty.
No churches, voting stations, prisons, or libraries—that’s Cupertino.Maybe I have been there, or driven through, the light as thick as the oil
in a sperm whale’s head, a Cessna skywriting C U P E R T I N Oabove the site where Bautista de Anza’s cartographer conjured
the patron saint of mental handicaps, Joseph of Cupertino,the night they camped along the arroyo they would name after him—
Poor Giuseppe Desa, born in the Italian village of Cupertinoto serve as stable boy to Capuchin friars who thought him simple
until bouts of ecstatic flight lifted him out of Cupertinoand delivered him like a stray balloon to Our Lady of Graces
where he floated over parishioners who swooned, “Cupertino!”I close Wikipedia, oracle of the digital age, which informs me
autocorrecting with incorrect words is called the CupertinoEffect: poïesis as poisonous, Brodeur as saboteur.
O cathode seraphim, O Holy! Holy! Holy! Cupertino!

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Brian Brodeur is the author of four collections of poetry, most recently the chapbook Local Fauna (Kent State University Press, 2015). New poems and critical essays appear in Measure, Pleiades, and the Writer’s Chronicle. Brian lives with his wife and daughter in the Whitewater River Valley.

The Kenyon Review

September/October 2018

Gambier, Ohio

Kenyon College

David H. Lynn

Managing Editor
Abigail Wadsworth Serfass

Associate Editor
Sergei Lobanov-Rostovsky

Poetry Editor
David Baker

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