Aerolith: An Asteroid composed of mainly silicate materials.

William Cirocco published his first full collection of poems in 2007. It was published by Harbor Mountain Press in Brownsville Vermont. The poems are akin to an asteroid in that they express a barrenness akin to the void of space and the subjects that hurtle past space on a cosmic shuttle.  Held within this book are a number of poems spanning contemplation of our universe and its meaning and revelations. It is, in short, Cirocco’s abstractions embodied by bold and appropriate language that both pops out and confounds. Many of the poems embrace ideas associated with “stillness within measure beats”( Scream 71), praising “all that man did not create” (Scream 63), and “No. I believe in nothing.” ( Billy? (Credo Asks 1). Plunging “into the abyss/ again and again” ( Stone Slope 26-27) Cirocco weaves words of despondent glory, and reaches most unrighteous conclusions. Many times Cirocco resorts to his memories of Europe as well as allusions to ancient Grecian fables.

At times, these references appear as merit of a pious scholar and other times it comes across as overly dramatic. As in the poem “Orpheus Ascends,” “The Day Awakens Bach like…/Time encircles the stranger/ in three motifs of pain.” Regardless, it is a sort of poetry that comes into creation through a profound respect towards language, and ample restraint. The large concepts that inhabit tight structural spaces, broad topics held within brief statements. “The warm orgasmic sensuousness/ of the velvet sofa, embraced/ by the soft flesh/ of my mother’s mother…” ( The Pattern of Lace 6-9) There is a sort of noble concern held by Cirocco, of the vibration of sound, of emotion, even of faith and destiny and as it echoes across this plane of literature an aerolith is made. Sound of vibration is relevant to many of the poems including, “Scream”,  “The Gift”,  “A Song of DNA”, and of course the last poem, “Aerolith”.  Streaking across in its poetic way without regard for anything in the universe except gravity and whatever stops it. These are allusions to scholars and artists of the past whose ideas collide with the ripples of Cirocco’s life.

Aerolith has several overarching principles and themes. In poems such as “Aerolith” and “Billy, Credo Asks” the audience can read into Circco’s blunt acceptance of human suffering. “I believe in the corpses/ and heaps of bones/ of desiccated cultures./ I believe life is a graveyard/ upon which the settled ashes of the ovens/ obliterate the names of the living.” (Billy, Credo Asks 39-44) Yet the end of that same poem contains the words, I believe in Nothing. As if only destruction can constitute as the only truth. While this may be the darker side to Aerolith there is also an opposing value held for the worth of humanity’s ancestry and struggles, as in the case of the poems “Cres”, “A Song of DNA,” “An Economic Treatise: The Discarded Image”, “The Gift”, and “In the Dark”. “In the dark seams of time/ fire and language arose simultaneously…” (In the Dark 1-2) and fire was created alongside “The compulsion to utter the word: difference,/that splitting of the tributaries of human memory…” (14-15). Not only is there a respect of these inventions beyond time but also of emotions beyond history as well, “It would/ have been lovely/ to have fallen in love with you/ in the high mountains of Africa…/ finding/ our ribbons of origin/ in dumb speech/ and the helicoidal/ web/ of our bodies.” (A Song of DNA 1-4 8-13) This a really novel and genuine way to think about origin, even thought provoking in its simplicity. That’s just William Cirocco’s chosen style, conservative word choice and yet complex theme. The very end of the collection holds what I believe to be the underlying outlook of all of it. “Breath/ Nothing/ Comes of it” (Aerolith)

William Cirocco’s poetry is aesthetic to modern readers for its often straightforward meaning and because of his relevant beliefs to the world and the distant past as we now see it. The author composed the strings of words with the respect towards them that suggests he understands how words form vibration and with another person’s tongue, or perception even, the vibrations of these words can totally change. Yet no matter where your drawing experience from the poems are still cohesive to Cirocco’s personal vision. For that I have a lot of respect for the writer. Simultaneously however, I sometimes find his meaning is vague and lost within the description; for all the detail and imagery of sound, vibration, and life, is breathe, “the human voice/ is a wind instrument”(The Gift), really nothing? This is just a part of Cirocco’s incomprehensible intentions.