Tag Archives: Thomas Piekarski


by Thomas Piekarski

Exhumed like spent gas and cigarettes. Yesterday thrown
away. Ejected, spit out, sent to fizzle in Oblivion’s
infamous crypt. His typically inquisitive anima
suppressed as if it had perished on the sands of Araby.
It’s no surprise then that Aladdin appears to appear
for a mere nanosecond and leaves unmysteriously.
The shoreline is rocky, perilous, prevents many vessels
from landing. Hard body of knowledge: fuchsia, fluorescence,
the transcendental congregation amalgamated.
Bleeding thesaurus. Sober other than somber reflections
of his beloved tricycle and rocking horse. Lo, an old moniker:
skin gone somewhat pale. Then the exclusive fulmination:
not enough sun. It’s mid July and the fireworks he watched
from the dock all but forgotten. America swelters.
But above the harbor ominous rain clouds rumble in.
The ocean serves as Earth’s refrigerator. Gunmetal gray sky,
viridian cypresses and adobe abodes magically integrate.
The Mary Hallie’s catch, bucketloads of plump sea bass
lifted to pier level with the winch of a well-greased hoist.



by Thomas Piekarski

Attended AA meetings where they clasped hands
in a tight circle, bowed heads, paid homage to
a higher power they would disavow the minute
they fell off the wagon…Saw dandy Juan Marichal
spin a masterful no hitter one sunny afternoon when
the sun smiled brightly on Candlestick Park…
Won handily at strip poker and took full advantage…
As a four-year-old tripped on steps at the stark
Kansas City train depot one miserably humid night,
spilled a pitcher of Kool-Aid while stumbling…
Flummoxed at miraculous Jimi Hendrix playing
guitar with his bare teeth…Timed out, satisfied
that he escaped with his life the night his car crashed
through a thick chain across a driveway, shattering
the windshield and ravaging the hood…Cherished
the walk-on part he had in his college production
of Moliere’s Tartuffe–his resplendent and talented
paramour Nanette, devoted proponent of Jonathan
Livingston Seagull, in attendance…With his mother
and merry sisters sang “California Here I Come”
as the train entered California and he saw palm trees
for the first time…Contemplated Buber’s impenetrable
I-It proposal while exploring Amsterdam’s fabulous
Van Gogh museum on a mind-altering substance…
Absolutely wowed by the lavish wedding staged at
Phoenix’s grand Phoenician Hotel where his gorgeous
Miss Arizona cousin married loaded Richie whose
family owned a chain of sporting goods stores…
Cried “daddy daddy!” when they sat him down for
his inaugural haircut at the barber shop on Hennepin
Avenue next door to uncle Emil’s shoe store as he
listened to street cars clatter outside…Privileged, given
high priority private violin lessons in grammar school,
played splendidly by ear but never could read notes…
Obtained prosperity, living amid magnificent pine and
massive oak, frisky deer and nocturnal possums, loving
the lake and lively clubhouse while basking in plentiful
Gold Country largesse…Cremated, his ashes thrown
into the American River at Sutter’s Mill, to flow through
the bay and out into an old sea, then absorbed by the brain
of a parallel universe…Oceanfront jammed with hundreds
of motorcycles–engine roar deafens shorebirds; the cafe
waitresses slammed, and overtly bibulous bikers busy
getting primed for tomorrow’s big race at Laguna Seca.

Inner Space

by Thomas Piekarski

The Gorgon holding a serpent in its rapier teeth,
Odysseus crumpled to dust. The Immortals at war,
Zeus captured. Wherefore Perseus? Wandering
aimlessly on the fifth rung of Dante’s Purgatory?
And if war is sport where does art begin?
Functionality precedes form. Another archetype.
Bottle washed ashore with a note inside from
some forlorn and forgotten soul. Come soon,
Pegasus, frequent flyer, let us flee to where
there is no OZ, where I can forget God
and warlocks whistling in my ears. Take me
to the core of an awesome starburst blast
where I’ll be a new planet, gas, gust, wanderlust.

Freud running naked down the street salutes
lightning bolts raining like a powerful torrent
of white-hot spears. The Galapagos sinks
into Oblivion with the risen sun. Take a ticket
if you want to issue ad hominem complaints.
I could shove love aside. I could seek counsel.
Let the creepy little demons have their way
for now. Let them perform their osmosis on my
psyche. Chronos outlawed hindsight. It is
grace’s obviation that forces such vicious
minimalist tricks as are favored by gargoyles.

The man in the moon took Silver for a ride around
the corral while the Lone Ranger leaned against the gate
picking his teeth. Pride is of no consequence. I ask,
what possible reason does spring have to reappear?
One need not age to be a sage; other criteria include
lost hair, liver spots, wrinkles, hardened arteries.
Hephaestus refuses to forge more arms; Ares
will have to do with what he’s got. Besides,
Hephaestus’ back aches and he’s seen these wars come to
absolutely nothing. One needs breathing room, space
in order to create anything. Having nothing
to work with has no net effect on the end product.
It was predicted by Savarannah the suspected witch.
They fried her in a big wok until golden brown,
tar and feathered, taxied her to the local crematorium.

Dubious conclusions. Nothing concrete yet. The myth
busted in half. Mystery a ganglion of constellations
spotted between Cassiopeia and prayer. Samson yanks
the pillars down while Delilah combs her hair, relishing
the marble rubble that engulfs her. I’m looking for
tradeoffs, not ripoffs. In magnitude’s magma strength
gathers, marshaling multiple forces that would forsake
a fortuitous destiny for the once-in-a-lifetime taste
of purest ecstasy. This is what luck gets you,
the middle of a donut. And then those thieving poltroons
surround me like Bacchus’ naiads. Drunk on wine
I can hardly dance, saith Roethke. I know, my papa’s
waltz ended tragically too. An epiphany was supposed to
take place. Not suffusion, suffocation, a heart fizzled out.

But hold on! Once scorpions soar from the riven horizon
hope rises anew. These are neutered scorpions
that sting but emit no venom. You cut the festering sty
from the center of my mind’s eye. Have another brew
on me, in fact a round for the whole cast and crew.
I propose a toast. Toast stricken evil. Toast witless
Oblivion. The bottomless pit’s continuum unveiled.
Surest precepts dimmed by the wayward wind.
My papa died with his boots on. How about yours?


by Thomas Piekarski

Capitola, seaside Shangri-la. The salt air
thick along an esplanade that has served
student, tourist and local geriatric patron
for 70 years, come high or low tide.
Capitalistic antichrists drilling for oil ply
south of here, in the Santa Barbara channel.

Mr. Toots a coffee house extraordinaire,
a place to explore the well-stocked
bookshelves, play “Chopsticks” on a black
lacquered piano, stretch out and soak in
the smooth jazz and incomparable samba.

On this rainy day the coast is fogged in;
you find within these confessional walls
the pseudo intelligentsia embracing free
Wi-Fi with their ultra intelligent devices.

No oars in the water along this stretch
of gaping Pacific. Termagant winds
prohibit sailing, and the gulls are blown
inland. Cargo ships far from view–a vast
vagina ocean hugs the obscure expanse
all the way to a red vanishing point.

One pains from many deep cravings
like opium, chocolate and perfect love,
wanting to wing astride an invisible dove
bolted from the heart of a purple sun.

No Matter

by Thomas Piekarski

My own God, learning came quick.
I had no blood to spill
as I’d yet to invent myself.

The man I made
shielded from his shadow
like an internet link
yearning to be clicked.

And then I switched:
the perception of what
once wasn’t fabrication
suddenly inimitable.

Fate’s obfuscation
utterly impossible.

Quite trite to say
that evermore
grain didn’t matter.