I held my hand out, and in it a cue ball turned,
whirled for the word of a world gone bananas.
The cue ball spun like a quasar, and sang to me,
marrying there the light and shadowy distance.
I shook my head and gasped, for I was alone,
intrepid serf without a home. Homeless, yes,
but steadfast, not seeing any reason to regret
there was no alternative to this mechanized life.
Death would be my measure, love my glory.
I ached to climb the ladder that yesterday fell
twenty stories down a stairwell and crashed.
Then I fled into the museum where Rembrandts
wasted my time. I wished they would capsize
like the lad who bet me ten bucks that he could
ride his bike up the ramp with no hands. Oh how
sand slipped between my toes as I shooed flies!
I withheld rue since to mine own self I remained
true. Why can’t you hear? asked the mouse lodged
in my ear. A litany of inklings zoomed through my
entire being. And this me a supposedly solid man
from bow to stern. Art’s obscure logic seemed dead
as a parrot frying in a skillet. And although thugs
continued to make a mockery of me, nevertheless
participants in the dance created room for romance.
I knew that slaughter betides all those who refuse to
comply: pepper had replaced salt on the plain. Still
that cue ball continued on its mission sans surcease.
And nothing the gal in sheer blue nylons would say
could make this day in the beyond deny that which
resided inside it, every law known to man. I thought
that despite all my flaws I should bend but not break,
knowing well what divides us is an omnivorous sea.
My mind reeled back to the old woman who rocked
a baby’s crib while petting her favorite Pomeranian.
She’d grown disingenuous, had nothing much to save,
and avenues of mascara cascaded down her cheeks.
But no one could accuse her of spawning any dissent.
No dissent, I said to myself, no dissonance allowed.
Only harmony with the rocky coast and red sunshine
I cuddled as though they had actually materialized.
Indian Review | Author | Thomas Piekarski is a former editor of the California State Poetry Quarterly. His poetry and interviews have appeared in Nimrod, Portland Review, Kestrel, Cream City Review, Poetry Salzburg, Boston Poetry Magazine, Gertrude, The Bacon Review, and many others. He has published a travel guide, Best Choices In Northern California, and Time Lines, a book of poems.