Inaugural Ball by Thomas Piekarski My blood bloomed in one aborted afternoon’s wide clearing. I beheld apostles rising from a mushroom cloud, and angels drinking liquefied bowels of goats. Those supernatural images left me half paralyzed. It’s been written that no harm can befall the truly ubiquitous spirit, but from such notions I was excised, anacondas slithering across the fallow field. I stood in awe while my words convened in stellar catacombs. Rich temples had been blown to bits, and their pieces orbited with dizzying speed. Love would offer some solace, but not enough to dampen distress my openly adulterous empress dealt. The cards had been right, I was walking the plank, would plunge headlong into a gaseous ocean. Bountiful visions and mountains of knowledge exploded upward through my soul filled with holes. A dead sun slumped overhead. Then from lava flow the gunslinger emerged, electrified seraph meant to shoot a crystal bullet through my heart. Those marshes on which herons traditionally rested dried up now. Furious winds in overdrive. I was emasculated, unable to think out of the box, and yet I could have crushed eternity in my hand like soup can. Beautiful bridges from Verona to Toronto had been demolished, the exit routes all boarded off. No trees anywhere, whole nations lost in the labyrinth of history. Poets loitered and groused, having wasted their shots at immortality. Priests prayed but to no avail. Entire populations had dared challenge Medusa’s countenance and become stone elements, their lives having ground to a halt. A ghost train rambled along foggy tracks, running perpendicular to the tactile world, carrying cargo undetectable by human senses. Prescience, most laudable, had been abandoned. Bees retracted, tubular bells caroled, and saltwater urchins seethed to locate rare polyps of oxygen. Prophets who blathered esoteric parables were unconvincing. Cyber spies motes that zinged like black positrons. Feathered pentagrams floated inside my eyes, stars materializing, my past illusions ingested in the guts of atomized dreams. Streams of light jetted every direction, perhaps regrettable although sorrow was incapable of being felt because it was substituted for disgrace, nobody believing anything of importance weighed in the balance.
Thomas Piekarski is a former editor of the California State Poetry Quarterly. His poetry and interviews have appeared widely in literary journals internationally, including Nimrod, Portland Review, Mandala Journal, Cream City Review, Poetry Salzburg, Pennsylvania Literary Journal, Boston Poetry Magazine, and Poetry Quarterly. He has published a travel book, Best Choices In Northern California, and Time Lines, a book of poems.