INAUGURAL BALL, Thomas Piekarski

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.
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About barkingsycamores 183 Articles
Barking Sycamores is a literary journal entirely edited and operated by queer neurodivergent people of color. We publish poetry, artwork, short fiction (beginning with Issue 3), creative nonfiction (beginning with Issue 8), and hybrid genre work (beginning with Issue 9) by emerging and established neurodivergent writers as well as essays on neurodiversity and literature and book reviews (beginning with Issue 10).

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