Avant-Garde — Thomas Piekarski

1. Virtuoso

Gaudi, Picasso, Mozart of Modern Poetry,
come forth. Pour your soul into the mold,
let it cool into its natural shape.

Behold the onerous obstructions ahead,
maudlin gods, banshees, dead leprechauns
tearing at one another for the chance
to guide you to a banished atmosphere.

By slaying Fear you’ll persevere,
send them reeling all the way back
to their inanimate makers, thankful
you favored immediacy over
mortality in your decision to
spare them a final solution.

2. Imperialist

Imperialist Hans Christian Solo
can’t outlast the karmic clock,
isolated by self-idolatry,
growing alkaline in Alcatraz,
appearing jejune, but sharp
as shark teeth slicing a loon.


The war finally at a close,
the time had come to divide
the awful spoils,
divvy that hemisphere
where the poor lay prostrate
in burgs constructed from
chipped bricks
of pulled-down castles.
Those people aptly sorted,
hand selected to stand
in one of two rows, dead
left, ordained on the right.
Announced over loudspeakers
this was necessary
and had a hidden purpose.

Those in control
tersely dismissed
from the new constitution
recognition of any number
of borders and species
as erstwhile, extinct.

Reportedly this tactic
devised to assure
the new world order
appropriate traction.

And no one raised a peep.


Thomas Piekarski is a former editor of the California State Poetry Quarterly, as well as Associate Editor of Impact magazine and The Literary Monitor. His poetry and interviews have appeared in dozens of literary journals internationally, including Nimrod, Portland Review, Kestrel, Cream City Review, Poetry Salzburg, Boston Poetry Magazine, The Journal, Gertrude, and Annapurna. He has published a travel book, Best Choices In Northern California, and Time Lines, a book of poems. He lives in Marina, California.