The day the bulbous truck stop boss hired me
he swore allegiance to Jesus, attesting
it was due to His will that I was chosen.
Then one bright morning
that will live in infamy
he canned me.
Sure I made mistakes, but none worse
than falling for that poisonous vixen,
the trucker’s slut who insisted
the boss was patently evil,
and that only she could be trusted
with my private opinions.
I exhorted fresh love, passion and poetry
to her, grand Parisian nights,
San Francisco’s finest cuisine,
the wisdom of Eric Burdon.
She rewarded me by sinking fangs
into my shoulder blades while I slept,
injecting insidious venom
that not even a top chemist,
astute microbiologist nor alchemist
could identify with the aid
of monocle and powerful microscope.
That vicious megalomaniac boss
slashed me to ribbons
with a vituperative onslaught,
rating my performance
super sub par.
He thought me gullible enough
to sign an admission of guilt,
some hokey distortion
of half truths and lies
alleging gross incompetence.
Despite the catastrophic effects
of this unspeakable tragedy,
I resolved to take up the day
floating on early May pollens.
So I split the diesel-locked Santa Nella,
put Pea Soup Anderson’s restaurant
in my rear view mirror, and cruised,
eventually landing on
laissez faire Main Street Merced.
My incognito celebration consisted
of a stroll through sunblitzed
Clocktower Park, then a pop in
over at O’Shaughnessy’s pub
where merriment typically abounds.
A maniacal motorcycle roared
through a green light. Piercing
car alarm. Sparrows cheeped
in a wistful wind,
and some Jamaican crazy
with a plastic bag over his hair
wandered dangerously close
to oncoming traffic.
An openly gay gal sporting
pink polka dot shorts and cool
felt beret, yakked on a cell
while virtually hippity-hopping
down the shadowy sidewalk.
Aqua and tangerine tinted bulbs
chic outside the newly restored
20’s vintage Merced Theater.
The majority of the city’s Mexicans
amped for the impending
Cinco de Mayo shindig:
los osos son allegre en Yucatan.
Way down upon a Swanee Riverplayed again and again in my brain
made me think what Davy Crockett said,
“be sure you’re right and then go ahead”
was a smokescreen, an absolute bust.
Why do people go on performing
as though so-called halcyon days,
“Lassie” and “My Three Sons” days
were better than the current crop?
No doubt it has much to do
with the Madison Avenue mob,
those titans of international enterprise
with hats on backwards.
The way it was, whenever
a fizzling atom couldn’t find
a fracture to escape to
it would explode, expanding space.
This would naturally compound
a grand geographical shift,
sending the people’s party
Yes, there was chemistry.
But it all came crashing through
the atmosphere at meteoric speed.
Rather than get catty or insolent
how about trying a little patience?
Do you expect someone to succeed
in an environment of vice and hatred?
When I was a little boy
they brought bottled milk
to the doorstep, placed it
in an insulated tin box.
When you look down from
eight miles high, what you observe
is anything but what you’d expect
were you subject to circumspection.
If you keep taking cash advances
you’ll eventually wind up owing
the piper, a pauper be, not worth
platinum bubbling in Earth’s core.
I’m off your radar, hanging to
the the fin of a 58 pink Cadillac
as it reaches azimuth at minus
a trillion degrees fahrenheit.
The inevitable nouveau mythos on vacation
from infinite instant ignition for once
placed its valedictory epiphanies on hold.
Worlds apart in another quadrant of a quark’s
otherwise hidden dimension extended intentions
in advance of impregnable catastrophe.
Thomas Piekarski is a former editor of the California State Poetry Quarterly. His theater and restaurant reviews have been published in various newspapers, withpoetry and interviews appearing in numerous national journals, among them Portland Review, Kestrel, Cream City Review, Nimrod, New Plains Review, Poetry Quarterly, and Clockhouse Review. He has published a travel guide, (Gable &Gray), and Time Lines (Nimbus Press), a book of poems. He works as a fine art salesman in Carmel-By-The-Sea, California.