Poetry: “Reckless Abandon” by Thomas Piekarski

El Capitan cloaked in a cloud of angel wing powder;
           art implemented as orgasm that releases
           inhibition and accumulates tintinnabulations…
                       Was it a clump of kelp or a mama sea otter
snuggling a baby on its tummy
that bounced out there atop the salty waves?
                        And would the answer be intelligible
                        if spoken in Gaelic, Martian
           or some language used mostly by flimflam gods?
 
Mom hung laundry on a rotating octagon clothesline
in our dusty poached backyard while delicious plums
           fell by the bushel and she would sing to finches
                        and paisley butterflies aloft
                        in the hot summer sky, thus reverse
           suicidal tendencies of native Earth,
intangible moon and sun. Meanwhile I was captivated
           by zephyrs blowing down avenues
           of ambulant dreams, shapes trapped in time’s dynamo
                         that minced the past and admitted me
                         to a council of unalloyed delights
where I was swaddled at the foot of a slick emerald waterfall.
 
Undisclosed events hibernate in big mysteries like atoms
           that refuse to be split, like a foghorn’s warning
                         inbound ships, a cat’s psychology, czar’s
           calcified bones. And here’s me gone to fish for
humpback whales with a tenuous nylon pole in the middle of
                          a blithe firmament closing in on a destination
                          that constitutes the trophy I can’t win.
        
 “I’m bummed” Jack pouts, “fed up with living a life I don’t fit,”
such an odd pronouncement exhibiting a deep guilt complex.
             At such times you have to counsel Jack
            to calm down, chill out and meditate. Additionally
my waitress Donna was astounded when the boss threatened
                            to can her for not following his code
                            because she dashed outside to give a bag
           to a lady who’d left it at the table. And now Donna
           says she’ll be moving from Monterey next fall
to attend mortician’s school, and doggone there goes my muse.
 
I pinched myself so can attest this was real: “Ok you guys
           line up,” my dad commanded me and my sisters.
           “I want you all to pop your eyeballs out
                       of their sockets, hold them
                        in your hands and then reinstall them
                        at 45 degree angles.” “Why oh why?”
I called out, unwilling to follow his summon. I wouldn’t be able
to stand the pain, and could never again look straight ahead.
           I had the right to protest: the Methodists reduced to ash
                       the Chinese camp at Pacific Grove in protest.
Billy the Kid committed murder to escape the Lincoln County
                       jail in protest. Tommie Smith raised a gloved fist
           to signal black power as a protest. And if puffins
can accentuate ecocide by laying eggs on shrunken icebergs
                       every man and woman may with clean conscience 
                       buck the tide, live or die in any manner despite
           possible punitive consequences, even while shunning  
the counter intuitive call of angel Gabriel’s phenomenological horn.
 
Imagine an Indy driver who has had a stroke and paralyzed
                       on the left side zipping past opponents
           at mesmerizing speed like giant ants that well up
           from a full moon and flee off its waxen edge into space.
Imagine this and you’ll inculcate what it’s like for me to withstand
my head abuzz while I engage heavy traffic on Highway One
                       and then clock in late at work.
                    
 Boil the foul taste out of seaweed; disclose happiness
          by painting a self-portrait. Don’t let sadness
                       take hold just because Phoenix is scheduled
                       to run out of water and leave millions high
           and dry. I’ll magically connect with my monumental self
as I flap wings and span the globe on dulcimer notes
                       while expats of Pompeii
           collect on shores of the Baltic and salute
           lava flows that pass between their legs.
 
The blacksmith become celibate who instinctively lays his head
                       in the lap of an expired pedagogue
                       is a distant cousin to the illegal alien
stooped in the field picking heads of lettuce. I wind up robots
           like inexpensive toys. Confounded in evening shadows
                       factory slaves are stick figures who flog themselves
at the steps of hell’s kitchen, and if you don’t believe this
           take the wine train through the Napa Valley and witness
           grapes of wrath withering on ominously parched hills.
Tallulah Bankhead was the type who would walk backwards
                       miles and miles in a monsoon to get
           what she wanted. I believe it’s just a stone’s throw
                       to Appalachia where Longinus snoozes on a cot
in a field of machine gun shells, which I suppose is what it means
to be a “citizen” in oligarchical Russia, what it is to lie
                        about life as though too young
                        to know the truth. Look closely
           into the eye of the hurricane and you’ll see Mr. Spock
zoom through the bowels of neutron stars in his fashionable
           space ship, which likely vindicates popes who can’t stop
blooming on the lone prairie of emancipated banana slugs.
                       Mademoiselle Constance wiggles like a fat chimp
           and adjusts her bonnet writing a villanelle on a cruise
           down the wide wide Volga while St. Petersburg sweats gold.
I stack smoke signals atop Mount Hood thinking rehearsal
                        will begin soon, anticipating my declassification.
 
Twinkling crystal arks pass unnoticed within the galactic Elysium
           but in the end catalogued as mock images.
                       Cyrus McCormick was an icon up until
                       the Dust Bowl made his reaper ineffectual.
Little kids in thongs dig cigarette butts from sand on bountiful
           Laguna Beach. Swallows at Capistrano have become
                         almost extinct, and California condors
           so awesome and loved by the public get poisoned
                      when they ingest carrion killed
                       by bullets with high lead content.
 
I hope in the next century scribes will not pigeonhole us
           as bad people simply because we failed at conservation,
           defied Nature’s laws and paid a stiff price.
                       Even Allah would admit that quality costs
and you can’t fake it like some trumped-up Aphrodite
           expected to come to the rescue, indemnify
counterrevolutionaries, tanked hedge funds
                       and blinking ruby lights of the cell phone tower
                       on a charcoal night.
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