This world can't let you down, can't garnish your wages.
     You can give in, but the world doesn't. Where did
Mozart go? Gone in a flash. The twin towers reduced to
     the ash heap of history. This faux republic America
consumed in a fireball of Christmas hydrogen. Heavenly
     sun, smile your healing smile, and shoot quarks
into the empyrean of dense matter we will all become.

What respite from travail, drone of endless advertisement?
     Mandrake at the London Palladium on the 11th.
Hurry and get your tickets. Life is dear and liberty comes
     at a steep price. Madonna with child suckling
bounds over borders and awesome frontiers. Forests halted
     like pharaoh's army in its tracks by ominous flood.
We hear sighing and singing flaunted by herons, unashamed,
     roosted atop the crystal ship's flaming torchlight.
Our generation's best minds won over by technology. If only
     you could grasp and hold the world in hand like a pea.

The salesman anxious to button a deal uses the Ben Franklin
     close, lists advantages in the left column, disadvantages
the right. From birth there has been this indigenous ape in him,
     call it Cro-Magnon. And while the bay widens by the tenth
of an inch, oxygen-rich barnacles are finally exposed. But this
     isn't the end of it—Earth has options. It will freely state
its opinions and objectives even though they fall on those deaf
     cauliflower ears of shrinking stars and sunken boats.
Relevant better than good. Shine, immaculate concept, shine!

Thomas Piekarski is a former editor of the California State Poetry Quarterly. His poetry and interviews have appeared in Nimrod, Portland Review, Kestrel, Cream City Review, Poetry Salzburg, Boston Poetry Magazine, The Journal, Gertrude, The Bacon Review, and many others. He has published a travel guide, Best Choices In Northern California, and Time Lines, a book of poems. He lives in Marina, California.