Pineapple Express

by Thomas Piekarski
The Great Flood

Bonaventura Peeters the Elder, “The Great Flood” (first half of 17th century)

Pineapple Express

The wet pineapple express is on its way,
holds the grief of many a bygone day.
Irises shrug in fields already drenched,
anonymous and unapologetic.
Lines written with fanciful words
could thrive beyond the storm clouds,
but here in my apartment I’m mute.

A pineapple express makes men twitch
at the thought of their property flooded.
When power goes out and blinded eyes
can no longer make out his shadow
the new age man will wilt like a leaf
trapped in rays of hot sunlight.

This city of aborted dreams takes on
a thick gray pallor as wind picks up.
Its drains plugged, gobs of sludge
will be forced through pipes to the sea.
And yet little empathy resides
in the wary or disenfranchised,
with only nature to accuse.

Many prefer to hide in snug quarters,
shun the threat, but wail inwardly,
bemoaning sun, moon, the rain,
couriers of manufactured pain.
They will not be altered, nor prone
to care much when the dam fails.

For them, esoteric faith
takes up some of the slack,
promotes hollow prayers,
pleas that their homes be spared.
Although flabbergasted, afraid,
they’ll endure whatever comes.

They were designed by their maker
to feel mainly forlorn, sold out, cheated.
The pineapple express serves to deepen
their distress. Alas the Teeth Mother
emerges slowly at first, draws closer
as skies grow black and blue. She scoffs
at any notion of a viable nuclear freeze.


Lenticular Cloud

The lady wearing amethyst earrings powders her nose
while a dog out on the porch whimpers for a biscuit.
The sheik brags about how many camels he owns,
and a boy on his bicycle veers left, strikes the curb
and flips over. The Delta Queen paddle wheeler
belches soot above a tumultuous river. Newscasts
report homeless perpetually loitering on hot concrete
with flies buzzing around, and a car skitters to a halt,
barely missing the squirrel with an acorn in its mouth.
Sacrifice can be expensive: on the opposite side
of the world soldiers are being blown to smithereens.
Little can be done about that, although something
always materializes because you can’t avoid life.
So they want to take your license away and fine you.
It isn’t fair you say, but fairness is surely subjective,
so why not try a triple-scoop cone and take the bus?
There comes a time that whether rich or poor you’ve
had enough. I was stunned when Abigail’s heart
burst into flames while reading a sex novel. I avoid
hanging out with her because she gripes so much.
Delusion appears to be the byproduct of wishing
you were in some heaven already, a place in which
anonymous angels comb your hair, dress you, bake
delicious pies, do all of the shopping and dusting,
yet don’t over intellectualize the meaning of your
every thought and action. Released from guilt,
rain shed its soothing affirmation on Nancy’s head,
but makeup still doesn’t cover her blue-gray mole.
Duke was about to say something when he fainted
and crumpled like a piece of tissue paper right on
the front lawn. I suppose a parable could be written
about this. Always connect to your inner resources
the shaman urges, he husband of eleven wives.
Finishing touches are being made to a new stadium
bordering on a hollowed-out metropolis frequented
by pickpockets. At the gym Stu babbled about
when he rumbled over a jackrabbit going seventy
on the interstate, and Betty who yesterday graduated
in Social Engineering filed for divorce this morning.
Melancholy can emerge when in a holistic trance,
shooing hobgoblins from one’s transitory mind.
My concern would be much reduced if Ben
would finally get with it and not be fixated on death,
coaxing silly superstition into his personal asylum.

About the author

Thomas Piekarski

Thomas Piekarski is a former editor of the California State Poetry Quarterly. His poetry has appeared in such publications as The Journal, Poetry Salzburg, Modern Literature, The Museum of Americana, South African Literary Journal, and Home Planet News. His books of poetry are Ballad of Billy the Kid, Monterey Bay Adventures, Mercurial World, and Aurora California.

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