Here we go again with steel hammers and iron anvils
clocking in at the dream factory. We instigate
fair trade in a fortuitous flow of productivity
then jam on the brakes when the comedy ends—
switch off the axons that drive motivation,
allow the moat around us to fill, then swim.
There is a bannister to slide down, a clean carpet
to land on, and everything in the house dusted:
nobody trusts an open-ended mind that won’t shut.
When cars leave the factory they roll out assembled
as items we hope prove functional, useful, profitable.
The labor lost is regained in a methodical process
of transitioning days into dollars and vice versa.
In the private little tête-à-tête that goes on
in one’s mind, making the calculations wash
justifies industry in action, as artificially flavored
coffee cream satisfies. Something undetectable then
resolved, which when given equal opportunity
makes the hammer drive the nail straight.
Thomas Piekarski is a freelance writer and former editor of the California State Poetry Quarterly. His theater and restaurant reviews have been published in various newspapers, with poetry and interviews appearing in numerous national journals, among them Kestrel, cream city review, Nimrod, The Portland Review, and New Plains Review. He has published a travel guide, Best Choices In Northern California, and Time Lines, a book of poems.