Sonnet for Kasparov

As day­break wakes the grimy check­ered street,
fail­ure emerges — as a manic Czar
of Russia sham­bles past the Bishop’s Bar -
with an automaton’s un­gainly feet.

The crum­bling curb­side has be­come his seat
of power. Routed in a white queen’s war,
he lost his forces fight­ing from afar
and endgame, great rooks swarmed to his de­feat.

Around him cas­tled higher by the state,
pawns have been elec­tron­i­cally hewn,
liv­ing like kings with­out their clothes. His knight–

hooded by rank and file, he can­not fight
them down be­low. Evicted by Deep Blue’s
chil­dren he lost a gam­bit with his fate.

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