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.