Zumwalt Poems Online


Cousteau and Darwin Move to Suburbia

Like pilot fish
Affixed, transfixed
Upon the gluttonous chin
Of the maneater,
We give thanks and
Humbly suck the detritus
From Fate’s
Serrated mandibles.
The irony of Sophocles
Is just the symbiosis
Of little fish
And unevolved vertebrates
Scrubbing their gills
With polluted waters,
Lacking the initiative
To crawl up the bank, and breathe.

– Zumwalt (1981)

TICKER TAPE PARADE


film-reelTICKER TAPE PARADE

Parody Worship
Smiling in the Dusk of Midnight Eyes
Acting in the Bleakness
of Frosted Minds

Paced Paper Parade –
Pausing Promises Pleading
Past the Cineramic
Sycophantic Sharks

a Coldness Recedes
and Faith Breakers Retreat
into Placebos of Reeling Celluloid

– Zumwalt (1981)

Bull Market


Bull Market

The gardeners have hit the pavement,
Bulldozed by smiling engineers
Optimists—peddling bromides.

Take your pick:
        Withdraw your last fiver
        For a philosophic Wheel-O;
or,
        Hands in your pockets, sardonic
        Watch Babel climb.

“On this spot will be erected utopia”
        Yeah, sure.
        But, the wise man knows Penelope
        Has taken on Ithaca
        And counsels Odysseus to put his
        Money in Krugerrands.

        — Zumwalt (late 1980’s)

deleterious habitat


deleterious habitat

hot southern heat
  baking your alaska
the smog fills your
lungs like sand
                in a dersadrop humidifier

breathing is a function
  and we are approaching an asymptote

three toed sloths trek through the treptremanian soil

burning air and burning phylum
                    cough…
                                  cough…
                                                cough…

It is time to let me out.

– Zumwalt (1974)


might as well forget her


she's
     dropped
            like a hot rock

pizza pipers peddling pieces of purposeful product
not at all like 
           lipstick, perfume, deodorants
                    and other such shallow items

cleatamenthate degarglycide throntine
it does me no good to say i miss her
                          i don't

and if I ever find myself missing her
              then something's missing in me

craters, black light, dew drops, frozen stages, 
         and a topping of dehydrated marshmallow sauce.

the world is full --
          it's full of fools

and common sense has vaporized
       like an ice cube on the sun.

– Zumwalt (1974)

40th Anniversary Post


US40_220

Not sure if it’s something to celebrate, though clearly an excuse to blog, 40 full years have passed since the first published Zumwalt poem, “Trilogy of the Oblique Carbide” appeared in the inaugural issue of GHLM, a low budget literary digest with a circulation of only slightly more than 500 copies.

In this deeply epistemological tribute to the bebop musicality of the beat generation poets, Zumwalt loads the existential bases with the three most essential questions: where does life come from, where does it go, and what is the meaning of life; hinting that the essence of life is eat, get eaten and reproduce.

In the next few months, it is our intent to cajole Zumwalt in releasing any unpublished poems from various dusty scrapbooks and coffee house napkins for initial presentation here at zumpoems.com. Until then here is a reprint of the first ever published Zumwalt poem, from the inaugural issue of GHLM, a low budget literary digest with a circulation of slightly more than 500 copies.

 
TRILOGY OF THE OBLIQUE CARBIDE 

 
I. Judge Crater Is No More 

Help!
There is a fandango up my nose;
   This is justice?
O ironic gods -- can they
Really repossess my pancreas?
And Black and Decker tread on the cosmic puddles
         URRRP!
 
II. Moira 

      My ravioli molded to day...
   The wispy green fuzz eating
Away the corrupted entrails of Alpha Beta 
         Ground sirloin.
Pathos.  Tragedy.  Tricanosis.
         Such is fate.
 
III.  Cry the beloved wingnut 

         Bladderwort lied.
Bigot!  And the hungry children cry 
   In their farina.  Would Rothschild give
Them Twinkies?  Ha!  Let them eat Spackling paste.
   Spush!  Time, the rain-bird, spews
Its indifference towards the continuum of OHM.

-- Zumwalt (1973)

no purchase necessary


no purchase necessary

available
conveniently
select and seize

no contract
no lease
no terms
no conditions

the wild sunbreezed days
spawning and spawned
extra innings without fouls or errors
endlessly imaged in a corridor of mirrors

cloud nine working overtime
free and without obligation
but paradise has a hidden cost
when it is ultimately misplaced

no clue,
no expectation,
no indefinite hunch
no single crumb to munch
just the indigestion
of a bait and switch free lunch
which in retrospect,
not an attractive offering,
even though free,
and initially,
relatively
needily/speedily
back-seat, magic-carpet-ride breezily easy.

– zumwalt (2011)