Zumwalt Poems Online



I tear at it apart
picking at the pieces like an overfed child
making up messages from the steam of alphabet soup cooking in the other

my intentions were theirs
every one

my reactions were initial cause
differences exploded
similarities scattered

in dispersement is the focal point
the key to understanding
this author was a bum
that culture was irrelevant

in imposed confusion is serenity
to get at the gestalt you must first exhaustively examine each particle
as you fling it further away.

I am not sure why this writer hated sonic booms so in the 19th century
and why he was disgruntled about gas mileage and the FBI
it seems silly that he was constantly wondering about mercury fillings
and that soap operas influenced his characterizations.

I chop it so finely it is dust
and blow it at a hand held mirror
I take the mirror and smash it on the table
and notice how my reflection has been expanded —
absent mindedly
picking at the pieces
unaware that I am making up for meaning that I didn’t have
the common sense to read.

-zumwalt (1988)

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