Zumwalt Poems Online

Archive for July, 2011

They’ve Stripped the Forest for Babble

They’ve Stripped the Forest for Babble

Reams and reams
             The black-ink symbols innundate
             Flooding consciousness with printed words
                                          that possess
             Definitions but know no meaning
            political history of Byzantine hydraulics.
                        Dewey decimal has run rampant
                        Chasing, haunting, even lurking
                                  in the restroom
                        Parasitically clinging to the walls
 Stark and blatant waste or frivolous gaud
                        Venus dies --
                                   --    nonsensical nausea                       
                        The ice-age is returning

— Zumwalt (1974)



      Treading on thin lines
   Like a marginal ropewalker
         A lively rosalia
Imitates the chains of population
         And a farandola
   Is forced to associate
         With septuplets.
         Grapes and fapes
   And berries and cherries
     Are often used in wine
   While the stronger stuff
        Will bear no fruit
            But would rather
  Base its structure on grain.
    A foundation falters when
               The edifice
                   Is too
And that is why there are  
                                            building codes
                                 And yet laws may be broken
       And in      such              disasters
                           Man's fate will tumble like a
                                           hippopotamus on 

— Zumwalt (1974)

Alizarian Grand Slam

Alizarian Grand Slam

         Manifest crescendos
Homeopathically kneepanning Santa Fe plethora
  Safely soaking with the mangoes.  Are there
         Any removable transversals
      Balancing on the Pawnee Indian?
       Saliva adorns my peanut butter.

— Zumwalt (1973)

Trilogy of the Oblique Carbide

Trilogy of the Oblique Carbide

I. Judge Crater Is No More 

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
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)

Imperfect information

Imperfect information

You and I face off
with battleships on secret squares
sequentially taking pot shots wherever we chose.

A thin board separates our lines of sight
A thick carpet, underneath.

This is a sequential game
even when I attack out of turn
each and every move
is built on the one before.

Round after round
we proudly announce
a target square.

Sometimes we hit
Sometimes we miss
But never fail to attack.

Salvo, my friend
When you are most relaxed
and think all is calm waters.

As long as there are ships afloat
There will be missiles launched
across these now choppy seas.

Salvo, my friend
All shots at once
against our better judgment.

As long as there are missiles to launch
There will be ships targeted
aggravating these now choppy seas.

But once it is clear
there is some chance at sinking even one ship
We pull back,
bend the rules,
re-arrange our positions,
put some ships
in reserve,
deny any cease fire
and secretly fill out our battle reports.

-zumwalt (2011)



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)



jack be nimble
jack be quick
but man, the fates cry like babies in soiled diapers, don’t try to be
jack —
it might stick.

-zumwalt (1990)

%d bloggers like this: