Zumwalt Poems Online

The last party
(Trivial Pursuit)

She was in the room glowing
a smile on her face
she should have talked to me
or looked at me

Her boyfriend sat across from her
like a cardboard cutout
he should have been alive
or at least awake

another room awaits
bordered by sounds
of new wave existence

friends reach out
alcohol people
a swirl of support
a backdrop of goodness

yellow light flickers
orange perfume clusters about
purple music masks the crowded voices

the little dog scurries
moves with short stubby legs
strawberries sit too long
a phantom plays monotonous percipitations

the game continues
to begin anew
the dice is the leader
the cards are finite

time wanders in a trivial pursuit
following the strewn clothes of lovers in transit
drinks stir, soaking the carpets
choices are made to apologize for chance

time beckons in a trivial pursuit
bubbles of memory
pockets of pain
seasons stacked up, circling to land

time chases in a trivial pursuit
paths are lost forever
relationships crumble from the motion
happiness dies countless deaths

time hates itself in its trivial pursuit
it shoulders the consequences of the fear and grief it spreads
it loses its identity
and is crushed by its existence

colors darken into empty shapes
taste and smell congeal
sounds form into thickening twisted knots

a dog scurries
alone in sympathy
it cannot understand

arms of activity
limitless ferment
dancing in madness
fleeing from feelings

this room is silent
solid and isolated
occupied at times
by present and past

Her boyfriend sat across from her
and he once had been me
He should have been happy
He should have stayed

She was in his life glowing
a blessing of emotion
He should have understood her
or at least communicated

the game never finishes
its motion won’t subside
but its pretense fools the wise
and traps all

the morning rises
timidly, relunctantly
its features are grey
from the last party

— Zumwalt (1985)


Comments on: "The last party (Trivial Pursuit)" (21)

  1. The ambiguous use of trivial pursuits is brilliant , the last party, the last one that occurred or the very last party. It is very sad.


  2. willowdot21,

    Thank you very much!


  3. I’m always surprised to see the dates on some of these poems. This one from 1985 feels like it was written today. There is something universal about it… Written in the 20th, but at home in the 21st!


    • lexidelphia,

      Thanks very much! The popularity of Trivial Pursuit was around its peak in 1984-5 — nice to hear that poem still seems current to more recent readers.


  4. kdoherty89 said:

    This poem is amazing, it fits so well with today’s society I was shocked to see the date. It’s quite well written too. ๐Ÿ™‚


  5. I dunno – I definitely got an 80’s vibe from it, but then again, I was in high school in 1985. (and just so you know – that new background makes it hard to see the text. I had to highlight it to see it all)


    • mareymercy,


      On the display, what browser are you using? I am not showing the background coming over to the text for either IE or Firefox on my PC.


  6. I felt all of this in 1985 ๐Ÿ™‚

    ‘alcohol people’ such a great description

    Thanks for visiting.


  7. I know I have commented on this poem before but each time I read it I see something else that catches my imagination. “this room is silent solid and isolated occupied at times
    by present and past” I have been in that room. XX P.T.Y.P.


    • Christine and willowdot21,

      Thanks much for the comments.

      By the way, if anyone wants to take the time to rate this poem or any other that is appreciated as those rankings are leveraged by the Widget for Rated poems.


  8. There are many things to appreciate about this, Zumwalt. You create the scene to perfection…I visualize the beginning of a drama like CSI where you know something bad is going to happen. You involve the readers emotions and your use of repetition serves the poem well.


  9. this is beautiful!


  10. a snapshot of life and time spent, I enjoyed the read and the observational qualities…
    many thanks for dropping by my 2nd site, hardly anyone visits there. ๐Ÿ˜€ . I use it mainly to test postings and to judge my own reaction as to how something looks. Penx


  11. oh my god, this is incredible. the motions seem clouded, as if through a shattered looking-glass. i absolutely loved it!! xx


  12. woooooooooowww!!! amazing..


  13. liv2write2day, Reese, penpusherpen, glitteringsootonhereyelashes and abichica,

    Thanks very much for your comments. Very much appreciated!


  14. Wow…what incredible and moving words; the regret just pours out of the poem.

    Beautiful work!


  15. “happiness dies countless deaths”

    That is a novella right there – there are worlds within each word ……I am so impressed ! Glad to have connected ๐Ÿ™‚



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