Zumwalt Poems Online

forgery sorcery

forgery sorcery

The goal to cajole grains of glimmering gold
from metallically murky, stir-fried mercury through nucleosynthesis control
is now achieved, yet not well received
by those with untold holdings yet unsold.

I started with some crumbs of platinum a month ago
selling my Renault and mortgaging my sixteen acre château
to secure enough on-hand bank-roll dough for the necessary cash-flow
but only a empty-headed fool would continually and conspicuously crow
about changing Romanée Conti Bordeaux into Duckhorn Three Palms Merlot.

So I replaced periodic-table element seventy-eight with element eighty
developing techniques to create the critical intermediate step relatively safely
and though initial results were predictably shaky
eventually I achieved my very own praiseworthy mercury-to-gold bakery.

Yes, it’s now just a simple mechanical execution
taking Mercury 197 plus one neutron
and through proper subatomic distribution
arriving at stable Gold plus one positron
through a process somewhat akin to intrastellar fusion.

Now even though it costs three million dollars an ounce to achieve this feat
the knowledge of this deed
has put second thoughts into the usually well-informed Wall Street
so that worldwide
all precious metal traders,
short-term speculators
and long-term investors are taking the heat
and following world gold prices into retreat.

Meanwhile the government has confiscated my lab
locking me in prison somewhere south of Bagdad
gobbling up my research in one heart-wrenching land-grab
then ultimately failing despite taking their best go-at-it-shower-scene stab
with the well-represented public picking up the final multi-trillion dollar tab.

Now gold sells for ninety dollars an ounce
awaiting an expected but not yet quantifiable dead cat bounce
and soon, the rumor is,
     the President and other heads of states will publicly announce
that all world currency — dollars, coins, crowns and pounds —
are now ultimately, reliably and dependently sound.

But I know better — nothing minted or printed has worth
and metals themselves are just so much galactic debris dug from the earth —
the only time anyone really ever gets fully and satisfactorily reimbursed
is when the solemnly chosen,
     deep-frozen icy-emotion,
     softly spoken, dark-dress-devotion pallbearers
     load the carefully sealed,
     hints-of-some-hereafter-to-be-revealed shiny black-top coffin into the hearst.

— Zumwalt (2011)


Comments on: "forgery sorcery" (20)

  1. I love this, old and new, fantasy and true! I love the part about the government confiscating you lab and imprisoning you somewhere south of Baghdad… close to the mark!! The whole thing is full of comedy and pathos and I truly wish I had written it !! Bravo …. I will not be around to comment for a few days ..outside elements of the “real world” invading my secret place! Be well, be happy and P.T.Y.P.


  2. absolutely genius! never leave your reader a moment to think because you do it so very well for him…….. I didn’t have time to think, I was just whisked away into the beat of thius thing… this poem sounded like an absolute song in my head! From the amazing long “o”‘s in the first couple of stanzas, to the “eeeee”‘s of “y” and the yuns of “ion”‘s, it took me on an absolute journey! It was fun, exciting, turbulent because I couldn’t even guess where the next verse was going to take me. Half way through I started thinking you should give up the gold quest and take on something sure to send you to the poorhouse, like dabbling in Iraqi currency exchange, and then there you go off to an Iraqi prison! And then describing the falsehood of currency valuation…….! But true to form and what I love about your poetry is that your last stanza is like a climax, you know, those middle lines absolutely sang to me like a bass drum chorus, ba Boom ba Boom ba Boom ba Boom! It’s like the end of a fireworks show when all night they have just been teasing you and now they throw everything they’ve got into the sky at once! A phenomenal piece and an easy, enjoyable read…….


  3. with every poem of yours that i read i learn more about poetry writing.. you write such amazing, emotion filled poems.. loved this one.. 🙂


  4. this was frickin’ excellent!! enjoyed it from the first to the last line and went through all kind of different emotions while reading…top notch piece…wow!


  5. willowdot21, johnallenrichter, abichica, claudia,

    Thanks very much for the great comments! Appreciate you taking the time to say so much!

    The best part of this is that you enjoyed this poem. 🙂


  6. Wow, Alchemy man, huh? An Alchemist of words, that’s for sure. Oh, by the way, you can go ahead and bake the bread pudding you stashed away for the rainy day…cause it’s pouring down here.

    Yeah, this poem, or rap song, or whatever you penned it as is awesome!!! Had me wondering if I had clicked onto Sir Isaac Newtons site, with the talk of the Alchemy, or Sir Paul McCartney and the Jets.

    It also quickly put me in mind of the Egyptian Legends,and Bible mention of Kore, who supposedly either had the Midas touch, where everything he touched turned to Gold, or in keeping with the Egyptian belief, and a mention of him in the Quran, maybe even practiced turning metals into Gold…Either way, the Bible account ends with God opening the desert floor, and swallowing both, Kore, and his gold.

    One thing is for sure, you’ve struck gold with these Lyrics: GOT MUSIC?


  7. sonsothunder,

    Thanks for the great comments and for the bread pudding!

    I think putting this to music would be a challenge due to the irregular meter — but I guess that would fit in nicely with a progressive rock piece. The question is does the poem support two long instrumental interludes or just one? 😉


  8. Needs to be decorated with conventional embellishments; the rhyming, feet etc., as they are real tests of the writer’s vocabulary and technical expertise… Those who are not good at doing so and those who are incapable brand these requirements, unnecessary.

    I still like your poem since you are a better writer than I am.

    By Mohanakumar


    • Mohanakumar,

      Thanks for your comments!

      The subject of constraints for poetry is always an interesting topic — as is the evolution of such constraints (and lack of constraints as in much of Whitman’s work) since the middle of the 19th century.

      This reminds me of a quote attributed to Zumwalt: “The most important requirement of any poem is that it ends before the reader goes on to something else.”


  9. “deep frozen icy emotion” “softly spoken dark-dress devotion” You have lovely diction in this piece. A whirlwind of emotion. I look forward to visiting your blog again.


  10. I love this ending.

    “load the carefully sealed,
    hints-of-some-hereafter-to-be-revealed shiny black-top coffin into the hearst.”


  11. wastelandexplorer said:

    Hey wonderfully written. Love the use of the words. Also loved how it flowed together.


  12. kjpgarcia and wastelandexplorer,

    Thanks much!


  13. Wonderful! Also, the tags were almost as inspiring as the poem itself.


    • Jared,

      Thanks! I try to not lean too much towards my own intepretation when chosing the tags. In this case I was pretty much sticking to the text of the poem.


  14. Rap, progressive rock; yes, I suppose that fits well enough with what came to my mind as I read it–I was transported into a smoky 50s coffeehouse and listening to a slightly raspy alchemist-performer in his goatee and black beret intone the piece to the accompaniment of the requisite conga playing.


  15. another fantastic poem. you tell your stories very vividly.


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