Zumwalt Poems Online

Archive for the ‘1980s’ Category

The last party (Trivial Pursuit)

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)




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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