Zumwalt Poems Online

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The habit of indirection


The habit of indirection

crouched like an audio-animatronic lion
on the destination end of a high hurdle
we find civilius misdirectus
the final evolution of a long chain of
isolated inattentivenesses

it feeds on marathon runners, steeple chasers
and pole vaulters
to fill the intervals
between its favorite meal

off the blocks
directed between lines that narrow into the distance
starts the one
that has carefully measured every step beforehand

no decisions to make on direction, distance or depth
no choices to meet, no chance;
no sudden unexpected moments of chasing the effervescent sparkle
with the distant dream so clearly in the sights

it doesn’t seem like a menace
chips and high tech paper-mâché
waiting patiently at the last of so many carefully counted hurdles
and it doesn’t much move

but civilius midirectus
was designed with one purpose
not to entertain
or even to be the king
but simply
and efficiently
with no remorse
(except where indicated by legal counsel)
to open its volumnous jaws
and direct a glimmer of personal existence
into a very dark stomach of
impersonal
but carefully audited
profit and loss statements

— Zumwalt (04/1998)

Punctured Porcupine


Punctured Porcupine

Banished from Amami Oshima
Along with the pit viper and mongoose
Unclear on underlying circumstances and unspoken utterances
Tentatively testing the brackish toasty waters
Toe after toe
Eyelid after eyelid:
Refigerated, now red-hot, resisting the resolute resilience of
embarrassingly intertwined migrating icebreakers
discreetly disbanding, disentangling devoutly, slow dancing out to sea.

-Zumwalt (2012)

as good as buried


as good as buried
so ball-drained
cause he has to have a chick
                             on the kick

a boomer today and a blow-out tomorrow
he thinks he’s a cool aviator
but it’s not so cool where he always ends up:

another piece of debris among floaters
and when he’s back on the ground
his gears are jammed

for the pleasure has turned to pain
and will remain
until another connection.

— Zumwalt (1974)

hairytoes


hairytoes

By being able to select
from unlimited, boundless choice
I confuse a frightened mosquito mind with
possibilities and potentials

and so I restrain
and constrain my selections
by a dreamed reality
that has up/down,
right, left
front back and
then and now (now and then.)

So much like Crazy Eights, Monopoly and countless sit-coms
there is a start and end:
a start I don’t remember but have been retold,
an end that I can’t know or even squint at.

My hairy sister has hairy toes
but we keep her in a closet amongst the clothes
and pinch her cheeks with feigned hospitality:
a time-tested approach to growing this pretended, sequential, unexplainable, territorial reality.

— zumwalt (2011)

the wreck of goodwill


the wreck of goodwill

every dime counted
seemed to count itself
but the pennies were the trouble spot
and the cost of all goodwill.

— Zumwalt (1998)

Indefinite


Indefinite

A

— Zumwalt (2012)



 

A poem without

a title

rhyme

meter

or proper punctuation

— Zumwalt (2012)

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