Zumwalt Poems Online

Archive for the ‘A’ Category

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)

Indefinite

Indefinite

A

— Zumwalt (2012)


 

A poem without

a title

rhyme

meter

or proper punctuation

— Zumwalt (2012)

A title without a poem


 

— Zumwalt (2012)

Afternoon Off

Afternoon Off

Muscling for the right of way
With horn-blast exclamations
Traffic mutters its scat song score

The sun today
Like most days
Doesn’t shine postcard gold and honeyed
It glares
Through the inversion layer
A klieg light in a smoky cabaret
But
Just the same it warms
The square

Sprawled on the grass
Midtown midday characters in
Pershing’s street show
Young Chicanos scout for chicks
And advertise adolescence
Studied, casual, tough

Some shirtsleeve transient
Sporting scrimshaw arms
Scans a racing form
His shoe leather face focused more
On Santa Anita
Than the saints
Shouted, proclaimed
By an antique black
Whose white wisps of whiskers
Cling to his accusing chin
Clouds about a crag
That trembles with every thundered damnation
As the old man makes the park
His pulpit

Basking in my own insouciance
I consider
How best to consume the remainder of the day

Perhaps a saunter to the Biltmore
To grab a joe and watch for ghosts
Or a march upcountry to Bunker Hill
To glimpse the glass castles
Mercantile and magnificent
Then again
I might, like a rookie on the bench,
Sit attentive, listening
To the traffic
And the sermon
And see what happens
Next

— Zumwalt (ca. 1977)

The Sassoon Collection: ii. A pickle and a black hole

The Sassoon Collection

ii. A pickle and a black hole

Mass and form had the pickle, sweet, sour, tall and straight;
The round black hole collapsing still further then it knew
Made its longest shadow with gravity
A ghostly bridge ’twixt the pickle and space.
But stars, with their continuous day, must pass;
And blustering winds will stretch all gherkins
to which I’ve no measurements to express
the moment of conjunction,
a singularity with no exit
for stars and pickled cucumbers alike.

— Zumwalt (2011)

The Sassoon Collection: v. Auto Tunes

The Sassoon Collection

v. Auto Tunes

I keep such music in my car
No din this side of death can quell;
Deep bass booming over tar,
And excess forged in death-metal hell.

My dreaming demons will not hear
The roar of guns that would destroy
My life that no gleeful gloom can fear
Proud-surging passages of painful joy.

To the world’s end I drove, and found
Death in his carnival of hidden stash;
But in this torrent I was drowned,
And music screeched above
the fiendishly beatific
headlight-lit
fiber-glass,
glittering, splintering,
metalliferous crash.

— Zumwalt (2011)

a single word

a single word

words, words, words
static over static
drilling deeply thru the dentine
scraping invasively against skull and skin

your line of supply is inexhaustible
arguments, propositions, explanations
predications, exclamations, excuses
all unecessary barking and bow-wowing
at hidden celestial objects

I am here
don’t chase me away
unless you want me
to be chased away

I am yours
don’t bombard
your own firmly secured posessions with
ammo best saved for those territories still unconquered

give me short compact sentences
phrases and single words
ideas as consumable as quarter pounders

don’t shove a hose down my throat
filling me with mashed escargot and foie gras

words, words, words
I can’t sustain a relationship with them
pelting me from every angle at every moment that
we’re together

take your finger off the trigger
I surrender
make me a prisoner
not a confirmed casualty

words, words, words
they all sound the same
they don’t mean anything
they just demean, meander
and make me end up thinking
that when all is said
I haven’t heard
a single word.

— Zumwalt (1990)

asleep

asleep

My arm fell asleep
one night
and I wiggled my fingers
and then wiggled my hand
and then even my entire arm
yet numbness prevailed.

My heart fell asleep
one night
and I didn’t much care
about the starving children in East Africa
or the endangered whales in Western Alaska.

My brain fell asleep
one night
and I could no longer sort out
why I was here
or where I needed to go.

These tiny thin-tooth bedbugs bite at my body
munching on my toes,
pilfering fluids from my fingertips.

I stay awake itching
but itching only
makes the itching worse.

I, myself, somehow, finally fell asleep one night
and since then
I bounce from night
to night
forgetting everything
that happened in-between.

— Zumwalt (2011)

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?
Aaeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeiii!
       Saliva adorns my peanut butter.


— Zumwalt (1973)

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