Zumwalt Poems Online

Archive for the ‘P’ Category

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)

The Sassoon Collection: x. Particle Show


The Sassoon Collection

x. Particle Show

AND still they come and go: and this is all I know—
That from the mind I watch an endless particle-show,
Where wild and listless forces flicker on their way,
With charged and uncharged parts from small stringy strands
Because all spin so fast, and they’ve no place to stay
Beyond the frozen image of imagined lands.

And still, between the shadow and the image made,
The first desire of all of us flings onward, ever betrayed
As in those stimulant years that weight them, and have passed:
All minds must grasp these particles dancing much too fast.

– Zumwalt (2011)

Copyright © 2011

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)

propulsive retraction


propulsive retraction

because he retreats she goes after
now convinced that he is more than worthy of her
and when he approaches she retreats
certain that she would be accepting
less
than what she can get

she is unaware of how she is
pulled
and
pushed back and forth like
moonlit
tide of some California beach
she
is only aware of some vague confusion
and exasperation

in this marketplace you look carefully at weight and shape, knowing that
it is impossible to judge
content

in this marketplace you try not to keep a total of cost or the number of
items
taken of the shelf

she momentarily searches to say something
that she can later withdraw
she has aleady forgotten that it always pulls her
hardest
and head first.

— Zumwalt (1991)

plenty of structure


plenty of structure

repeat every action
            deftly
            neatly
            perfectly
until its actuality sinks --
deeply embedded into experience
making the way safe
for any other action

she felt so very much alone growing up
that she is uncertain she ever made it
she understood so little then
that she easily accepts false knowledge now
holding onto it more firmly than she has ever been held

the past
stumbles around
a
run-
down
down-
town                 disoriented
sometimes getting on a bus
only to be chased back into the street

not feeling safe and not far away
the present stays locked in an air conditioned hotel
facing the window
trying to recognize the homeless vagabond below

she thinks thinking will solve her problems
but doesn't want to think about it
she looks for a solution
where she can see it all
without ever having to look

backing away from the window
 driven be the unclear image that remains
   checking the doorknob as well as the latch
     present makes a promise
       that
         it's going to be the last time
 

-zumwalt (1991)

possession


possession

this line is mine

— zumwalt (1998)

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