(A rumination in 3 strokes)
Stroke the First – Dante’s Laugh Another cycle eats its tail While you’ve killed time Hacking through a Frisco fog And now you’re hit Like a mole in headlights Squinting At the fact A circle is endless Welcome to Limbo That flag’s still out there Snapping, flapping And the crowd’s sweaty Joke’s on you Dante chuckles As you strap on your spikes Man – Don’t you know? Gotta be hip To run with the damned. Stroke the Second –Odyssean Oddity In overdrive Wheels greased You’re GORGED On road But that ribbon is still stretched to the horizon A long licorice lane Tugged tenuous to…where? Dream of flight (if you please) Call it a runway Call you a cab They’re just Distorted digressions By a lightheaded cyclist Sailing through a sapped psyche So split-S And barrel roll Down the desolate wind tunnel Of the vortex of your cortex You’ll soon discover A midget aviator can still get wind-sheared Fast as you can shout mayday. When the whitecoats eavesdrop On your black box They’ll start To find You never left the ground. Stroke the Third – This one’s for you So— Thought you’d spend Eternity (Well, maybe just a slice, thanks) In a beer ad Grabbing gusto Well – You sucked Untold sudsy shadows down Got your PR buzz Time to check your itinerary When you do You’ll spot your spot On a Mobius strip Crazy coordinates on a hellish helix With nowhere to go And no way home Not to worry Once more around and Once you grab that brass ring You will realize It’s mostly air.
— Zumwalt (D.C. ca. 1982)