Zumwalt Poems Online

Posts tagged ‘humor’

Hands Off, Bob Avakian!

Hands Off, Bob Avakian!

Shuffling
— In dark and dank
Howling
— A dialectic chant.

Genuflect to the rotund Mongol
Take, eat
This is my body
Of confusing, Confucian
Union by laws.
“Forgive me, Dad:
            I did a Tenzing Norgay
            On the north gate of the White House.”
“Ego te absolvo –
            You did it for the proles.”

— Zumwalt (1981)

keptomania

keptomania

gather all that gathers up
To grab for good as gravy should be grabbed
To claim one’s stake for keeping sake
and reserve away from all

greed and gluttony strapped in gunnysack
gimply put away all the wayward weighs
wasted once and recycled past

kept pets,
kept toys,
kept keys to control access

slaves, maids,
husbands, wives,
siblings, offspring
access to premium cable

I seize the day and don’t let go
I am stuck in the ultra-glare of the sun
we are at a standoff
I must have it
but it hides soon enough
hurried away by the horizon

the thief
like the state
thinks nothing is ours

the state
like the thief
wants it all
until ours is nothing

I control the corner
when I step out of
the crosswalk lines
I watch how the cars
must veer away

should we go for it all
or issue stop losses
trailing furtively at the underbelly of bollinger bands?

grace and forgiveness
get in the way of my layaway plan
I put something down
and say it’s mine

keep it
keep up
keep going
keep alive
keep quiet

keep house
keep around
keep open
keep close
keep away

keep at it
keep up with
keep in touch
keep me in mind

keep busy
keep track
keep on truckin’
keep a tune

keep good counsel
keep your independence
keep your word
keep you from harm

keep regular hours
keep the right time
keep up appearances
keep appointments

keep the peace
keep the law
keep good company
keep the ball rolling
keep a secret
keep the correct time

keep them in sight
keep your cool
keep your powder dry
keep your hat on
keep your mouth shut
keep your hands off
keep an eye out
keep at arm’s length
keep your nose clean
keep a stiff upper lip
keep a close watch

keep the car running
keep the dogs out

keep the faith
keep the commandments
keep the sabbath

keep the straight and narrow
keep them on the edge of their seats
keep them against their will
keep the wolf from the door

keep down a good man
keep it in your pants
keep it together
keep the change

keep me company
keep me posted
keep me going
keep what we have

keep it away
keep it in good taste
keep it moving along

keep the prize
keep it all
keep what you can
keep what’s left
keep deluding yourself
that you only own what you have
and you only have what you own
keeping one thought all along
and keeping for keeps
(both liked and unliked,
marked up, marked down,
taken, unlocked,
cracked, hacked and uncaulked,
packages, kits, kilts, kippers, woks and yaks,
hooks, corks, kimonos, kimchee, caskets and casks,
books, backpacks, rakes, cakes, and wrinkled,
crinkled tickets for the clack-clack rackety tracks of oft-mocked,
poky,
flaky,
shaking,
creaking,
slinking,
sinking, red-inking,
budget-breaking Amtrak)
keepsakes for the sake of keeping

— Zumwalt (2011)

Two Decade Hangover

Two Decade Hangover

An oscillating madness
Like the twenty-year howl
Of impotent hyenas—
Shrill
Shrieking
Schlock—
Blows the encumbering cobwebs
And reveals the
Fundamental dry rot.
Crewcuts
Brylcream
Primal chords
Jerk the memories and mores
Back to the visceral
Atavistic anarchy
Spotlighting Spengler
             As an optimist.

— Zumwalt (1981)

The Sassoon Collection: viii. Middle Age

The Sassoon Collection

viii. Middle Age

I heard a creak, and a groan
And felt a twinge of wooden pain
A man running in a crowd
Deep in its shadow he moved.
‘Ugly work!’ thought I,
Gasping for breath.
‘Time must be cruel and proud,
‘Tearing down this body.’

With gutsy glimmering shone
my dignity as the wind grew colder.
This aging man jogs over the hill,
Bent to make the grade
‘There is no gain without further pain’…
Sluggishly passing the trees.
Aches in the joints were shrill,
As unmeasured steps sank into the hard asphalt.

— Zumwalt (2011)

Copyright © 2011

The Sassoon Collection: vi. The imperfect cook

The Sassoon Collection

vi. The imperfect cook

I never ordered something to be perfect,
Though often I’ve asked for fiery spicy or without sugar as a small invasion
Of mastering cooking.

I never asked that your dishes
Might stand, unburnt, moist and savory
Pointing the way toward gastronomical peaks like a sign-post.

Oh yes, I know the way to the heart is easy.
We found the little menu of our passion
That all can share who walk the road of gourmands.
In wild and succulent feasting we stumbled;
And sweet, sour, bitter, salty and spicy senses.

But I’ve grown sated now. And you have lost
Your early-morning freshness of surprise
At creating new dishes.  You’ve learned to fear
The gloomy, stricken places in my stomach
And the occasional indigestion that haunts me later.

You made me fat; and I can still return
for seconds, the haven of my lonely pride:
But I am sworn to partake of variety
the blossom from invention and disparate exploration
And there shall be no follow-up in a failure;
Since, if we ate like beasts, the plates are clean
And I’ll not redirect portions of portions to pets under the table.

You dream endless assemblies of culinary masterpieces
Yet, in my heart, I dread average results
But, should you grow to hate my critiques, I would ask
No mercy from your feelings. I’d have you turn from the stove
And look me in the eyes, and laugh, and suggest take-out.

Then I should know, at least, that taste prevailed
Though flavor had died of wounds. And you could leave me
unfamished in an atmosphere of ongoing appetite.

— Zumwalt (2011)

Copyright © 2011

In contest with a hippopotamus

In contest with a hippopotamus

me and the hippo
race
to lose weight
at such a frantic yet erratic pace

me and the fruit fly vie
to try to not age
to postpone the next stage
to delay each and every turn of every single page

Hey babe! What? I’m staying away from the eggs.
And the butter.
So don’t stay away from me.

Hey boy! Look — I am not old.
I expect to send tingles down your spine,
not receive a courteous nod like you’d give to your great-grandmother
several years after she’s been buried.

Gee.

This dog I have smells.
No bath rids the odor.
No change of diet freshens the breath.
The only remaining option is to the change the dog
for I am getting tired of changing the carpet.

me and the sunset
will meet again
at some appointed time
until then I compete against the shadow it causes the body to cast
seeking any remaining light while vanishing in the darkness

— Zumwalt (May 1991)

Reposted for dVerse challenge: http://dversepoets.com/2011/11/19/poetics-changes/

The Sassoon Collection: iv. Butter and Eggs

The Sassoon Collection

iv. Butter and eggs

Robust diners, deftly forking in the fat.
O no longer living triglycerides against the heedless tongue
Of buffet and banquet days, what sends them gliding through
This set of dancing teeth?

Theirs are the hungry cadences between
The enraptured chewing of hefty humans that make
Heaven in the booth while second helpings simmer;
And theirs the faintest whispers that hush the desire.

And they are as a released soul that wings its way
Out of the starlit dimness above the moon
And they are the largest beings — born
To know but this, the phantom glare of fullness.

— Zumwalt (2011)

Copyright © 2011

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