Zumwalt Poems Online

Posts tagged ‘Poems’

she sells sultry sunrises soulfully soaking in seaside’s sensuous sandy satin sheets

down
by the seaside
our love mimics the tide
skipping out on the evening board
you teach me how to body ride

sound
of life’s breath
as a secret’s expressed
the moon strokes
and swells the surfing waves
and seeks salted seas to direct
a final ascent
to their rock, rock, rock bottom depth

I don’t need you
I just need your love
I don’t need to have you love me
I just need you to have me love

the sand is soft
but I see the vicious stony peaks
jagged and lying in the dark

the wind is sweet
but I feel the heat of a scorching sun that has yet to rise

I just want to look in your eyes
But I can’t if they’re closed
I just want to talk on the phone
So don’t change your number

Yesterday I was wearing my Acapulco hat
and some girl who I didn’t have the nerve to talk to told me I was cute
Tonight I own the coast
and you own me

I was down
by the seaside
my love mimicked your pride
skipping out so you wouldn’t be bored
you took me for a body ride

— Zumwalt (1990)

 

 

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The Grand Panjandram

The Grand Panjandram

In dark draped light, they set the stage with positively pessimistic preposterous pronouncements:
                               open-ended, close-minded —
                                                             an onslaught of oozing, slimy, backbiting, backstabbing, bamboozling, bath-bubble babble.

Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers but where the heck is the peck that Peter Piper picked?

Blame the government! Blame the moderators! Blame the other politicians!

Blame the prosperous! Blame the lazy, liberal-influenced, moral-obliterating, freeloading nameless discontents! Blame blame, but oh, so blamelessly….

Our media plays politics, shamelessly positioned cross-legged on the tracks of the central station throwing rocks at the podiums of the office seekers and office sitters who madly craft the nightly news peering over the simmering cauldron as they add tortoise ears and bat eyes to their brew.

They know nothing is knowable; the perception of reality is reality: reality is only what is perceived.

I had a little nut-tree, nothing it would bear, but nuts are scattered everywhere along with rampant fear. Predictably, my mind wanders until there is no more silliness to hear while my unsuspecting stomach growls as the choruses of the shameless masses cheer.

I know reality.

It is that thinner-than-thread string that connects one thought to another and one moment to the next.

I know consequences. These are things that happen in direct proportion to lack of diligence.

The end follows the beginning; but also sets up every new beginning. Each possibility is the result of each result.

I will set aside my expectations — of what reality should be — to go along with the ride. It will ultimately lead to the next ride and at some point there will be a chance to get off, walk away and look back at the vast, almost infinite, devastation.

— Zumwalt (2016)

call center conversations

call center conversations

reciting written scripts
chattering cattle, chewing and spieling
windward whirling, wheeling and dealing
nouns, adjectives, action verbs
headers, disclaimers, inertia verbs
in this tornado of tomato and avocado
of spineless bombast and spiritless bravado
words take slushy, slippery substance
ringing, plinking, plunking, plucking
abrasively invasive: pocket knives and poison ivy

sarah stays the course, naturally
jessie talks her to the ledge, persuasively

It is a bleak, dark, ever-dimming landscape
Pulling all light in and letting out nothing in return
It is a empty, hollow, endlessly winding corridor
Leading ontologically onward with no chance of finality or redemption

one day, the dentist’s drill locks in and won’t let go
one hour, the need to know triumphs over the need to be known

she, sarah, held her course, intentionally
he, jessie, led with talk, aggressively
invasively
inexorably
knowing that enough noise numbs the nerves effectively
permanently
closing the sale
closing the call
but most significantly
closing the office

— Zumwalt (2015)

mental block

mental block

spiraling parapet spinning passages
sweeping the bleakness
clouds sail skimming the
gravy scum of lifetimes of labor.

I know
of what you go
and where you want
but pretense
the avenger of moonglow
cries out against all that is anguished

and taps on the counter
like the frozen ballerina
on the shoulders of your shoelace.

— Zumwalt (1980s)

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)

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