Zumwalt Poems Online

Posts tagged ‘Retreat’

The Handcuff King

The Handcuff King

Escape pays for now:
suspend me upside down;
lock glass and steel;
fill fully;
water flowing over.

But if my escapes entertains,
understand that it is my existence.
I can handle building-size milk cans, Chinese water torture cells,
underwater crates and being buried alive.

Faced with flight or forced-fight,
the choice is easy
but understand I must force fight to flee:
no escape is without struggle.

But without escape or the opportunity of one,
I must hang on
and for how long?

Until I burst?

Or until I meet the next world:
the destiny of all that depart?

Explain to me the retreat available:
the extrication that sidesteps;
the evasion that slips the lock,
that springs a liberation.

No,  you know no more than I about withdrawal.
You just know more about staying the course
and that won’t help much
when I need to leave, not the visage of death,
but death itself
and its closely shrouded, tightly bound design.

— 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)

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