Zumwalt Poems Online

Posts tagged ‘solo’

Solo

 Solo

Blinking away caffeine minutes
And hours
With the deli owls
Sparse and sporadic

Savoring the solitude
Of the urban predawn
I watch winter
Convoluted and crystal
Rush the window

The radio unloads
Heavy metal
High volume, howling
Then
Upturned chairs
           the busboy plays counterpoint
           on a Kirby

Purposeful sips
Premeditated
Prolong the leisure
Hunching over the cup
I feel my midnight independence hobbled
           by night’s loneliness
           yet, nonetheless,
Satisfying

— Zumwalt (19 Feb 1979, Washington, DC)

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Black with Sugar

Black with Sugar

Loam-dark
A mellow companion, rich
Whose waving vapors indicate
The only friendly warmth in this
Orange-and-yellow plastic always open Tabernacle

Silent on the Formica
Sweet Latin scents caress the senses
Softening
Blows from the nicotine grayness
And insipid ceiling-speak Muzak

Smooth and sepia
Spirals down the throat, wet, warm
For a moment attention drifts
From the bleary graveyard denizens
        the three-day growth denim jacket derelict
        the greasy ember of a cook
        the scrubbed behemoth cop
        A granite waitress

A quiet witness
To a melancholy 3:00 am solo
Outside
        the neon punches holes in the glacial black
        splaying stark pastels across the street’s lonely void
Inside
        Indifference frosts the electric décor
The mug is chipped
But its contents fight the chill and bring a
Welcome, wistful
Smile

— Zumwalt (1977)

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