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Poetry by Lee Clark Zumpe

Saturday, November 28, 1998

In the evening, the shadows fall
across the room like a blanket of
butterflies winded from migration

It's all about transformation, anyway,
isn't it? Light to darkness, whispers to
silence, pain to tranquility

Her sisters grope through her belongings
awkwardly, trying patch together
impressions that must serve as memories;

I sit on the doorstep where I waited
for her to come home, listening for echoes
of conversations layered like dust on furniture.



with all her weight on one foot
with one hand in her jeans pocket
the other fluttering around her lips clinging to a cigarette
she stares at a bare wall
as if she might be watching a slideshow
and she narrates
as if reading captions for each image
that one hit me and kept my dog
that one's married but he's good to me
that one isn't satisfied with being friends
and this one wants me one day
the next he won't even talk to me
I spent all last weekend at his place
we had a cookout Saturday
now he won't even return my calls

her dramatic oversized eyes
seem ready to burst with rain
but she punctuates her monologue with nervous smiles
giggling to suppress her pain and anger
and sandbagging her tears



You were Paris
Made corporeal.
You were provincial gardens
By day;
Frenzied cabarets
By night.
In the Moulin Rouge,
In Chat Noir and the Divan Japonais,
You alone found primal dignity,
You alone captured
Unintentional elegance.
You divulged this
Equitable Truth
In delicate brushstrokes,
In the composition
Of unique expressions
Or in the uncanny depiction
Of motion
Upon canvas.


Since his first sale to Nocturnal Lyric in 1992, more than 200 of Lee Clark Zumpe's short stories and poems have been published in magazines and anthologies in North America, Europe and Australia. Most recently, his work appeared in the pages of Jupiter, Glass Tesseract, and Main Street Rag. He has work scheduled to appear in Tiferet, Whistling Shade, and Mythic Delirium. In January 2003, Anxiety Publications published his first chapbook of poetry titled An Invisible Shimmer.