Sunday, March 24, 2019

Important Reminder

It is important to remember
that at any given moment,
no one in the world (or any
world) is thinking about you.
And that is just fine.

hans ostrom 2019

Thursday, March 14, 2019


unspool filament
one full fill meant
one full fool mentor
fill fool emolument 
feel fray fragment
dune full film tent
soon full tilt sent
hollow, hollow, somewhat
almost always hollow,
do not wallow
in unfulfillment,
help is hopefully on the way
hope is helpfully on the way

hans ostrom 2019

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Your Happy Day

(a spam poem)

Today is your happy
day, 1M has been giving
to you. Send me an email
for inquiries, kind
lady or sir.

hans ostrom 2019

Sunday, March 10, 2019


This place seems to be
falling apart, coming undone.
It's held together by buttons
and brackets, bolts
and rivets, screws, beliefs,
and clamps.  It's shored up
with shibboleths and superstitions.

Cracks, gaps, and rot
proliferate, plastered and painted
over with toxic residues
remaining from rabid denial
of fact, from swollen ignorance.
We get pounded from all sides
by images and sounds
of people talking and shouting
shit that makes no sense. The
general disintegration is monitored
and marketed carefully,
continuously. Now is the bright

summer of stupid authoritarians.
We who have no power or
influence fixate on fixes
that will never happen,
because they may require
evidence, discernment, and change.

hans ostrom 2019

Thursday, February 28, 2019

My Song for You

Days and leeks
and mouths and years.
Ways and beams
and jaws and fears.

Wishes and misses,
fiends and trees.
Reins and stones
and cogs and bees.

This song is for you.
It's not going very well.
It's absent a message,
as you can tell.

Anyway: skunks,
aluminum, flowers.
Sadness and sneezing,
minnows and hours.

hans ostrom 2019


Many molecules
briefly in circulation
so as to articulate
a body-plan, which is
embedded in the material
itself (which is like wood
turning itself into
a house): that's me,

hans ostrom 2019

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Just Plain Hard

Rooted in Oklahoma's winter plains,
unleaved gray-grown trees
graduate from artery trunks
to capillary branches, final
twigs feathering into nothing.

Here people set hard faces
against hard work. At night
neon blooms, blazes--
a reward for getting through
or going to another shift.

Oklahoma, flat and difficult,
cast iron red ground:
look elsewhere for loam. This
is home if you need it to be.
Your choice, maybe.

hans ostrom 2019

Seagulls in Snow

Seagulls in snow step
with authority and bulk
like army officers
from the 18th century.

Their shrieks turn into
mad laughter that shreds
the insulated calm following
flurries. Sometimes

they sit on white
as swans float on water.
In search of food,
they chop at a drift

with heavy yellow
beaks: cutting tools.
The failure of snow
to surge, swirl, pulse,

pound, slap, and leap
like the sea soon bores
them. They jump into
wind then and glide

and fly forthrightly
back to a bay and cliffs
and the raucous, slow
riot of the shore.

hans ostrom 2019

A Number of Words

On the mulish bus
going to the conference,
a mathematics professor
said to a scholar of rhetoric,
"One day you'll
realize that everything
is about numbers."
The rhetorician replied,
"Thank you for telling
me that using words."

hans ostrom 2019

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Resistant to Rain

Before I could fire the poem,
it quit. It had wanted it
to concern blackberries
in Fall (ugh), the labyrinth
of language (whatever), or
fatuous dictators--the deadly
clowns of drowning/frying
civilization (fair enough).

I had directed the poem
to be about,  into, and of
poets in the rain, down
through time, across
the planet. Conjurers,
troubadours, prophets,
lazy bastards, scribblers,
hermits, high-toned culture
bosses, seedy professors,
cowgirls, fierce warrior
queens, rappers, gadflies.

All of them with some
connection to the rain
in their hours amid language
alive. Something epic-ish.

The poem said No. I
offered a severance package--
some nice verbs, a packet
of metaphors, certain adequate
syncopations. The poem
resigned, saying something
ugly (but nicely phrased)
as it stalked off. I'm here

without it, listening
to the intricate tunes of
another rainstorm. (I
welcome all rainstorms
now.) I don't think I'll
ever see that poem again,
but I hope it's somewhere
inside staying warm, sipping
soup--and going to hell
(just kidding).

hans ostrom 2019


Maybe there will be rabbits
in my dreams tonight. Not bunnies--
jackrabbits, wild hares. Maybe
I'll see a vast brown plain filled
with gray smokestacks
overseen by stained skies.

Or maybe centipedes
by the thousands will pour
out of the mouth of the President
of the United States. He'll
speak in centipedes, which
will invade the ears of his
audience. And still a lot
of people won't be horrified.
In fact will be ecstatic.

hans ostrom 2019

Thursday, January 31, 2019

In Starlight Today

Sunlight is starlight, and our sun
is part of a constellation as constructed
by entities in galactic elsewheres.

The starlight was out and all around
today. I walked in it. It was
very bright. I felt good,

strolling and standing there
near a star. It seemed like an
impossible sort of thing to occur.

hans ostrom 2019

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Yelling at the Opera

I think I know exactly
what happened to you.
Over many a conforming
year, you learned not to make
too much of your feelings.
CUT TO: an invitation to
the opera, where every syllable
was bellowed or shrieked,
the singers stuffed with
emotion like gowned
sausages. You felt

buffeted by melodrama,
and you thirsted for a wry
Delta blues song, oblique
and rude. Also brief. To be
trapped at the opera is no
hardship, so you would not
complain. Still it made you
want to yell. So you did,
alarming those assembled
around the intermission bar.
Someone sent for the car.

hans ostrom 2019