Friday, July 24, 2015

Our Legends

Tell me your favorite legend,
and I'll tell you who you aren't.
I, too, sit outside
my legend, staring at it,
the thing I'm not.

Why do we do this
to ourselves and each other--
this creation of Impossibles
to which we then aspire
like minnows who dream
of becoming eagles
and vice versa?

hans ostrom 2015

People from the Sky

So many people
fall out of the sky.
They congeal and
become moving crowds
in cities,
thick and sticky

Thank you, sky,
for all the people!

yells a forlorn
figure, homeless
and friendless
in the mass.

hans ostrom 2015

Apples of the Ear

The apple doesn't fall far
from the tree except in quantum summer
when Newton's head doesn't/does
exist and Atom & Eve

know what they don't know,
a good first step
into the wormhole of Paul
Gonsalvez's "Diminuendo/

Crescendo" solos at Newport,
1956, in that momentary era
wherein all the tightly knit
notes of Ellington's orchestra

became/become perfectly tart-sweet
apples in a God's-ear of time.

hans ostrom 2015

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Where Did Everybody Go, Anyway?

This place got quiet all of a sudden.
People I guess are off taking photos
of their meals and posting them
on Probably lots

are gathering to tweet
about comic-book heroes played
in movies by weird little
celebrities. I think

all of this is fine, just
fine. Or I don't think
it's fine. Mere opinions are
exalted on the human stage.

hans ostrom 2015

Saturday, July 11, 2015

The Richard Brautigan Beauty Pageant and Fishing Derby

At the Zero Annual Richard Brautigan Beauty Pageant
and Fishing Derby, held at a mezzanine level
of consciousness, some of the contestants
are wearing hip waders and nothing else.

Their fly-casts catch the ears of lascivious
men and pull them off. There is no pain.
They do grow back. What is it with (some)
men and women's breasts? The pageant's
judges, who include Baudelaire,
discuss this question at some length.
Baudelaire reads his "Giantess" poem.

The carpenter Jesus comes on stage
and sings Leadbelly's droll Titanic
song. Now "the girls," garbed efficiently
in paisley items, launch the big
production-number. They sing and they
step-dance down a terraced pyramid made
out of 1945 nickels (S.F. Mint).
The trout in the audience go wild.

hans ostrom 2015

Aspects of the Main Stream

In the pavilions of forbidden solitude,
citizens could not escape their screens.
And tiny hovering machines
recorded what little reflection people
could manage to generate,
for thoughtfulness was deemed
counter-productive to all aspects
of the status quo. There had been no need

to prohibit poetry, improvised musics,
philosophy, and playful disquisitions
in public squares, for all of these,
including public squares, had simply
fallen out of style, and style was all.

Self-regimentation and enervated irony
(pallid sarcasms) prevailed in those days.
The cinema and its derivatives featured
chiefly "super heroes" and sequels,
categories that rose like massive
computer-generated plinths
over the tomb of imagination.

hans ostrom 2015

Friday, July 3, 2015

Emergency Music Medicine

Inspired by desperation
and a certain nausea brought on
by spectacles of hate encased
in blistered, feverish stupidity,

they started injecting
Duke Ellington's chords
directly into people's brains.
It couldn't hurt, they figured.

They brought on board
booster-shots of Bill Monroe,
Aretha, Coltrane, Rubenstein's
Chopin, and vials of other juice.

Hi-dee-high-dee hoping these
inoculations and antidotes
might re-humanize folks,
the worried inculcators

waited, seeking early signs
of logic, empathy, and wit.
I? I await reports. A bottle
of bourbon, which I haven't

touched in centuries, sits
on the battered piano,
which I have touched, pawing
ballads and blues like a badger.

hans ostrom 2015

Secret Music

The antennae of the snail receive
music as slowly as glaciers form thoughts.
Note by note, the music seeps in from
a station under the ocean.

--Whereas bumble bees jam. They
syncopate the wing-buzz rhythms
and growl lyrics into stamens.
O, sexy women, O, befuddled men,

there's music out there
few have never heard.

hans ostrom 2015

Sunday, June 21, 2015

More Popular Than the Beatles

Is the Abyss a place or a route? Yes.
How's the signage there? Incidentally,
when you visit an abbey, remember to ask
to meet the Abbess, not the Abyss.

This word, abysmal, where did that
come from? From the Abyss Mall?
Over a million shops, all of them empty.
They say Jesus, he came back

from the Abyss. I guess he did.
More popular than the Beatles, for sure.

hans ostrom 2015

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The Is-and-Seems Theater Presents

"Electrons will be depicted as clouds of probabilities."

--Rachel Eherenberg, Science News, 13 June 2015

Sometimes seems makes Is palatable. Other
times Is wrecks Seems and levels
dreams to rubble, a lot to be cleared.

Art and science are Seems, despite
their claims to Is. They're our
symbolic social recreation of

material Is, that mystery in
plain site which hurtles
like a meteorite. Sometimes

it seems as if we know
nothing. Even our knowing something
may lead to that conclusion.

There's a profusion of
possibilities, the immanence
of Is, the atmosphere of Be.

hans ostrom 2015

Friday, June 12, 2015


Some animals convened and reached
a consensus: they must domesticate us.
Self-evidently mad and self-destructive
as well as hard on other species,
we bore watching. So several

kinds of wild cats, wolves, and birds
sacrificed their careers, edged close
to our encampments, caves, and migrating
groups. They showed us the rudiments
about what to feed them, how to be patient.

The closer they became to us, the more
appalled they were by our illogic,
our lying and our frenzy. Even in sleep,
we thrashed about. Plus animal-sacrifice,
so stupid. Descendants of the animals

that domesticated us still try
to educate us and mitigate
our recklessness. Because of
the stress involved, they nap
a lot and get sad.

hans ostrom 2015