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

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Nothing But Time

Moments don't arrive.
For they've always been there,
inside the universe.
The tiniest percentage of them
are invisible arenas
available to our lives,
which pass in. And out.
All other moments lie beyond us.
There is nothing but time.

hans ostrom 2015

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Honors and Awards

He's been elected to the Lizard Rock
Academy of Arts & Shit Like That.
He was awarded the Piss-Ant Prize
in Poetry from the Gout Foundation.

At Fistula University, he holds
the Flecknut Chair in Mossy Texts,
although he's never taught one
goddamned thing to anyone there.

He was elected to the Chamber
of Literary Commerce not long
after he developed a sore
on his scalp, about which

he wrote the epic poem,
Ick,in syllaabics.
He will be buried, after
dying, in the Poet's Corner

of Len's Barbershop and Bait Shop
in Lugville, Nevada. I mean, this
sonofabitch is a prized poet,
lethally anthologized.

hans ostrom 2015

Wednesday, May 6, 2015


Mist has found its night-air.
From the buzz of the plane,
we know the plane flies
circularly in clouds. Have one!
A neighbor cries, followed by
I need new strings. We are
on the roof but no closer to the sky,
buzzing toward a circular high.

Phrasing Today

How shall we phrase this day?
It has its own rhetoric.
Our arguments are largely choral
and decorative. Vowels

of sunlight stream between
consonantal trees and bathe
guttural buildings. Sky is a blue
theme; air, a forum.

hans ostrom 2015