Free sample from novel

Friday, September 16, 2016

Beware the Troubled Aged

People worry about "troubled youth."  Okay, fine.
They should save their alarm for the troubled
aged.  Who travel in gangs demanding help
with digital technology. Who form squads

of know-it-alls wearing funny hats. Who
tell you when their nation was great
but never specify how.  And they protest--
clogging cities worldwide, carrying signs

like "Kill Time," "We Still Like Sex" (the horror),
and "What Do We Want?--We Can't Remember!"
It's real, it's dangerous, and it's coming
to your town. I say the aged should

love it or leave it, cut their remaining hair,
get a job (again), work within the system,
and turn down their goddamned music.
Let's make this country young again.


hans ostrom 2016

Transformation: Lawyer

When I visit a lawyer, stacks of paper
turn into thunderheads that rain ink
on my fear of litigation. All the clocks
read a quarter past dollar signs.

The attorney is a wizard, albeit
gowned in a tailored suit. She
owns a map to the labyrinth
I am about to enter. She hypnotizes

me with legal mantras, and I
wake up moored to the prisoner's dock.


hans ostrom 2016

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Transformation: Doctor

When I visit a physician, I become a martyr,
forced to wear a backless tunic. Large white
spiders crawl all over my body, touching,
probing, tapping. Then flies swarm
around my head, each with a number painted
on its back. Then the needles. At last
I'm sent down into a dungeon of potions
and sacrificed to constant worry.


hans ostrom 2016

Transformation: Dentist

When I visit a dentist, I become a coyote.
My yips turn into howls. The moon sits
just above me, shining into a cave called
Mouth, and here comes the huntress,
my nemesis, with her quills and knives.
Her masked face blocks the moonlight.



hans ostrom 2016

Chew Your Words

Risible syllables, oracular spectacles,
and vivid vineyard spectra: the mouth
is mouthing words like lozenges today.

The tongue's a dancing master that
undulates the floor, making phonemes
and morphemes stagger in chaography,

salubriously salivaed. Enjoy your words
today, my friends who are strangers,
inveterate re-arrangers.  Roll them

around, chew 'em up, wad them in a cheek,
let them drool out then suck them back.
Open your mouth and take a peek:

nothing there but air, ivory, red-pink
cave-walls, and that writhing slug
of a mischievous tongue:

connoisseur, conductor, meaning-
                                           making muscle.


hans ostrom 2016

Monday, September 12, 2016

Fantastic New App Lets People Talk to Each Other

There's this new app, fantastic,
that allows your phone to converse
with another person's phone.
Or several phones may chat
in a mingling group. Of course,
the phones have a lot to talk about--
a bad night's sleep-mode, soreness
from data-storage, the stress
of being shifted to another plan.

Anyway, while the phones talk,
you and another person or you
and several people may do whatever
you want together, including talk.  It'll be
great because your phones won't
be there. So for instance you
can focus your eyes on the other
person, and your fingers
and thumbs won't have to dance
frenetically like a weaving spider's legs.
I'm telling you it's an amazing app.


hans ostrom 2016

Friday, September 9, 2016

The Scourge of Poem-Abandonment



Last night, the City’s Literature Squad picked up
hundreds of poems that had been abandoned on the streets.
The poems are being held in a detention center
pending a hearing about necessary revisions
and poem ownership.  When they are identified,

creators who cruelly dumped their poems
face controversial new fines imposed by the City.
Speaking on condition of anonymity (as well as
obscurity), one creator said, “What am supposed
to do–let some loser poem of mine hang
around the place forever?”

hans ostrom 2016

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Vampire Blues

Don't want to be a vampire anymore.
Don't want to be a vampire no more.
I'm sick to death of vampirin'--
That's for sure. 

My teeth are dull,
My skin is pale.
I sleep all day
Like I'm in jail.

The coffin stinks,
And blood tastes bad.
The vampire films
Just make me sad.

Don't want to be a vampire anymore.
Don't want to be a vampire no more.
I'd like to be just human--
That's for sure. 

I wear black capes
And fear sunlight.
I want to surf
And dress in white.

When you're a beast,
It's hard to date.
Yes, I can change.
It's not too late.

Don't want to be no vampire anymore.
No, don't want to vampire anymore.
I want to have some fun
And lose the gore. 


copyright 2016 hans ostrom 




Concerning Fools

It's hard work being a fool. Ask
Shakespeare.  Oops, he's dead.
It's a calling, being a fool.
At the wrong times, you

have to be sincere, insincere,
right, wrong, inept, graceful,
knowing, naive, too young,
too old , , , Just too, okay?

You have to be willing
to spend a lifetime mismatched
to places, events, people,
clothes, customs, and situations.

That said, the world depends
upon fools: progress, false pride,
comedy, serendipity, art, and science
all rely on fools.  Oh,

what bullshit.  What a dumbass
thing to say. What kind of
fool do I take you for?  See
what I mean? Too too.


hans ostrom 2016

Friday, September 2, 2016

The Risings

Daniel's rising
up above the street.
The hot, crowded street,
hard and lethal.
Daniel's rising.

Rosario's rising
up above the huts
made of iron sheets,
cardboard, wood.
Rosario's rising.

Is it spirit?
Is it matter?
Is it a horrible,
factual hell?

Is it love,
is it greed,
is it power?
Who can tell?

Tula's rising,
up above the traps
they've set for her,
these men, these men.
Lord, Tula's rising.

It is love,
it is greed,
it is power,
though each
in a different
proportion
unfortunately,
not enough,
too much.

As you rise,
think of the risen,
think of the rose.
Think of freedom,
all dues, all
invoices paid.


hans ostrom 2016

Honeybees and Glass

Poems are composed on glass
that only seems to be translucent
beyond which airborne honeybees
meander in a No-Time without
language. Some poems pretend
to see the honeybees.



hans ostrom 2016

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Collecting Time

I keep weeks in closets,
months in a rented garage.

I've misplaced a crucial week
from June 1979.  I can't count
the number of other weeks
I've never gotten my hands on.

Somehow I ended up
with someone's else's
January 1826.  It may well
be my favorite piece.

I had a chance to bid
on a fortnight from 1902,
but three days were missing.

People ask me, they say
why do you collect different
units of time? I wish I had
a good answer. Some day

I'll do something with all
these weeks and months.
In the meantime,
I need to find more space.


hans ostrom 2016