Greenwood Encyclopedia of African American Literature

Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Extemporaneous Ballad of the Blog

The Extemporaneous Ballad of the Blog

Ah, there you are: reading
these words upon your screen,
words composed of light,
words that strain to mean

precisely what you want
in this wee cyber-moment
to "hear," and words that want
in fact to help you foment

a revolution in your mind,
a pleasurable coup
that affords you supreme
power over what it is you

get from your government
of thought. The words can only guess
what thoughts you'd like to
host, their writer must confess.

--Perhaps a recollection of
your very favorite spice?
Its odor, color, and its taste?
Or maybe images of ice

you famously recall--
icicle? Or the white expanse
of childhood's moonlit lake?
The words now fall into a trance:

Their pixels fixed, they stare
translucently at you,
mesmerized a bit by your
intensely focused view

as you focus on your screen,
process this hypertext.
The words dream you would know
about the viper next. . . .

The viper, yes, not just a snake.
"The Viper's Tale," alas, must wait.
For these words must get their rest,
and so must you. It's getting late.

Indeed, this clumsy ballad
must lie down before it falls.
And you must surf to other sites.
You must maintain your firewalls.

--Hans Ostrom



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