Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Rock, Paper, Scissors


Rock, Paper, Scissors

Rock: baby on your shoulder, parent--
rock your child to sleep. If you think
it takes too long, you'll know you're
wrong. Infancy, childhood, adolescence...
like a bullet train.

& Roll: a wonderful noise we
gave and received, thanks to R&B
& those blues women and men &
those folk men & women from
hills and fields and hollows,
from juke joints and plank porches.

Rocks: he grew up with them.
Boulders in the way, on the way,
of the wall, all rolled around by
glaciers and long-gone rivers.
Heat of boulders in the sun:
like touching the hard hide
of some still beast.

Paper is civilization.

Some of us lived much of our lives
on paper, feeding on words, scribbling,
scribbling. To us these pulpy tissues
were endless plains we trekked upon.

Murderous reports, condemnations,
memos, agreements, Solutions, Acts,
laws, sentences, secrets: By means of
such papers, nations ask Reckoning
and Doom to RSVP.

Scissors: a disagreement so ritualized,
it's synchronized, and so it cuts--
two people who never should
have gotten married.

Cutting clippings out--back when
newspapers were made of paper,
and of news. Back when someone,
maybe you, got noticed, noted,
in some local immediate lore.
Dear God, what are such memories for?

A paper bookmark. How thin, how fit,
how kind, how deft! Obliquely, how seductive!

Copyright 2011 Hans Ostrom
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