Greenwood Encyclopedia of African American Literature

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Commonplace Sage

The sage on the mountain's a commonplace
sage. He's suspicious of gurus. He invites
you to spend only what you have, buy
no more than you need.  The commonplace

sage tells poets they're only as good
as their latest poem. A laurel's just
a shrub. The sage says if you want
to argue politics, debate yourself.

Sage suggests you re-familiarize
yourself with arithmetic, popular
music, and the software known
as Crap Detector 2.0.  Thinks

you might want to find the good
sense you misplaced when you
were a big deal there for a while.
This common sage sings a tune

or two, and wow: here comes a
herd of memories across a neon
pasture, and the needed card
floats up on the river, and

Frank Zappa clowns around in
heaven with Steve Allen's toupé.


Hans Ostrom, 2012
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