Greenwood Encyclopedia of African American Literature

Monday, October 29, 2012

Bless Meaninglessness

God bless meaningless noise people
make, such as, "I knew I shouldn't have
trusted February" or "the piece that I'm
not seeing is some kind of evaluative
framework" or "How can people not
get that?" The froth of not-meaning's

whipped up into magnificent meringue
sculptures.  I walk among them all day--
the fantastic shapes! I say little in response
Maybe "interesting" or "wow,
really?" or a well placed, "Good grief,
let's hope it turns out all right."

I can pretend to understand just
enough to escape scrutiny. Then
I must come home and rest, maybe
read a detective novel, in which
the world represented coheres
and meaning means. Out there

online, at work, and in the public
sphere, people say and write a
great many things which neither
swing nor mean a thing. God bless
them and that noise.


Hans Ostrom, 2012
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