Greenwood Encyclopedia of African American Literature

Friday, September 13, 2013

Self-Contradiction Blues

Self-Contradiction Blues

"I am an atheist who says his prayers"

--Karl Shapiro, The Bourgeois Poet

He's a hick who got
cosmopolized, a fierce
coward and a timid stalwart.
He's a shrewd fool, a
half-assed genius, and
a morbidly morose optimist.

He adores libraries
and hates the intelligentsia.
He considers himself
a feminist but would stare
at women's naked breasts
until the end of Time,
transfixed, forever adolescent.

He's a lost soul but a found
failure, lazy and obsessive,
driven and languorous.

An over-achiever who
never measured up. A
glad-handing recluse,
quick and dull, exuberant
and plodding, fanciful,
serious, frivolous. He's
nothing but exists.



hans ostrom 2013
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