Wednesday, October 1, 2014

"Quietude of Minnows," by Hans Ostrom

Minnows, floating like flexible
galvanized nails, bunch their crowd
tightly in shadow, then disband
and dart. Clouds of starlings come
to mind. Quietude, sure, if only
I knew what that meant. I take it
to mean the opposite of noisetude,
so you can see I don't take it seriously.

For thoughts are imperialists and may
invade one another at any time. No reason,
then, to go out of your way to confuse
yourself and others. Or is there?

We need less reflection:
difficult to argue that. Of course
the sound of fighter-jets will intrude
noisetudinally (coordinates, please) and seem
to shake the surface of the lake
(to ask if there's been a goddamned mistake)
because we are at war again always, and the
joint-base is just down the road, right? In

other news, the Greed Opera is coming to town,
colleges have become pimps for loan-sharks,
Black folks remain under siege in some cities, decades
of that shit. And now somebody walks out from
the back of this poem carrying a gun,
a flashlight. I want to move but I can't. I

can sing, though, sort of, so I croakingly
melodize something about poets and minnows in their
schools, and I keep an eye on that gun,
and the Son of God is nowhere in sight.


hans ostrom 2014





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