Greenwood Encyclopedia of African American Literature

Monday, November 3, 2014

"Piano Ready to Roll," by Hans Ostrom

A piano's lacquered
surface serrates light
from outside, turns it into
a gothic, cubist
rendering
of a keyboard
that looks
a bit like a bar-code.

As music, that image
might be from Monk
or Ives, James P. Johnson or maybe
Chopin
as phrased by Rubenstein. Anyway,
it's all invented and then
rearranged. By all I mean all.

And look, they bolted
this piano to a frame with three
big wheels. That's some serious
industrial-revolution nonsense.

So roll that lovely hunk of thumps,
shadows, and singing strings into
a misplaced bay where your
emotions go sometimes into exile.



hans ostrom 2014




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