Greenwood Encyclopedia of African American Literature

Friday, December 5, 2014

"Big Laughter, Small Towns," Hans Ostrom

The very big laughter,
rude/unrefined,
in very small towns
around the world:
it springs, blooms, booms.
Cackling and crackling and thunder.

It needs to make too much of too little,
of nothing sometimes.

Big cities outlaw open laughter,
which is inefficient and free,
not a commodity.

In little out 'the way places,
which are litter left behind,
there's never enough that's funny.
Which is funny.

The very big laughter
in very small towns
might be accompanied
by stomping of boots
on boards, washed clothes
pinned to the wind, and a combo
of broken conveyances.

If you pass through,
laugh, too; not at.


hans ostrom 2014



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