Greenwood Encyclopedia of African American Literature

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

"What Did the Fisherman Say to the Fish?" by Hans Ostrom

1. Nothing.
2. "There you are, you little bastard, got you."
3. "You really swallowed that thing, didn't you?"
4. "My brain is more highly evolved than yours, and this is proof!"
5. "Have I caught you at a bad time?"
6. "I don't know why I fish."
7. ("'m drunk.")
8. ("How does it feel to drown in air?")
9. Nothing

"Escape," by Georgia Douglas Johnson

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

"First Class Boarding," by Hans Ostrom

At the airport,
the difference
the general-boarding area
the First Class one
consists of a rug
on which First Class
was stitched
by a machine.
Also a short blue nylon band
suggests a barrier
the two areas.
These things we do.
These distinctions we make.

hans ostrom 2014

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

"A Mona Lisa," by Angelina Weld Grimké

"Thinking at a Funeral," by Hans Ostrom

It's sad to think that those little
private,unfounded beliefs (blue underwear
will bring me luck
)will die
with each of us,
along with the complex cultures
we create in our minds, whereas something
truly silly like labeling water H-2-0
will persist indefinitely. I was

thinking this at a funeral when
I was supposed to be listening
to a "friend" of the deceased
talk almost exclusively about
himself, not the life of
the dead man. Dear Lord:
there are over 7 billion
vagabond human minds on Earth;
please advise.

hans ostrom 2014