Greenwood Encyclopedia of African American Literature

Thursday, February 12, 2015

"Place in the Space"

He needed something to take him away
From the place in the space called
His head. Not escape; no, a shift
Into a perspective that stuff didn’t
Stick to too much. Such as scenes
Of injustice (the same kinds
Of the people that were treated
As not-people are treated as not-
People today; if you, he thought,
Read, see, and listen, you will
Know this and so not deny it
I can't deny it, it sticks
Yes, stick to too much,
Does the stuff, such as
By-now distilled toxic memories
Of personal shame and failure, failure
And shame and stupidities
And permanent confusions
But also excessively incisive
Insights (such as this whole
Fucking operation is a scam
and I must pretend it isn't
Listlessness full of dread,
Dreadful despair result
From the sticking-to of stuff,
So now yes he need something to
Take him away from the place
In the space called who he is.

hans ostrom 2015

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