Greenwood Encyclopedia of African American Literature

Sunday, June 21, 2015

More Popular Than the Beatles


Is the Abyss a place or a route? Yes.
How's the signage there? Incidentally,
when you visit an abbey, remember to ask
to meet the Abbess, not the Abyss.

This word, abysmal, where did that
come from? From the Abyss Mall?
Over a million shops, all of them empty.
They say Jesus, he came back

from the Abyss. I guess he did.
More popular than the Beatles, for sure.



hans ostrom 2015




Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The Is-and-Seems Theater Presents


"Electrons will be depicted as clouds of probabilities."

--Rachel Eherenberg, Science News, 13 June 2015


Sometimes seems makes Is palatable. Other
times Is wrecks Seems and levels
dreams to rubble, a lot to be cleared.

Art and science are Seems, despite
their claims to Is. They're our
symbolic social recreation of

material Is, that mystery in
plain site which hurtles
like a meteorite. Sometimes

it seems as if we know
nothing. Even our knowing something
may lead to that conclusion.

There's a profusion of
possibilities, the immanence
of Is, the atmosphere of Be.



hans ostrom 2015




Friday, June 12, 2015

Domestication

Some animals convened and reached
a consensus: they must domesticate us.
Self-evidently mad and self-destructive
as well as hard on other species,
we bore watching. So several

kinds of wild cats, wolves, and birds
sacrificed their careers, edged close
to our encampments, caves, and migrating
groups. They showed us the rudiments
about what to feed them, how to be patient.

The closer they became to us, the more
appalled they were by our illogic,
our lying and our frenzy. Even in sleep,
we thrashed about. Plus animal-sacrifice,
so stupid. Descendants of the animals

that domesticated us still try
to educate us and mitigate
our recklessness. Because of
the stress involved, they nap
a lot and get sad.



hans ostrom 2015