Greenwood Encyclopedia of African American Literature

Monday, April 25, 2016

Our Days to Get Through

Everybody has a day to get through.
It may look like other people's days
to other people, but no: each person's
particulars make the day unique. Many
days I don't feel like I've known anyone,
and each time I feel that differently.


hans ostrom 2016

Song: Another Kind of Eden

It's another kind of Eden, I supposed.
What do you think: Should we remove our clothes?
We're on a rugged beach.
The seagulls strut and screech.
And in the sun your lovely person glows.




hans ostrom 2016

I Had My Eyes On You

I had my eyes on you. They were
those plastic ones from the novelty store.
I had them on your bare abdomen.
You were lying down (as

opposed to lying up) absorbing
sunheat. "I can't seem to take
my eyes off of you," I said.
Eyes closed, you said something

like "Huhnhmnm!" Which jolted
your stomach-muscles. My eyes
tumbled off onto what covers
Earth's crust. You put your eyes

on me--a warning glare. That's when
the devil showed up in the form
of the neighborhood's vicious
cat. I cast an eye at him--missed.

But he scampered. "Get you out
of here!"I yelled. "Same goes for you,"
you said to me. I gathered my eyes
and kept spinning in space on

this thing we call a planet.


hans ostrom 2016

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Less Than Petty

On Twitter literary opiners complained
about poems concerning petty crises.
More attention to broad social emergencies
is wanted. Makes sense. You know how
it goes sometimes, though. The admonishment
has an unintended effect sometimes, even
on poets who sympathize.  I blew my nose
into a red handkerchief, which I opened.
I looked at the snot.  Tapioca. The shape
looked like an obese number 1, with sarif.
The topic of this poem is less than petty.


hans ostrom 2016

Humans Can Kill Easily

Once they breach the membrane
of empathy and kill with calm technique,
an order of evil descends. Those well
removed who have deployed and justified
the killing puff up and stink like toads.
They speechify, murmur, count, and preen.
Dead bodies rot in sun and shade
as the day moves on. Killers rest,
their eyes dulled, their nerves in service
now to evil. They care for their weapons.
Humans can kill easily, Lord knows.


hans ostrom 2016

Monday, April 11, 2016

Feline Disappointment

I aspire
to earn one day
the scorn expressed
sometimes
by certain cats I know.


hans ostrom 2016