Greenwood Encyclopedia of African American Literature

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Mutant Pop Song

I don't want to see you tonight.
Baby. I want to see you sometime
today. Let's say between 1:00 and
2:40 in the afternoon. I want
to sniff your abdomen.  Baby.

I would walk many kilometers
to be with you. Just not all at once.
Plus you're the one with the car.
Oh, oh Baby. 

Cool Reaper

We who will be harvested
are understandably grim
about the prospect. That
doesn't mean the reaper--
constant change--is grim.

The reaper's merely
impersonal, although our
misery is not. That
coolness chills the blade
and menaces the hopeful,
who are hopeless.


hans ostrom 2016

Nevada

A human view has it that
a city of casinos and libertines
will be the center of sin
while piety flourishes on
the sagebrush plateau. God
probably thinks otherwise,
not being human. Not
opposite, just otherwise.


hans ostrom 2016

Friday, May 13, 2016

Faith Is Bulbs

Faith? Don't speak to me of Allah, Yahweh,
Jahova, Christ, Moses, da Buddha-man, Zeus,
Sky Papa, Earth Mama--or any of it.

I'm no atheist. I'm a modest gardener,
vegetables and flowers, who in Spring
is online-ordering tulip bulbs to plant

in October and to witness the following
Spring. That is faith.


hans ostrom 2016

Mutant Country-Song

When it all falls apart
and I'm lying on my deathbed,
I hope the Lord'll forgive me for
what flashes through my head.

"I hope someone's getting laid,"
for example. Or "I hate Nashville
worse than bosses." Or "I don't
think God gives two shits about
your politics--or your religion."
And, of course, "Ouch, that hurts
like a motherfu--."

[Docking complete: begin transfer
of pickup truck (old), farm, train,
mama, daddy, pretty girl, "darlin'", 
we, they, goodbye, dancin', 
hungover, fishin', gospel.]

I hope the Lord'll forgive me
for what may flash through my head
when everything falls apart and
I'm lying on my deathbed--or

on a couch, a highway, grass,
the crapper (Elvis!), a stretcher,
or a woman (darlin').


hans ostrom 2016

The Director of the Center

He's the Director of the Center for Let's
Wait and See. He's been worn down by
urgency. His social network includes a few
remaining pragmatic empiricists, resigned
skeptics, and anti-dualists. the CLWS
believes culture's terribly noisy, even
for the deaf, and maliciously distracting.
CLWS does all it can, which isn't a lot,

to promote counter-measures.
For there's so much drama
and so little repair,
not to mention
thoughtful original design. The
Director chooses not to whine.


hans ostrom 2016

Curve of Life

Hello, curve of life.
Darling, you bend me.
You give me the blues.
So generous.

From all directions
(he whined and over-stated),
comes the onslaught of aging.
I'm too tired to list them.

Mitosis and meiosis. Oh,
how fresh my cells were
when I first studied cells.
La-dee-dah. Curve of life,

where will you take me? Over
a dark ridge--and then soaring
over vast landscapes under stars?
Perhaps something a bit less fancy.


hans ostrom 2016