Monday, February 20, 2017

Ferocious Form

Is it art or is it nature? Yes.
Starlings' startling flock
masses, fractalates, twists,
and surges in anti-patterns.

Each bird's both medium
and member of the troupe-
image. It is a ferocity of
form, undulating in the afternoon.



hans ostrom 2017

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

If You Want It To Be

The moon is as big as you want it to be.

Even hope can be sad if you want it to be.

Addiction will peel your brain away. The
needle's a gun if you want it to be.

It can be early, if you want it to be.
The book is all yours, if you want it to be.

Like an avalanche, I regret everything.
This is an apology if you want it to be.

It's all a puzzle if you want it to be,
and this is a clue.  If you want it to be.




hans ostrom 2017

The Jagged and the Smooth

Jagged edges enhance smooth achievement--
sacred stuff welded to profane, country
coagulated with city. True worldliness
cancels all its memberships.


hans ostrom 2017

Aspects of Poem Repair

I took a poem into the repair shop. Got
the syntax changed, had the metaphors
rotated, tuned up the images. They also
cleaned the syllables to smooth out
the timing. Bad news, though:

they said it has a cracked narrative.
Not cheap to fix that! So do I pay
for a new one, go with an after-market
narrative, or just get rid of the damned poem?

I mean, the cost of labor alone . . . .
Still, it's been a dependable poem
up to now.  And you know, it sounds
weird, but you get attached to a poem.



hans ostrom 2017

Monday, February 13, 2017

Penelope Calliope

Penelope Calliope, a nonethelessing
kind of girl, gave it a whirl,
a yes of a dash, a now of a splash,
and did not dwell on the fact
that her days like everyone's
will frown into the past.


hans ostrom 2017

Friday, February 10, 2017

Intriguing Employment Opportunities

Lead Evaporator.
Geological Psychologist ["Rock Therapist"]
Undercover Vegan
Atheist Pastry Chef
Theoretical Maid
Workplace Boor (Trainee)
Senior Skeptic
Managing Drifter
Erotic Data Analyst.


hans ostrom 2017

Appointments in the Flatlands

In the '56 Chevrolet sedan, steel and wheels,
we barreled down and up and down three
canyons' worth of Sierra peaks. A mother,
an aunt, 2-3 kids, no seat belts, logging trucks
and steep killer drops to make it interesting.

Eight pistons pushed us through the forest.
Ma and Aunt sang folk songs in two-part
harmony, Clementine drowning and Tom
Dooley killing. I was the youngest in the car
and brooded on ghastly lyrics instead of

lightening up with the lilt. And I couldn't
sing worth a shit. If you looked close
out the window, you saw smears and blurs,
if far, you saw the forest staying still.
Breton would have envied the provincial

surrealism.  Berryman, D.D.S., soon
loomed, mustachioed. His tooth drill
was slow and sullen.  What did I know,
what did we know? Only that life
unfolds and boulders are everywhere.


hans ostrom 2017

Plain as Day

"As plain as day," they say.
That's not very plain.
Revelations of sun's light
bewilder much more than
those of the moon's, which
is plainly a universal blue kiss.




hans ostrom 2-17

Salamander Row

I'm going down to Salamander Row,
where the quick, cool creek plays jazz
of its running for ferns and moss.

I'm going down to Salamander Row
to lose my sense of loss.
Beneath overhanging branches,

the salamanders live moistly
as meditative creatures. They
aren't teachers, but I learn

from their calm there, and the
shaded ambiance of Salamander
Row creates a balm there.



hans ostrom 2017

Friday, February 3, 2017

Like a Bank Camera

She advised him: "Think
of yourself as a bank camera
and just observe." He said,
"So I'm looking for potential
robbers?" She said, "Don't
be silly--you are just looking,
observing in a detached way.
A bank camera has no emotion."
"God damn it," he said,
"I know a camera has no emotion!"
She looked at him,
but not as a bank camera would.



hans ostrom 2017