Thursday, December 14, 2017

She Looks Good

She looks good
in a mirror.
She looks good
in a bed.
Looks fine in
a forest,
and alluring
in my head.

She looks splendid
in the Spring,
intriguing in
the rain.
She looks smart
in a debate
and languid
in a lane.

There's an essence
in her presence,
which distracts
and then attracts.
To be drawn
to her is
to be invited
past mere facts.


hans ostrom 2017

Of Time and the Prairie

There's a lot of prairie
under all those cities.
It isn't waiting--that's
a sad human thing. It
is, however, prepared--
ready for any histories
that come along to replace
the previous ones.



hans ostrom 2017

So Many Surfaces

He went there for the job.
Stayed there for the duration.
Now his ambition has gone,
migrating one way.

He takes great interest
in what is there, in which
here is embedded:
the surfaces of the world

beyond the body, but also
his mind's interior terrain.
The meaning of what's there,
here, is beyond naming,

The surfaces, the terrain--
they mean what
they are, and from
a certain angle, no more.


hans ostrom 2017

Monday, December 11, 2017

I Am a Native of Earth

You tell me I seem as if
I'm not from Earth. You
tell me I am an alien
and wish to see my documents.
(I have so many documents--
please specify.)

Sadly for you, certain
verified claims of physics
and biology confirm
my native status.

Yes, that's right, you
may infer that we are all,
that they who lived and
shall live are all, Earth Natives.

Our segregations, degradations,
and depravities seem
to spring from a different premise,
one I can see you share--
you with that supreme look
of deranged identity in your eyes.



hans ostrom 2017

Ice Hockey

They are painters on skates,
brushing and dabbing the cold canvas
on which they glide and whirl.

They are sleep-walkers
in colorful pajamas, wandering
on the bright stage of a dream,
everyone else in darkness,
looking on, fascinated.

They are hornets and wasps
in dubious and snarling battle,
released in groups from their
nests, terribly distracted by one
black fly that moves among
them imperviously.



hans ostrom 2017

A You You Can Believe In

"Victor Hugo was a madman
who believed himself to be Victor Hugo,"
said Jean Cocteau, except in French.

Take heed: Cocteau and Vic
showed the way. Dream yourself
up a magnificent, protean you

that has robust self-regard,
if you haven't done so already.
Believe you are

that person. And maybe
my you will see your you
around--in Paris perhaps.



hans ostrom 2017

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

She Carries Egypt

Today she is the most beautiful one.
Egypt's in her face. What does that
mean? It must mean something.
Faces, bodies, and minds carry
their own history. You knew about that.

Her face says without saying
she carries Egypt--lightly,
calmly, confidently. She doesn't
require boldness, which is for
the nervous. Human, she's not
impervious. Only strong.
And not only strong.



hans ostrom 2017

Read and See

("Aspiration," painted by Aaron Douglas, 1936, oil on canvas, 60" x 60", Fine Arts Museum of
San Francisco)


Black chained hands rise. They have
become the shears of history and cut
through evil. Tilting, layered stars
share a central point that rests
on the right shoulder of a reading,
seeing Black woman. Read see.

Two Black men stand on an indestructable
foundation. It goes by many names.
Read and see. The men's broad
shoulders defy the past and square
up with the future. Their jaw-lines
assert. One man points through
a spectral sun at pale green towers
and 36 lit windows on a mountain. The lightning

The lightning bolt is permanent in purple
skies. It portends the death of White
Supremacy, the Master Depravity.
The men carry necessary tools,
the most necessary of which
are spirit, body, mind. Read
and see. Aspiration is a prophecy.


hans ostrom 2017

A Valediction Forbidding White Supremacy

God damn it, would you just stop?
If you really were inherently superior,
you wouldn't cling to Whiteness like a
street drunk hugging a bottle
of fortified wine.  It's a bit of a tell:
trumpet your Whiteness, admit
you're weak. Here's the thing:

nobody's White. It's just an invention,
like the Hindenburg blimp. Google
Johann Friedrich  Blumenach. Your
fantasy kills people.  Living off hate, as
you do, will kill you, too. It will
weld your arteries shut, not to
mention your mind. Get your DNA
tested. The results will show you're
from Earth like every human who's
ever lived. What a shocker.  Grow up.



hans ostrom 2017

Yawn and Stretch

Yawn and stretch
in the life of the body.
Let the exhausted mind
go off by itself and get caught
in tangled, sanguine vines.

Yawn and stretch.
Savor air, situate yourself in light
or shade. Don't ask why.
Sigh. Focus on a thing nearby,
a souvenir from the infinite universe,
let us say a stone, graffiti,
or a grimy thumb drive.

Yawn and stretch.
Let your mind believe at least
for a moment it can change
the world, that it knows
what the world is. It needs
such fictive encouragement.


hans ostrom 2017

Monday, December 4, 2017

The American Climate

It's easy to think you'll just go
to the sea (e.g.) and ignore the wreckage
wrought by these White Supremacist
huns of the American oligarchy
and its minions who are hypnotized
by vicious religion and depraved hate.

It's easy to give up, as surrender
seems like the most logical next
move, not just the most sensible
emotion. Ritually you'll talk yourself
into caring again, keeping up
childishly with current events,
polishing your opinions,
and doing something small and local.
You'll round up your usual responses.

You know though that what's happening
is hard weather from the only climate
America's ever known. For it's a
fatally flawed culture in which the
powerful flawed exact fatalities
from their customary targets,
and unrelenting on and on it goes.



hans ostrom 2017

Friday, December 1, 2017

A Composed Affair

I recall the affair
as clearly as if
it had happened a long
time ago, which it
did, but not before

starting as an impromptu,
developing into an etude,
going through a prelude
to get to some
energetic nocturnes,
with several scherzos,
rondos, and sarabands
included for good pleasure.

The affair ended
as if by composed
design, how refreshing.
The final note
was held but not
amplified or for long.


hans ostrom 2017

Allegory at Alpine Elevation

You're standing outside in the dark.
In the mountains, alpine elevation.
The cold wind's blowing hard enough
to keep the crust on the snow,
and to blur your vision, so the stars
seem momentarily to reel.

You say a word, any word,
to yourself but out loud. Wind
takes it from your mouth so fast
the word never gets fully formed.
All evidence of your having
spoken vanishes. You recognize

what has happened as the briefest
allegory about ego's status
in the flow of matter. You go
back inside. You're glad for the
warmth. Still the light and things
inside seem trivial and doomed.
You feel embarrassed for them.



hans ostrom 2017