Saturday, May 26, 2012

Potential Side-Effects

(re-posting this one)

Discontinue taking this medicine if your hair
turns into snakes. If you experience an erection
lasting four hours or more, then we must assume
that, for better or worse, you have a penis;
anyway, attach a small flag to the erection
and declare yourself emperor. If, after
taking this medicine, you start swallowing
pebbles, it probably has nothing to do
with the medicine. Other side-effects
may include spending too much money
on this medicine, the desire to organize
parades, death, twice the number of toes
you now have, a craving for goats' hooves
pickled in brine, and a heart-rhythm
that sounds like the samba. If you experience

a sudden dropp in self-esteem, expect
your doctor to hang up when you call,
assuming you can find a doctor. If
you actually took this medicine,
then it's already too late, and an aged,
unbathed shaman will be escorting you
to another zone of time and space--
not necessarily forever; don't over-react.

As with all medicines, keep this one
beyond the reach of lemurs and hippopotami.
If you have any questions, write them out
on a piece of paper and eat the paper.
We're a pharmaceutical conglomerate.
We're not your friend. What
is it with you people, anyway?

Copyright 2012 Hans Ostrom

Friday, May 25, 2012

When the Tongue

When the tongue
touches the perfect
place linguistically
or physically:
an ecstasy,
most certainly.

—Hans Ostrom, 2012

Thank You, Rogers

Thank you, Rogers, for your fine report
on our profit-outlook. You're fired. It's
a matter of over-head. Consult the
etymology of "capital" and work
on your resume, you diligent piece
of human resources.  As for the rest

of you: Fuck off. I got my bonus,
dare me to justify it, I win, you lose:
I am the point at which nihilism
and profit meet, baby.  There's nothing
like the high you get from sniffing
the spore from the lip of the
titanium-lined abyss.

I go to church, there is no God,
I wave the flag, there is no nation,
I fund a family for whom I'm alien,
there is no nature, it's raw material,
and long-range planning is
what suckers do. Toodle-oo.

The game is to sell tomorrow
today.  Rogers, be on your way.

Copyright Hans Ostrom 2012

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


He lived his life
along coordinates befixed
and bedazzled by bots, drones,
satellites, servers, monitors, screens,
programs, screeners, and sites.

His life was a program
born of programs composed
in a binary language.

Technology expressed him/
expressed him not.

--Hans Ostrom, Copyright 2012

Conversation Between A and B

A: Would you rather look at an image or read a page?
B: Read a page.
A: What's the wildest sex you ever had?
B: Define "wild" or "wildest," please.
A: (Defines.)
B: (Answers.)
A: My god, I didn't expect it to have been that wild.
B: It was a long time ago.
A: That's a non sequitur. . . . Would you rather talk on a land-line or send/receive "texts"?
B: Land-line. Or send/receive a letter.
A: You mean paper, stamps, envelopes, closing, opening?
B: I do mean that.
A: How many times have you Skyped?
B: One and one-half.
A: Okay, I think we have enough evidence to suggest that you are old.
B: It was a long time ago.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

"Satisfaction Haiku"

oh oh oh oh oh
oh Oh oh ohohoh oh.
OH, oh, oh, oh oh

--Hans Ostrom, 2012

Friday, May 18, 2012

Two Travelers Meet Inside a Phrase-Book

“My name is Carmen,” she said.
     “The Post Office is over there,” he replied.
“Thank you!  It is one o’clock.”
      “Goodbye! How are you?”
“Do you speak English?”
     “The stranger is weeping.”
“My factory is on fire. No thank you.”
     “Excuse me!”
“That dog is frothing at the mouth.”
     “You’re welcome.”
“My passport lies under your thigh.”
     “Where is the hospital?”
“The train leaves in ten minutes.”
     “Please put this on.”
“Will the coup d’etat last all week?”
     “Yes, the museum is my cousin.”

—Hans Ostrom, 2012

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

"The Broken Oar," by Henry Wadsworth Longellow

Concerning Angst

I think of angst as a soft metal.
You try to worry it into something
decorative and useful--
ring, cup--and it resists by being
too malleable. Its color mixes
gray and brown.

Some company delivers a load
of angst to you. You swear
you didn't order it. It gets
dumped anyway. Your mind

writhes inside itself like a snake
inside an egg. "Oh, God," you say,
not even meaning to pray. Oh,
that is angst for you.

Copyright 2012 Hans Ostrom