Two Poems by Robert Ostrom
This week in the PEN Poetry Series, PEN America features two poems by Robert Ostrom.
Introduction to What You Are About to Read
What you are about to read involves an echo that turns itself into a family.
What you are about to read is the story of a man like a self-chopping onion.
What you are about to read produces real feelings.
Which is why what you are about to read is called “Little Soul Factory.”
What you are about to read stars all the favorite animals of young peoples.
What you are about to read begins with music going from a dominant seventh to a tonic.
What you are about to read wants to care about you but.
What you are about to read refuses to implicate the hero.
The hero has a tongue in his chest.
Keep in mind that what you are about to read knows how to spell possession.
It will be like watching a church service through a keyhole.
As you begin to read remember: want silence and trust.
Trust me, says what you are about to read to your beautiful ear.
What you are about to read is the snake-oil salesman’s last confession.
The salesman loves tar heel pie.
What you are about to read loves you and doesn’t mind.
Except for every other single thing.
What you are about to read is the memoir of a copingstone.
Some language on paper.
The sadness of those you cannot control.
Whose sadness you cannot control.
What you are about to read is going to help you figure it out.
Says what you are about to read, the way a noose can figure things out.
As you lie down what stretches so lovingly before you are your limbs.
They Were a Florist and a Hatchet
This was its own country. A gumwood
in the sky lobby. The twinset nearly blue.
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