POETRY – 2 Poems by Sam O’Hana

Poetry by Sam O’Hana


Past is past. I salute that various field.
– James Schuyler

As Kundera: eligible struggles against power/forgetting are man/memory.

Those unresolved come over as          exile/outcast/wanderer/nonentity,
there’s work ahead the frontiers, conclusions, eg,            chop/change/exhume/redraft

Now, as at home, you may lose limbs in a schedule,
but beans, cannellini, will boil and tomatoes, canned, slump inwards.

You might be late, but the hippocampus searches first to roil and stir before another
shower of demands.

Its reserves, for example,
are a calling code, thermite blasts, an alphanumeric password or anecdote in Cm,

and not the hap-handed sleet of admin; yes cuts a bloody swathe in the week,
no leaves you simmering down a fractious sidewalk.

Whoever speaks in the street, it gets to 46th & excuse me,
then, satellite ribbons in the subway, a jacob’s ladder
of dollarslice, too fast swipe again, junk mail, junk mail, male, female, febrile.

Some of it, somehow will stick
into next week.

This hotplate swivel of pulses and water might at least sweep
the clef and aria of an old anthem into focus,

There’ll be a raising, a redrawing from the refugee chords
of joy, of returning from intractable evening landscapes.

You could also rummage through family              trees/medals/co-ordinates,
there are soft copies, mappable, of how your grandfather was
killed, or what was done for gold,
it’s an exact field, back there.


Day’s end ends with explosive
huddling up. 11m ago the text reads
‘8pm ‘til whenever’, but arrival’s only half
the fight. Sister, I couldn’t traipse to yr
gaff at this hour, and on the descent take
a crooked walk along the hypotenuse
of city-breathy, city-skittering. An oz. of
wi-fi in fresh boroughs and my suggested
reading is the furrows of hometown partisans.
File other news under Creeley, or perhaps
chemotherapy, now the tropes of a turtle
can be a lintel to your cardiac revving.
Meanwhile there’s footage of deserts, dams,
diplomacy- the saltwater rises with poppies.

Before the wars on whatever- jk haha,
the cognoscenti called it plaster of
Orleans, but didn’t sit well on the tongue,
in unrelated dispatches L train shock-troops
clutch disguises, clattering along the girder
in silence, in CCTV-time. Who’d dream up ‘littleboy’,
one part premium, another part petroleum,
the rest pure anecdote, almond milk, arrondissement,
what difference now each o’ the twists and shank
rips into our coming-of-era storytime. The beers,
battery came only to mean more billboards
bursting from the infrastructure, the infra-suture.

Only the best .gifs of aurora borealis
come close to the scenes we hunt in for in the half-dazzling,
dozey halogen show at quarter-time. Some lyrics
a shist on the skin, too proud to hide the marks
of scritch and stretch, who doesn’t urge to show a wound,
give one’s crypt the slip, and the quotidien joie,
an everyday hum when it slinks and shirks into a scar,
like perma-frost on the shaggy outcrop of one’s own body
against the skyline; a bipedal crunked-up matchstick,
flim-flamming around the echo chamber
of this zoetrope stratum.

Enough ‘labor’, spin, spill an image into action,
no longer a mandate, just the sparrowhawk
of memory snatching up some vole, your attention,
as you hurry between sidewalk slush and the snore
of technical difficulty in the mailroom. Each weekend
slick-moving raconteurs fist bump the customers
with fadding tendencies, low oxygen diets, but is it that bad to lie
narked, and nubile in the first amended sunset since break.

Sam O’Hana is a poet who can be found at @samuelohana and www.samohana.com

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