Q & A | Steven and Benjamin Ostrowski

Source: Steven Ostrowski

Question

 

A permission gate opens

 

narrower than the light

that seeps through an egg crack.

 

Permission to do or undo.

Everyone asleep

is the best time to wander

through a field marked by question.

*

Benjamin, night crept into my brain

with strange and pregnant interrogations

and I wonder if you’ve known the same

phenomenon. Those sinewy askings

that go on

 

and on.

*

Did Dante notice the thousand crossed twigs

along the path

or was he blind with vision?

 

Shakespeare cry over Lear

upon waking from his own

love-failed nightmare?

 

(I feel like a man in the guts

of a machine made of vibrating string,

chords of why.)

*

Light seeks no permission

to pour through glass of stain

 

or wave away in dots for half the day.

 

What, Benjamin, when darkness comes

with its agenda of do and undo

does night ask of you?

 

Answer

Glass looks better broken, anyway.

 

Pops, sometimes I sit soaked in a vat of ink –

that’s when the irises feel the most irrelevant.

Night creeps like it doesn’t want to wake me,

and just sits softly on my brain.

Seeps in through the roots of my canals

and (almost shyly) questions.

 

“I guess,” I chant (to it and her and even you sometimes).

 

I’ve got maybe one guess for those sinewy askings that go on,

those oil rivers flooding through the shattered windows of my room –

reactants.

 

See pops, I learned in chemistry that energy isn’t given

to the cosmos when bonds are broken,

but when they’re formed.

 

 

Steven Ostrowski,  English professor at Central Connecticut State University 

Benjamin Ostrowski, Junior at Brown University