Now, Reality Is Surreal

Ostranenie  

Stare at any one thing
long enough
it recedes into form
without meaning.
Roof edge beyond the window
becomes a floating angle, abstract
against cloud-clotted background,
rain layered foreground.

Say anything over and over,
word you love or word you loathe
it reduces to sound,
to nonsense.
As a meditation,
this nudges us
closer to edges,
toward wilder realms rarely visited.

But be wary of ideas
ranted over and over.
They lose something too,
lose the softness of grass on bare feet,
of hand touching hand. They become
strictures against the way rain speaks,
barriers to what nourishes
the ground we are.

Laura Grace Weldon

First published in Sisyphus Literary Magazine, issue 6.3

“Ostranenie” is a literary term coined by Russian writer and critic Viktor Shklovsky to describe how art takes reality out of context, making the ordinary seem strange.