A Little in Love a Lot

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Product Description

Poems by

Paul Hostovsky

Poetry book, 84 pages, $14 cover price

($12 if ordered from the MSR Online Bookstore)

ISBN: 978-1-59948-303-0

Release date: August 2011

 

About The Author

 

PHostovsky_Px2

Paul Hostovsky
Paul Hostovsky's poems have won a Pushcart Prize, the Muriel Craft Bailey Award from The Comstock Review, and chapbook contests from Grayson Books, Riverstone Press, Frank Cat Press, and Split Oak Press. He has been featured on Poetry DailyVerse DailyThe Writer's Almanac, and Best of the Net 2008 and 2009. His first two full-length collections, Bending the Notes (2008) and Dear Truth (2009), are also available from Main Street Rag. Paul works in Boston as a sign language interpreter at the Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf.

Comments

Paul Hostovsky's poems have won a Pushcart Prize, the Muriel Craft Bailey Award from The Comstock Review, and chapbook contests from Grayson Books, Riverstone Press, Frank Cat Press, and Split Oak Press. He has been featured on Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, The Writer's Almanac, and Best of the Net 2008 and 2009. His first two full-length collections, Bending the Notes (2008) and Dear Truth (2009), are also available from Main Street Rag. Paul works in Boston as a sign language interpreter at the Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf.Review in Rattle

 

These poems are touched with just the right bit of humor, not enough to turn them into mere entertainment, but enough to make them both entertaining and thoughtful. These are strong and wise poems.

-- Gray Jacobik

 

I can hardly tell you how much I love these poems. And then there is the fact that they are good. Really, really good. There is no one that I know of writing poetry right now that is doing it better than this. If you can't afford to buy this book, read it in the store.

--Sally Fisher

 

This book is full of Hostovsky poems, which is to say it's full of rare, wonderful, funny, incandescent events. No other contemporary American poet is so readily recognizable in just the first few lines of any of his poems, and very few are as entertaining.

--John Lee Clark

 

Hostovsky's work represents what is best about clarity in poetry. He never overwrites, or tries to force his "lyrical" soul on a situation or perception, but rather lets them offer up their own "poetic" moments. His poems are humorous, precise, yet free flowing--the triumph of a center fielder who has learned to make the hard catch look easy.

--Joe Weil

 

Paul Hostovsky always finds a way to make me happy. I hope in the next life I come back as him.

--Scott Owens

Samples

Uncanny

People look like people
and places look like places
and everything rhymes a little
and has been said before.

Bob Dylan in his late 60s
looks a lot like my mother.
It's partly the nose,
partly the big hair.

Déjà vu is the French I knew
before I knew French.
It's nice to meet you,
I've loved you ever since you were born

and probably longer than that.
Can't ken it, canst thou, Kenneth?
Nope. That shit cannot be taught.
This is the poem I have wished I'd written

ever since I read it.

The Affair in the Office

It belonged to all of us in a way
because we all shared
in the surprise
that it existed at all,
and also, privately, in the thrill
of the two lovers
(none more surprised than they)
who'd worked together in the same sad office
with all of us for all
these years, and both of them married,
and both unhappily. It was
a sad office, like so many
sad offices, full of the inexorable sadness
of cubicles, and computers, and empty
of love. Or so we thought. For no one
saw it growing--it must have
gotten in through a high
bit of laughter in the lunchroom,
then a glancing away
and a looking back again, the way
it sometimes does. And when it got out
in whispers around the water cooler
we all drank from it,
we drank it in, and in this way
it refreshed us, and amazed us,
and belonged to us because
we all took it home, took it
with us in the car, or on the train, sat with it
in rush hour, shaking our heads as though
we were listening to music, and in a way
we were listening to music,
shaking our heads and smiling,
looking out the window, fingers drumming.

Battling the Wind and Everything Else

My neighbor--the one with the flagpole
and the flag, and the pickup truck
and the patriotic bumper sticker and the perfect
lawn, and the leaf-blower with the power pack--
never seems to see me when I wave to him.
In fact, I am trying to get his attention
right now, but his eyes are on the enemy,
the leaves. He is aiming the long barrel
of his leaf-blower at them, and blowing
them away. But the wind is counting its money
and throwing it away all over his lawn.
He is Sisyphus pushing one red leaf or another
up the berm of a perfect lawn forever. And I feel
sorry for him, the way I might feel sorry for
a large carnivorous bird in a shrinking ecosystem
on the nature channel. I know when he looks at me
he sees a guy who is half-assedly, half-heartedly
raking the leaves around on a disgrace-of-a-lawn
the way a kid pushes the peas around on his dinner plate
with his fork, trying to make it look like there are fewer
peas than before, when really there are still the exact
same number of peas; and he sees the leaves messing up
his lawn as my leaves, because his leaves are all in order--
he sees to that. So the ones that are crossing the border
and have no right to be here and should just go back
to where they came from, must be mine. I see this all
written on his face as he grits his teeth and stares
the dancing leaves down, then blows them up
over the edge of his property. But they keep on
dancing back again because there's a party
going on here, and the wind is counting its money
and throwing it away. So I walk right up to him-
I get right in his face so he can't not see me,
and I wave hello. He disengages his leaf-blower,
after revving it a few times first at the intersection
of our meeting. And I say to him, "I've been trying
to get your attention." And he says, "You got it."
And I say, "How you doing?" And he says, "Battling
the wind and everything else." And I say, "I can see that."
And he says, "How you doing?" And I say, "Good. Good."

Open

She left everything open--
windows, doors, drawers, cabinets,
the little cap on the tube of toothpaste,
letting the air in, letting the bugs in, letting
everything in--while he, on the other hand,

was a firm believer in twisties
and double knots, double bagging and double
checking to make sure the door was
double locked. You could say
she trusted while he trussed. He wanted

to bind her to him, with that wedding band
on the one hand; on the other, she wanted
to keep their relationship open. "The heart
must remain open," she said. He closed
his eyes and exhaled miserably. "And where

does that leave us?" he asked, and opened
his eyes and saw that she was sitting
close to him on the couch, her mouth slightly
open, as if to say "kiss me" without saying it.

SKU: 978-1-59948-303-0 Category: Tag:

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