Fall 2012, Volume 13

Poetry by Paul Hostovsky


I whacked off in these woods once.
But that was a long time ago when
everything rhymed a little with
the trees all facing upward and the sky
was full of itself and no one
was around. And everything smelled good.
I smelled good myself. A sweaty,
muddy, musky, burning smell of
autumn or late summer or very early
spring was in the air, and I was so
excited to be so young and existential
and solipsistic, that I peeled off my shirt
and pants and underpants, and stood there
erect and steeply rocking under a sycamore,
my peeled bark in a little pile at my feet,
my head tossing in the wind, my mouth
opening, wider, wider, as if trying
to pronounce all the vowels at the same time
and failing deliciously, and sinking down
to the ground, totally spent and spluttering
a few choice consonants like kisses meant
for the pursed lips of the wind.

Taking the Cake

The urinal
cake, that deodorizer
thingy: small, white,
hockey puck-
like, lozenge-like,
lemon Italian ice-
like, deceptively
fragrant in the urinal's
sepsis, ultimately
to the three-year-old
that you were
when you reached your hand in
to take it
and put it in your mouth
while I stood next to you,
not seeing you
because I was looking
blissfully up
at the dropped ceiling,
the jumbo regular
coffee of the last
rest stop out in torrents,
exhaling contentedly,
feeling good about
life in general
and you and your beautiful
mother waiting in the car
in particular,
not to mention my perfectly
functioning bladder
emptying itself
the way it should,
which always feels
good no matter how
you cut it.





BIO: Paul Hostovsky is the author of four books of poetry, most recently Hurt Into Beauty (2012, FutureCycle Press). His poems have won a Pushcart Prize and two Best of the Net Awards. To read more of his work, visit him at www.paulhostovsky.com