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Contributor Series 6: A Currency of Words, Handle

10.09.10 Posted in Contributor Series 6, words to linger on by

Contributor Series 6: A Currency of Words

By Paul Hostovsky

Because I don’t have anything to hold onto,
because I don’t have a Bible
or a family ancestor or two
the way others seem to
when the going gets
a little bumpy
as they say in airplanes
flying around
up in the firmament,
a word that’s probably
in the Bible–not bumpy–
bumpy isn’t in the Bible,
though it probably should be–
but firmament, a word that
sounds like what it isn’t,
almost certainly
is in the Bible somewhere.
Therefore I hold onto
the words. You might even say
I harp on them
because of the musical
connotation which I love,
harp being the biggest 
instrument in the whole ensemble,
a piece of furniture practically–
you might even stay afloat on a harp
if the ensemble ever went down,
if it ever went under. I know
the words can’t save me.
But aren’t they the most interesting things
in the Universe, which is the one
Verse, the one great Poem?
I would rather say spelunking
than go spelunking any day.
In the beginning was the word, they say.
But I think they got it backwards. The word
came after the thing. The thing came first.
and then somebody, Adam probably,
gave it a name, gave it a handle.
But in the end, you have to let go
of everything. Even the words, even your own
name–lay it down like a broken
thing laid down beside the broken thing itself.

Miracles by Paul Hostovsky appeared at vox poetica in March 2010.

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