It's just poetry, it won't bite


03.29.10 Posted in today's words by

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, Best of the Net, and The Writer’s Almanac. His latest collection of poems, Dear Truth, was published in 2009 by Main Street Rag. To stay apprised of his projects, visit his web site. You will want to read this poem again and again to appreciate the emotion layered inside, hidden so neatly you could almost miss it for getting lost in the words that both hide and reveal it.

By Paul Hostovsky

Spiritual texts are the most boring books in the world.
None of them mentions a bicycle
or a Ferris wheel, or baseball, or sea lions, or ice cream.
They just lump them all together into “the world.”
The “world of appearances.”
The “world of illusions.”
You can walk through this world and not
believe it for a minute. You can get to the end of it
and not believe that either. The miracle is seeing
right through the world to another
world that’s right here, right now.
But you have to let go of everything.
You have to let go of everything–you can
start by letting go of these words, just let them
go. Let them fall through the air, skim
your knee, spill to the floor. How to read these words
when they’re lying on the floor face-down
like bodies? That is the seeming difficulty.
You can sit in a small room all alone with your body
and not believe it for a minute. You can
don the humble johnny that closes in the back,
and when the doctor comes in with his numbers,
which are your numbers, you can
not believe that either. You can let them fall from his lips,
skim your ear, pool on the floor where your eyes
and his eyes have fallen. He won’t
mention the bicycle, or the Ferris wheel which is
taking up a lot of room right now in the little
examining room where a sea lion has clambered up
onto the table and is barking, and the baseballs are flying,
and the vendors are hawking ice cream. He can’t
see them. He can’t perform a miracle.

3 Responses to “Miracles”

  1. Jean says:

    Paul, I was totally enchanted with the first three lines, sent them to a group of poet-friends with the note, “Look at this! Wish I’d written it!”

    Of course I had to read the rest, and it didn’t disappoint. Thank you! Jean

  2. Sarah says:

    Wow! Love the image in the end of what the doctor won’t mention.

  3. bobbie troy says:

    Wow, Paul! I could read this every day.

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