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Headshot of poet Paul Hostovsky

Paul Hostovsky’s most recent books are Mostly (FutureCycle Press, 2021) and Deaf & Blind (Main Street Rag, 2020). His poems have won a Pushcart Prize, two Best of the Net Awards, and the FutureCycle Poetry Book Prize. They have also been featured on Poetry Daily, Verse Daily and The Writer’s Almanac. He works in Boston as a sign language interpreter. Previous poems appeared in WTP Vol. IV #9, Vol IX #5, and Vol. X #2.




From WTP Vol. X #4

You gotta love
all your little hatreds,
all your petty
annoyances (annoy
from the Latin odium),
for they have been
around since before
Latin, Old Italic,
Etruscan, Phoenician,
Hebrew and every
other tongue—your little
hatreds have been
spitting on the earth
since the second fish
who walked on land
trod on the heels of the first,
and probably got into it
with the third fish, too.
There is such a rich
tradition of resentment,
grudge and kerfuffle—
and kerfuffle is such
a great word—you gotta
love it. You gotta love
your neighbor as yourself,
but if your neighbor is
an irritation, try loving
all your irritations, try
getting in touch with
the oneness of their long
ramifying history, whose
latest leafy unclenching
florid blossom you are.
It’s a numinous workaround
and you gotta love it.

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