Gemini Magazine
He couldn’t not
flirt with the waitress
who was sexy with
bad teeth. She reminded me
of his best poems,
the way they smile at you
through the pain. He wore
a gray baseball hat
like he was rooting for gray,
like there was too much
black or white in the world,
too much win or lose,
and much too much
rain or shine. We talked about
Dean Young
and Larry Levis
and Jimi Hendrix
and Buddhism and capitalism and narcissism,
and the corrugated green
pickles they placed at the edge
of our plates crunched softly in our mouths
as the conversation turned
to sadness. He kept saying
he was lucky. I kept thinking
his poems make me wish I’d written them.
So it felt a little like
plagiarism—the waitress
coming back with our credit cards
and giving me his credit card
by mistake, and me signing my name
to his lunch while he was
piddling in the men’s room—
and me calling it my lunch now
with Tony Hoagland.
Paul Hostovsky's poems have won a Pushcart
Prize, the Muriel Craft Bailey Award from The
Comstock Review, and numerous poetry
chapbook contests. Hostovsky (above photo) has
been featured on Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, The
Writer's Almanac, and Best of the Net 2008 and
2009. His latest full length collection, A Little in
Love a Lot, is available from Main Street Rag.
Check out his website at
by Paul Hostovsky