You’d think Paul Hostovsky were a nice boy since Santa puts so many presents under his poetry. There’s a Pushcart Prize, two Best of the Net Anthologies, and six appearances on Verse Daily. If that doesn’t put some Norman in your Rockwell, Garrison Keillor has read seven of Paul’s poems on The Writer’s Almanac. But read any one of Paul’s five books and you see what a rascal he is deep down. 2011’s A Little in Love a Lot (read the review), 2012’s Hurt into Beauty (FutureCycle), and his newest Naming Names (buy it here!) are so why we love this Boston picaro.

Library Science

So my friend Craig is telling me how
he’s going back to school for another
master’s degree and this one’s in library
science so I ask him how long it takes
to learn all there is to know
about shushing people and ciphering
library fines because I have a bachelor’s degree
in creative writing myself
which is yanking your own chain for your own
pleasure and if you’re good for the pleasure
of others and if you’re really good
they put you in a library where people
like Craig sit around all day shushing
the library wankers in whispers and tones
as benign as a library fine and that’s
what I tell him now and what can he do
but listen politely and sip the cup of coffee
I bought for him because he’s always broke
because he’s always in school and owes
me at least that much as I expound
the science or art of wanking in a library
deep in the stacks without making a peep
without disturbing anyone and he can tell
from my description of the sensuous round mouth
and graceful slender index of the beautiful
librarian that I am speaking from experience
or else I have a gift for verisimilitude
as I indulge myself from my bookish point of view
behind the backbones of books I’m parting
on the sagging shelf where no one can see
me but I can see straight through to a librarian
I’ve created for myself and no other
a kind of contrivance a kind of seduction
approaching a kind of climax now which I refuse
to allow my friend Craig or any other
library scientist anywhere ever to thwart