Fishing Vest

By Paul Hostovsky


I don't like fishing. 
But I like hyperbole. 
I saw it in the window 
of the sporting goods store. 
It had a hundred pockets 
and I thought: now every poem 
should have pockets. I thought: 
let there be plenty of pens, 
pocket combs, a pocket 
dictionary, a box of raisins, 
a pocket watch, a deck of cards, 
and a pack of cigarettes. 
I like a poem that can hold 
numerous small swindles, 
lots of harmonicas, and 
a childhood memory 
of an imitation turd 
from a novelty shop on 
Hancock Street. I hadn’t 
smoked in years but now 
I want a pack of cigarettes. 
I want a hundred pockets. 
I couldn't give two shits 
about fishing. What I want 
is a poem that can hold 
everything. Everything I want. 
Everything I didn't want 
but got dealt anyway. 

Paul Hostovsky is the author of four books of poetry, most recently Hurt Into Beauty (FutureCycle Press, 2012). His poems have won a Pushcart Prize and two Best of the Net Awards. To read more, visit him at

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