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Monday, April 23, 2007


by Paul Hostovsky

I remember Nixon getting up in front of
my mother and father in 1974
looking so earnest and guilty and apologetic
that you had to feel sorry for the guy, I mean
I did. I didn't know what he'd done but
whatever it was, I knew my parents wouldn't
forgive him for it any time soon.
I could tell by the way they clicked
the TV off and left the room, that Nixon
was grounded for life if my parents
had anything to say about it. I remember
turning the TV back on then and feeling
closer to Nixon who reminded me
of myself. Now all these years later with Nixon
gone and my parents gone and with Bush
getting up on TV in front of everyone,
I'm mad at him for not telling the truth,
but he looks so earnest and guilty and he doesn't
have a good vocabulary either--I bet he
never reads books just for the pleasure
of reading them. And I can't help feeling sorry
for the guy, because everybody's mad at him
for the big mess he made, because he's standing
in the middle of that mess, with all the bodies
piling up, with all the arms and legs and heads,
and he has to say something but he can't
say what he has to say. He can't say it.

Paul Hostovsky's poems appear and disappear widely online and in print, with recent sightings in Free Lunch, Spoon River Poetry Review, Shenandoah, Poet Lore, Paper Street, FRiGG, Slant and others. He works in Boston as an interpreter for the deaf.