“Poem on the Fridge” by Paul Hostovsky

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The Poet

Paul Hostovsky is the author of five books of poetry, most recently Naming Names (2013, Main Street Rag). His poems have won a Pushcart Prize and two Best of the Net awards. He has been featured on Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, The Writer’s Almanac, and was a Featured Poet on the Georgia Poetry Circuit 2013. To read more of his work, visit him at www.paulhostovsky.com.

The Poem

Certainly the fridge door is a place of honor, but the “highest honor/ a poem can aspire to”? At first this reads like sarcasm. And the poem seems to take itself so seriously, giving a triumphant speech about its own achievement. It smacks of the self-important posture often assumed by art considered “high,” which is why we chuckle – the fridge is decidedly hodgepodge and common. But then the poem changes focus, “the song in its head” changing from the physical words “lined up here” to what they signify: “a dispensary of indispensable details” observed from surrounding life. Happily there is lots of food and a little medicine. Essential stuff is “seeping through this white door” as well as the white page that holds the words to the poem, alive and infectious.

The Design

Title: 50pt Gabriola
Name: 36pt Gabriola

This refrigerator poem is so proud, so honored to have that magnet “like a medal/ pinned to its lapel.” It stands very straight against the fridge’s fuselage, at attention like a general who has just been awarded his fourth star. The typeface for the body therefore needed a straight spine and squared shoulders; Franchise delivers, adding its distinctly medal-like colons for good measure. The title needed a bit more curve, something worthy of a personal invitation to “Stop here a moment/ and listen to the poem… It’s having a party.” The kind of script that might issue from the hand of a very upright, formal being trying to let down their hair a little: Gabriola.

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