Interesting by Paul Hostovsky


“Interesting,” says my wife’s ex-husband
to himself (“He can fix anything,”
she likes to say. “Except for his broken
marriage,” I like to say) as he considers

the door jamb, the strike plate, the lock bolt
on the door he’s installing in our kitchen
because, interestingly, we all get along now
and I actually like the guy, so I hired him

to do some carpentry. Because I can barely
open a door, much less install one.
“Interesting,” he says again and I know
it means he’s encountered a problem–something

isn’t fitting, isn’t level, isn’t plumb. I’m sitting
in the room across the hall with the door open, writing,
wondering about the difference between
level and plumb. And also, come to think of it,

between him and me. I want to say “interesting”
the way he does. But what I usually end up saying
is “shit” or “fuck” or “I give up.” I’m always
closing doors, it seems, either because I’m unable

or unwilling, or, worst of all, uninterested.
But he says “interesting” to himself, and that’s
interesting to me. It means he’s open
to what’s in front of him. Like opening a door

and walking right on through while looking
up and down and all around with interest,
willingness, maybe even amazement, something
I would like to do but never seem to do

in life–I only do it in my writing. And the fact
that my wife left a man who can fix anything,
a man who stands at the threshold saying “interesting,”
for a man who prefers to sit and write about life

than live it–-that never ceases to amaze me.


Paul Hostovsky’s latest book of poems is Mostly (FutureCycle Press, 2021). He has won a Pushcart Prize, two Best of the Net Awards, and has been featured on Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, and The Writer’s Almanac. Website: