“Some Thoughts on Patti Smith” and “Courtship Dives of the Male Hummingbird”: Two Poems by Paul Hostovsky

Some Thoughts on Patti Smith
First I thought: she looks like a boy.
And then I thought: it takes balls
to use ‘pituitary gland’ in a poem.
And then I thought: she spells Gloria
better than Van Morrison. In fact, she
spells it so well that I think she wins
the rock & roll spelling bee of my
sexual imagination, enumerating
the steps she is taking up to my door
and into my room and here she
comes, spelling and spilling her
hot androgynous self all over the white
album cover and oh she looks so good
and oh she looks so fine and Jesus
died for somebody’s sins but not mine.
Courtship Dives of the Male Hummingbird
He pretends he doesn’t see her.
She pretends she doesn’t see him.
But they have noticed each other.
They are both so small in the world.
How in the world will they ever meet?
She has no idea. But he has an idea.
It’s one of those crazy great ideas
men get when they’re in love.
The kind that just might work.
The kind that makes a man great
and gets him the woman. The world
is full of crazy great ideas, and this one
belongs to the male hummingbird. He will
dive-bomb and 58.6 miles per hour
with a body drag coefficient of 0.3,
as if to say, “Because you don’t have eyes for me
I’m going to have to kill myself.”
Then out of the corner of his eye
he checks to see if she looks concerned. And when
it looks like he’s going to crash and burn,
she does. And then he knows. And then his heart
leaps up, and he pulls up at the last second
with a centripetal acceleration that
is rivaled only by the best jet fighter pilots.
Then he banks, and jukes, and flits back down
to earth, and takes her out for a drink of nectar.