‘And finally, our (optional) prompt for the day. This prompt challenges you to play around with the idea of overheard language. First, take a look at Naomi Shihab Nye’s poem “One Boy Told Me.” It’s delightfully quirky, and reads as a list, more or less, of things that she’s heard the boy of the title – her son, perhaps? – say. Now, write a poem that takes as its starting point something overheard that made you laugh, or something someone told you once that struck you as funny. If you can’t think of anything, here’s a few one-liners I picked out of the ever-fascinating-slash-horrifying archives of Overheard in New York.
• So I asked my priest, and he said “I think you should see other people.”
• Don’t say “no” to drugs. Say “no, thank you.”
• You smell like you want to be alone.
• Oh hi! We were just speaking very poorly about you!
• I feel so elated! Wait…no, I mean, “violated.”’
Conversation with youngish shop assistant , who complained of feeling his age. (at 42). Feeling My Age Are you sure you want to? If so, approach with caution; I don’t react kindly to sly pokes in the ribs, whilst approaches to the abdominal region are likely to provoke outbreaks of hot air and (if you’re lucky), acidic wit. I like to think of myself as a favourite cushion: cuddly, faded, with threadbare covers; stuffing leaking out through the moth holes. My zip, long since stuck though my teeth, (what’s left of them), can still bite. Showroom smart I’m not; less ‘feature wall,’ than wonky shelf crammed with ornaments, knick-knacks, books and memories. You can dust me but I’ll never make the cover of ‘House Beautiful.’ Good luck with my filing system , ‘eclectic’ to put it mildly. No problem , it’ll see me through (I hope). Accessories? Audio -Visuals need some work, the peripherals re-charging. But try my playlist ‘Imagination?’ Smooth as silk; Mind colourful as a casket of jewels and like a Swallow whirling upwards in a great sky ballet Heart-free.