words overheard

This poem is composed entirely of snippets of conversation I overheard while sitting in a coffee shop.  Parts of it make sense, parts of it are more like a dialogue, parts of it seem incoherent, so make of it what you will.  I’ve done a little formatting, but I haven’t changed the actual wording at all.  Interestingly, I am still listening to the conversation going on at the table behind me, and I am quickly becoming convinced that everyday conversation is the most interesting source of found poetry…

Conversational Fragments

What did it cause her?
All kinds of distress
but money to her is nothing.
She is not afraid of her shadow.
She is not afraid of other people’s shadows.
What’s real and what’s not?
Does it go into the bloodstream?
(the radioactive isotope
from a distance)
Who’s being mean to who?
You’re not at liberty to say
there is meanness going on.
We can’t put two and two together;
we can’t even get our own lives together.
Solving for x
and you have 14 variables.
I like these they come from Canada –
they’re good with vodka and grapefruit juice.
He doesn’t need to do it with his wits.
I think that’s kind of a giggle.
He’s my guru,
sometimes he thinks he’s also my economist.
He doesn’t have worldly experience.
He used to teach things.
He went to Madison, the bastard child of Rutgers.
Just go over there and hold your nose and drop some money.
Someone will hold their feet to the fire.
In the cities there is a different rust.
I get more for my money.
(You get more milk.)
I don’t care I just get more.
Now we’re getting to the good stuff,
you stopped something that was interesting.
(You didn’t have an older sister who was listening.)
My 8th grade girlfriend dumped me in the summer
for a football player.
That guy was a knob.
She was knocked up in a month.
She was like half japanese and half french.
She was very mature.
She was so far beyond me.
It was instinctual.
She was soft
and smelled good
and warm.
(She sounds like a live human being.)
I was a loser.
(Your self esteem had been clipped.)
Don’t these people know who I am?
My mom didn’t say no.
Anyway enough of that,
as a junior I was an established commodity.
(By then you were tall.)
Tall does something.
I was more visible.
(Were you smart?)
Of course!
I was off the charts.
(Did you act dumb sometimes just to get something you wanted?)
You’re not 15 years old.


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