Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Things I Heard Last Wednesday


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Like almost all writers of poetry, fiction, and drama (etc.), I write down what people say. I'm especially drawn to statements or questions I hear as I pass by people who are talking, so that in a sense I'm getting the quotation out of context. At other times, I simply write down things people say to me. For example, I might ask a worker in a grocery store a question about where an item might be found, and the response strikes me as not just informational but evocative, so later I write it down. Sometimes more writing springs from such notes; sometimes, not. The lists make up a kind of "pre-writing": raw material. But they can have their own appeal, too.


Things I Heard Last Wednesday

I did not want to take that out of my bank.
I wouldn't go outside with short bangs even
on Halloween.
I'll take a comparison to Lucille Ball as
a compliment any day.
The more your head is in the sink, the better.
You can't be cold.
They have a scholarship for schizophrenics.
I've never driven anything nice before.
Nutrition is near Produce but off to the left.
The archive belongs to the family, but
it's held by the company.
That doesn't mean he didn't call.


Copyright 2009 Hans Ostrom
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