The Benefits of Mishearing

I like to think my hearing is excellent, but I have no proof of that. If anything, I have evidence to the contrary. I mishear things all the time, and I generally file away for later use snippets of conversations that probably didn’t unfold the way I heard it.

For example, while I was at my son’s martial arts practice session, I couldn’t help but overhear a conversation between two women behind me. They weren’t exactly quiet. I was writing at the time, and I allowed what I heard to drift into a poem. The result is below.


“Back of the school, back of the church,
what the fuck ever, I’m cool,” said the lady
with all the raw sexuality of an egg-timer.

“I texted her,” she went on, incredibly.
“Tomorrow’s golden, I said. Got nothing
back, so let’s go. I don’t have a car right now.”

I pondered these things in my black heart
(as is my wont), I decided to make like a
mentally-ill banana and split myself…

…something she didn’t get. Of course not.
She yammered on as the moon and I sighed,
both of us lamenting the abuse of language.

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